Dec. 29, 2003
BERKELEY, Calif. - California saw its five-game winning streak snapped with a 70-67 loss to Oregon State Monday night at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears drop to 8-3 (1-1 Pac-10) with their first home loss of the season, while Oregon State improved to 7-4 (1-1).
"A big difference in the game was that they had much more production off the bench than we had," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "We got a lead on them, and they didn't give up. Leigh (Gregory) was in a little bit of foul trouble. We kept her out with two fouls. They came back while Leigh was out. Leigh played a great game. We kept saying we wanted to get Leigh the ball. We didn't stick completely to our game plan, which was to maintain defensive pressure and intensity and force them to go to their weaknesses."
Senior guard Nihan Anaz's three-point shot with about two seconds on the clock looked like it was going to go in and tie the game, but it rattled in and out, and Oregon State claimed the rebound.
"I thought it was great that Nihan just stepped up and took it," said Horstmeyer.
Oregon State built its largest lead of the game at 65-56 with 5:37 to play. Cal then mounted a furious comeback. In the closing minutes, Anaz scored six of her game-high 20 points, and Gregory had five of her season-high 18 points, but it wasn't enough to help the Bears pull out the win. Gregory, a junior forward, also added a team-high 11 rebounds for her first career double-double of the season and drew the fifth fouls on 6-5 Brina Chaney and 6-2 Krystal Turner.
"There wasn't a moment in our minds tonight that we were going to lose," said Gregory. "Last year, Oregon State could have opened that game up a lot, and we kept it close and kept it coming. We had a good shot at the end."
Rebounding and free throw shooting were the differences in the game. The Beavers outrebounded the Bears, 39-28, and converted 17-of-25 free throws compared to Cal's 11-of-18.
Cal fell behind 12-6 in the first six minutes of the game, but mounted a 27-11 run and held the Beavers scoreless for almost three minutes to go ahead 33-23 with 4:14 until halftime. The burst included a three-pointer from Kristin Iwanaga, who finished the game with 16 points, and a three-point play from Gregory.
The Beavers then threw a 12-0 run at the Bears to briefly go ahead by two. A layup from Iwanaga in the final seconds sent both teams into the locker room tied at 35-35.
Neither team could build a lead bigger than two points for the first 11 minutes of the second half.
Hollye Chapman led the Beavers with 18 points. Jessica Jones and Turner sparked OSU's bench with 13 and 10 points, respectively, on 10-of-12 shooting.
The Bears play their first road game in more than a month on Friday, Jan. 2 at Washington. The Huskies are coming off road losses to Arizona and Arizona State.