Nov. 4, 2001
BERKELEY - The California women's basketball team opened the 2001-02 season by defeating a Bay Area Pro-Am team 61-55 Sunday afternoon in the first of two exhibition games at Haas Pavilion this season.
Four of the Bay Area's nine players fouled out of the contest, and the team generated a monstrous 30 fouls over the course of the game's 40 minutes. The Pro-Am team held tough throughout the game, trailing by only two points at halftime and kept it close during the second half.
The score was tied at 48-48 with a 5:58 to play, which was shortly after the Pro-Am team's fourth player fouled out. The Bears then went on a 7-0 run with baskets from guard Kristin Iwanaga and forward/center Ami Forney and a three-pointer from guard LaTasha O''Keith. The Bears would not trail again.
Forney led the way for the Bears, putting up a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds in 29 minutes. O'Keith also came up big for Cal, posting 11 points and 6 rebounds. The Bay Area team showcased Krista Knapp and Tracy Adams, who scored 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Cal took nearly one free throw per minute (39), converting on 18 to make the difference in the game. This made up for a low 34 percent field goal percentage. The Bears, however, had 25 offensive rebounds on the day, and bested the Pro-Am team on the boards, 44-30. Cal had trouble from beyond the arc, converting only once in eight tries. The Bears' defense overwhelmed the Bay Area team, forcing them into 32 turnovers.
"We had 25 offensive boards, and we only allowed four," said Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer. "I think that is a real positive
"Every game we've played, even our inter-squad scrimmages, have been ugly. But the point is, we won. And that is, what I think, is important. Whether it's by six, or by thirty."
The two teams had trouble scoring early, taking over five minutes to score the game's first 10 points. Cal, who held the early lead, allowed the Pro-Am team an 8-1 run and trailed 18-10 with a little less than 10 minutes to play in the first half. The Bears responded with a 9-0 run, taking back a narrow 19-18 lead with the clock showing 7:06. Having drawn six fouls in the first 12 minutes of the game, Cal played tenacious defense and often bailed themselves out with foul shots. The Bears went into the locker room up 32-30.
The second half proved to be much like the first, with the Bay Area putting up six team fouls in the first eight minutes of the game. The Bears could not muster anything more than a four point lead until the Pro-Am team had to pay the price for their fouls, which proved to be the story of the game. Tiffany Green fouled out with 11:22 remaining, followed by former Cal star Eliza Sokolowska less than two minutes later.
Horstmeyer rotated her players to give Cal the advantage over the Pro-Am team, which tried to compete with only five players for the final five minutes of the game. Horstmeyer's team played 11 out of its 13 dressed players, with eight players seeing double-digit minutes. The Pro-Am squad, out-manned, had all of its players seeing double-digit minutes, with thee players notching over 30.
Cal features nine new players this season, many of whom saw significant playing time this afternoon. Iwanaga, a freshman point guard, played 37 minutes, scoring nine points and going 4-of-9 from the field, with three rebounds and two assists.
"Not a bad freshman point guard, huh?" asked Horstmeyer after the game. "She was as composed as anybody, and she played a lot of minutes on both ends of the floor. I think that Kristin can play with anybody. She's a definite highlight to our team."
The Bears return to action against KSC Szekszard, a club team from Hungary, Monday, Nov. 12, at Haas Pavilion. Game time is at 7 p.m.