Feb. 7, 2002
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Kristin Iwanaga nailed three clutch free throws in regulation, but it wasn't enough to prevent California from losing to Oregon State in overtime, 74-69, Thursday night at Gill Coliseum.
With the Bears (6-16, 1-12 Pac-10) down 63-60, Cal burned its final timeout with 11 seconds left in the game to set up a play. Out of the timeout, OSU star Felecia Ragland fouled Iwanaga from beyond the three-point arc with 4.3 seconds on the clock, awarding the Bears co-captain three free throws. Iwanaga, who entered the game as Cal's top free throw shooter at 78.6 percent, calmly drained the first two shots. Then, OSU (13-11, 9-5) tried to ice Iwanaga with a timeout of its own, but she calmly stepped to the line and hit her seventh-straight free throw on the night.
After OSU burned its final timeout, the Beavers' Ericka Cook missed a jumper to send the game into overtime, 63-63.
Cal got the tip in overtime and had three chances to grab the lead on its first possession but couldn't convert on two offensive rebounds. The Beavers scored the first five points of OT before Ami Forney brought Cal back within three at 68-65 with a layup with 2:17 on the clock. The Beavers sealed the sweep of the season series by hitting 9-of-12 free throws in the extra minutes. OSU's Leilani Estavan tallied six of her 16 points in OT. Forney hit one free throw and Jackie Lord sank a three-pointer as time expired to account for the Bears' points.
Ragland, the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, hit 17 of her game-high 26 points in the first half to help her team to a 34-24 halftime lead. Making her second-straight start, Kiki Williams paced Cal with seven of her team-high 15 points in the first half. Cal's Ami Forney, who missed the last game with the flu, came off the bench to also post 15 points and grab six rounds, all in the second half and overtime.
California handled Oregon State's 1-2-1-1 press much better than it did in Berkeley and slowed the Beavers down with a 2-2-1 press of its own in stretches of the game. The press helped the Bears get back into the game in the second half.
After OSU grabbed its biggest lead of the game at 38-26, the Bears went on a 19-6 run to take their first lead at 45-44 (8:22) following two LaTasha O'Keith free throws. O'Keith finished with 11 points. There were nine lead changes the rest of the half, with neither team leading by more than five points in regulation.
Cal outrebounded OSU, 43-40, for the game with freshman forward Leigh Gregory pacing the Bears with a career high 8 boards. OSU outshot Cal, 43.5 percent to 38.6 for the game.
This is the first overtime game Cal has played in since defeating Arizona State, 60-55, March 9, 2000, in Berkeley.
Cal looks to avenge a 65-53 loss to Oregon in Berkeley last month Saturday at McArthur Court. Game time is 7 p.m.
Cal Head Coach Caren Horstmeyer Quotes
"It ended up being a great game from a spectator perspective. I thought Oregon State stepped up when they needed to. We should have taken advantage of them tonight. I think we came out flat. I think they came out flat. Early on you had a flat game. They picked it up, and then we picked it up. In overtime, I thought you saw two intense teams playing for their lives. Oregon State came out ahead. We missed a couple of layups, and they got to the free throw line.
On the Physicalness of the Game
"I thought they let a lot go. In my opinion, if they allow the game to be played that way, then you have to play that way. In the overtime, it certainly wasn't rough.
On Doing Anything Different on Ragland In the Second Half
"We honestly did not. She's a great player. She had 26 points. She missed some shots. Frankly, we were in a lot of zone when she got her points. We just played a couple possessions of zone in the second half. Amber White (who was on Ragland) in my opinion is the best defender in the Pac-10. I think she did a good job on her. I think we did a good job on her. Maybe, we did a better job (in the second half) team defensively. I don't think you could expect her to get 17 in the second half (as she did in the first half)."
On Kristin Iwanaga's Free Throws to Send the Game to OT
"K.I. is our most mentally tough player. She has done an incredible job all year long. She's not a flashy player, so I think people overlook her. But, the bottom line is that she can get it done. She knows what to do in late game situations."
On Ami Forney's Play in the Second Half
"Ami earned her time in the second half. This is the most aggressively that she has played since the Bahamas. That was awhile ago. That was in January. That's the kind of passion we want to see from Ami."
Cal Point Guard Kristin Iwanaga Quotes
On the Clutch Free Throws to Send the Game to Overtime
"I was thinking actually what (Assistant) Coach (Kirsten) McKnight told me because we had worked on my free throws. I was thinking small aim, small miss. I just aimed for the back of the rim, and they went in. I was very confident in my free throws."
"We showed a lot of pride throughout the game. They beat us by 28 the last time we played them. We came out and showed that we can play with anyone."