Nov. 28, 2001
BERKELEY - The California women's basketball team squandered a big lead but recovered to defeat Fresno State, 62-55, Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion.
Cal's record improves to 3-0 on the season for the first time since 1994-95, while the Bulldogs fall to 3-1.
"This game was a little bit opposite of our Cal Poly game," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "We had a lead and then Fresno State made a really great run at us. I'm very happy with our outcome. Fresno State actually took the lead, and we were a little flustered, but I think we regained our composure. I think we had players make plays. Once they took a one-point lead, we then were able to come back, score and then we built our lead again. I think that shows a lot of character, again, on the part of our team."
In its previous game, Cal Poly led Cal by 16 points late in the second half before the Golden Bears scored the last 18 points of the game to win.
Against Fresno State, strong second-half play by Cal forward Leigh Gregory, who tied teammate Ami Forney with a game-high 14 points, helped to secure the win. Aritta Lane and Laura Garcia each scored 13 to lead the Bulldogs.
Cal built its first-half lead thanks in large part to tough defense on Fresno State star Lindsay Logan. Cal's Amber White blanked her for most of the night. Logan entered the match scoring 21.7 points per game, but Cal held Logan scoreless through the first 20 minutes. All Logan could manage was one rebound, one assist and six turnovers. The Golden Bears led 22-5 with 7:48 left in the half behind Forney's 10 first-half points and held their biggest lead at 20 at 32-12 with 2:06 to play. They led 32-15 at the half.
The Bears shot 51.9 percent in the first half with Forney leading the way with a 5-for-7 performance. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs shot just 21.7 percent.
The second half was a completely different story. Fresno State picked up its defense and Cal shot just 26.9 percent. The Bulldogs shots began falling for a 44.8 percent second-half shooting percentage.
Fresno State went on a 26-8 run to open the period and took a 41-40 lead with a three-point play by Lane with 9:53 remaining. Overall, the Bulldogs led three times at 2-0, 41-40 and 43-42. Forney sat out most of the run after she picked up her fourth foul just 3:08 into the half.
Three-point shots from Garcia, who hit two from downtown, and Logan, who hit one, helped the Bulldogs claw their way back in the second half. Logan finished with eight points.
Cal was dealt a harsh blow when Kiki Williams fouled out with less than five minutes left. The Bears forward, Cal's leading scorer at 14.5 ppg entering the match, scored just six points.
Clutch baskets and free throws by Gregory, who shot 5-6 from the charity stripe in the second half, sealed the victory. Cal scored its final six points from the line, including the last three from Gregory.
Cal returns to action with the Oakland Tribune Classic, Dec. 1-2 at Haas Pavilion. The field includes No. 13 Georgia, UNLV and Central Connecticut State.