Cal was plenty awake and ready to play Sunday. The Golden Bears hit the boards hard and came up with 13 steals, holding on to beat Iowa in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Playing a noon game in the Eastern time zone which would have felt like 9 a.m. the Golden Bears built up a 16-point lead in the second half and fought off a late rally for an 84-74 victory.
Layshia Clarendon scored 16 points and hit a pair of free throws with 41 seconds left for Cal (25-9), whose lead dwindled to six when Iowa's Kamille Wahlin and Kelly Krei hit late 3-pointers.
Brittany Boyd added 15 points, eight assists and six steals for Cal, which had a 41-29 rebounding edge, including 19-7 on the offensive boards.
Wahlin led No. 9 seed Iowa (19-12) with 15 points. Krei, Theaiurra Taylor and and Morgan Johnson finished with 14 points each and Samantha Logic scored 11 with 11 assists.
Boyd banked in a 3-pointer with just over six minutes left to make it 69-54 before Iowa went on its late spree, getting to within 78-71 with 1:33 left on a 7-0 spurt capped by Wahlin's 3-pointer.
But after a missed free throw, Cal got yet another offensive rebound and Clarendon made two from the line with 1:23 remaining. Krei then sank a 3-pointer and the lead was down to six with 1:13 to go before the Golden Bears wrapped it up at the line.
Clarendon hit a pair of jumpers late in the first half, the second with two seconds remaining, as Cal went up 42-33. The Golden Bears scored 16 points off Iowa's nine first-half turnovers.
Gennifer Brandon worked inside for six straight early points for the Golden Bears in the second half, and they expanded their lead to 13. And with freshman Boyd leading the defense, the Golden Bears went up 62-46 as Clarendon took a long pass for a layup.
Iowa showed little signs of rust early on after a 16-day layoff since it was beaten in the Big Ten tournament by Nebraska, ending an eight-game winning streak. The Hawkeyes made eight of their first 12 shots.