SPOKANE, Wash. —
But the Bears' free throw struggles that nearly cost them in the second round against South Florida returned when Jemerigbe missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 27 seconds left. Griffin missed another 3-point attempt, but Anne Marie Armstrong got the rebound and scored with 8.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. It was Georgia's only field goal over the final 7:45.
"Our whole season has prepped us well for this night," Caldwell said. "Our team's been there, we have done that, so we knew what we needed to get done."
Georgia went up 55-52 when Khaalidah Miller hit a 3 to start overtime, but the Bears then took command. Jemerigbe hit a 3-pointer with 2:48 left to give Cal a 59-55 lead and Clarendon added a rebound putback for a 61-55 advantage with 1:26 remaining.
Barbee hit a pair of free throws with 1:03 left, but instead of fouling, Georgia chose to play defense. Clarendon made them pay, spinning away from Barbee and hitting a 15-footer with 37.9 seconds left for a 63-57 lead.
Georgia got within 64-62, but Clarendon split free throws with 2.1 seconds left and Barbee's desperation shot was off.
"I was smiling a lot in the second half even though we were losing," Clarendon said. "This is why you play basketball for these big moments. Really enjoy them and just relish them."