Nov. 18, 2006
MALIBU, Calif. - Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker posted a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead No. 18 California to a 72-54 win over Peppedine Saturday evening in the championship game of the Timeout for HIV/AIDS Classic at the Firestone Fieldhouse. The Golden Bears improved to 3-0, while the Waves fell to 2-2.
"Our growth from last year was to put back-to-back games together, so that was a big goal of ours starting out the season," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "We were able to do that against two really tough opponents (Florida yesterday). I'm really pleased about that, and I'm happy with our rotation. We received contributions from a lot of our bench players. Our posts really stepped up tonight and gave us great minutes both offensively and defensively. Overall, it was a great team win."
Walker earned tournament MVP honors with her first double-double of the season and ninth of her career, and Cal sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton earned all-tournament honors after tallying 17 points and eight rebounds.
Pepperdine led 10-7 with 14:38 left until halftime before freshman forward/center Rama N'diaye ignited a 13-0 Cal run with a layup and a baseline jumper. Junior forward Krista Foster also scored four of her eight points during the spurt, giving the Bears a 20-10 advantage with 8:28 left in the first half.
Freshman guard Lauren Greif delivered a perfect bounce pass to Walker in transition for her fourth assist of the half, giving Cal its biggest lead of the game at that point at 24-12.
Pepperdine closed the half with a 15-4 run, which included Daphanie Kennedy's second of three three-pointers, over the final 5:17. Kennedy posted 12 of her team-high 15 points to help her team trail only 28-27 at the break. Hampton, who led Cal with nine first-half points, posted the Bears' final four points of the half.
Cal steadily rebuilt its lead to 37-29 following a driving layup from Walker. Pepperdine trailed only 37-30 with 14:34 left in the game before the Bears rallied with a 10-2 run, with four different players scoring for Cal.
Pepperdine couldn't get any closer than 12 points (51-39) with under nine minutes to play. Walker took charge of Cal's attack at that point, posting 10 of her points to help her team build a 21-point edge at 69-48 right after the four minute media timeout.
Cal shot 51.9 percent from the floor and held Peppedine to 35.0 percent. Pepperdine committed 21 turnovers, with Cal senior guard Keanna Levy and Greif each registering four steals. Levy made her first collegiate start tonight.
Teiosha George added 13 points for the Waves.
Cal, which is now 6-0 all-time against Pepperdine, returns to action against Belmont Nov. 24 at the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament.