Feb. 19, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - California's reserves led the way in a 97-69 loss to UCLA Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bear reserves accounted for 44 of the team's points, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Bruins (15-10, 10-6 Pac-10), who have now won six straight games.
"Those last six kids played Cal basketball," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "They played with inspiration. They played very confidently, and they played together, and they communicated. We didn't communicate in the first half or the beginning of the second half. I wish I would have played that group a little earlier."
Lisa Willis and Noelle Quinn combined for 52 of UCLA's points. Willis had a career-high 31 points, and Quinn recorded the first triple-double in the Pac-10 Conference this year and fourth in school history with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Bruins' 97 points is the most Cal has surrendered since a 96-70 road setback to Florida, Dec. 29, 1998.
"I can't remember a year I had a team give up this many points, honestly in my whole career," said Horstmeyer, whose first season at Cal was in 2000-01 and is in her 16th year as a collegiate head coach.
UCLA led 14-4 with 14:20 to play in the first half and never let the lead dip below double figures the rest of the game. With 5:07 remaining until halftime, a layup from Willis gave the Bruins a 37-17 edge. Cal (9-15, 2-13) got as close as 15 points but trailed 45-25 at the half.
After UCLA extended its lead to 62-30 with 14:40 to go in the game, Horstmeyer had seen enough and didn't play any of her starters or Olga Volkova, the team's first sub off the bench, the rest of the contest. The six other Cal athletes played inspired basketball for the rest of the game, outscoring UCLA, 39-35, the rest of the way.
Three Cal reserves posted career highs for points - Emmelie Geraedts (8), Keanna Levy (8), Khadijah Coakley (6) - and Renee Wright tallied a season-high 11 points to lead the team. Freshman point guard Julia Numair played 14 of the final 15 minutes, tallying a career-best four assists, with no turnovers, and adding two points and two rebounds. Jacqueline Sanchez also contributed eight points and a team-high four rebounds. The group brought the Bears as close as 21 points.
The last time Cal faced UCLA in Los Angeles on Jan. 23 it was an entirely different game. Nikki Blue scored on a driving layup with 1.7 seconds left to lift the Bruins to a 67-66 win.
Cal looks to regroup against USC on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. After the game, the Bears will salute their three seniors - Nihan Anaz, LaTasha O'Keith and Olga Volkova - who will be playing their final home game at Haas Pavilion.