Jan. 12, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker posted 20 points, including 16 in the second half, and hauled in nine rebounds to lead No. 22 California to a 55-48 victory over Washington State Thursday night at Beasley Coliseum. The Golden Bears improved to 12-4 (3-3 Pac-10) with their fourth straight victory over WSU, while the Cougars dropped to 5-12 (1-6). The 48 points equaled Cal's opponent low for the season.
"I thought we settled down in the second half," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "Our posts were finishing. They demanded the ball. We got them looks, and we were able to get stops at the other end. We had a couple of breakdowns, but we were able to get stops that led to some easy transition buckets. That relaxed us a little bit, and then we grinded it out and played smart basketball the last three or four minutes."
Washington State's Amanda DuRocher tied the game at 46-46 with 2:30 to play in the game. Walker then posted five straight points, including on a layup off an inbounds pass from freshman guard Natasha Vital, to ignite a 9-0 Cal run which helped the Bears earn their second Pac-10 road victory of the season.
Cal hit 7-of-10 free throws over the final 2:14 of the game and 19-of-26 (73.1 percent) overall tonight.
Sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton recorded 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds to earn her second double-double of the season and 11th in her Cal career.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half. Hampton scored the first points of the game almost three and a half minutes after the tip-off. Cal led 10-8 with 8:44 to go in the opening stanza, with Hampton posting eight of the Bears' points.
Cal built a 15-8 edge following a layup from Walker with 6:20 left until halftime. The Cougars responded with a 10-0 run, which included three-pointers from Kate Benz and Adriane Ferguson, to go up 18-15.
Walker ended a five-minute scoreless drought for the Bears by hitting 1-of-2 free throws with 1:08 on the clock. She tacked on another free throw before the end of the half, but the Cougars entered the break up 20-17.
Walker recorded eight of Cal's first 11 points of the second half to help the Bears regain a 28-27 advantage with 12:42 remaining in the contest. The Modesto product scored a layup off a pass from Hampton to put the Bears ahead, but she temporarily left the game after coming down awkwardly on the play.
Cal utilized a 12-2 run, capped by a three-pointer and three-point play from senior guard Keanna Levy, to secure a 36-29 lead with under 10 minutes to play. Marissa Stotler tallied eight of her team-high 12 points to help WSU tie the game at 41-41 about five minutes later. Two free throws by Walker and a three-point play by Hampton gave the Bears a five-point edge, but the Cougars battled back one more time.
The Bears held a commanding 42-28 rebounding advantage and shot 47.8 percent in the second half. Cal's defense held WSU to a 30.4 field goal percentage for the game.
Cal looks for a road sweep at Washington Saturday, Jan. 13, at 1:30 p.m. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net. The Huskies lost to No. 10 Stanford, 77-56, tonight.