No. 20 Bears Fall to Washington in Overtime
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/08/2007

Feb. 8, 2007

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BERKELEY, Calif. - No. 20 California couldn't hang on to a 19-point second-half lead and eventually lost to Washington in overtime, 79-76, Thursday evening at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears fell to 18-6 overall (8-5 Pac-10), while the Huskies improved to 15-10 (8-6 Pac-10).

Sophomore center Devanei Hampton led Cal with 25 points and 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season and the 14th of her career. Sophomore forward Ashley Walker contributed 19 points, and senior guard Keanna Levy added 11 points.

After leading 36-22 at halftime behind 10 points and 10 rebounds from Hampton, Cal built its largest lead of the game at 52-33 following three-pointers by Levy and freshman guard Lauren Greif with 14:42 to play in the game. The Bears also led 54-35 with 13:52 to go after Hampton followed up her own missed jumper with a rebound and layup.

Cameo Hicks recorded seven of her game-high 27 points to help Washington cut Cal's lead to 61-52 with 7:21 remaining. Levy made a layup to put the Bears back up 11, and Cal still maintained a nine-point lead with 4:47 on the clock (67-58). Consecutive three-pointers by Andrea Plouffe and Emily Florence tied the game at 68-68 with under two minutes left.

Walker helped Cal reclaim the lead at 70-68 with a basket at the 1:38 mark, but Florence immediately tied the game with a jumper. Each team held a one-point lead in the final minute, and freshman guard Natasha Vital stole the ball from Hicks in the closing seconds to send the game into overtime. Vital dished off a career-high nine assists tonight.

The Huskies outscored the Bears, 7-4, in overtime to avenge a 72-49 loss to Cal in Seattle Jan. 13. Walker had a chance to tie the game on Cal's final possession, but her three-pointer bounced off the rim.

Cal jumped out to a 10-2 lead behind six points from Walker and four from Hampton. However, Walker was forced to sit down after picking up her second foul with 14:34 remaining in the first half, but she returned later in the half.

Washington closed to within 12-7 before Cal went on a 7-0 run, capped by a layup by Levy, to grab a 19-7 lead with under eight minutes left until halftime.

After a basket by Hicks, who had 11 first-half points, Cal was able to grab a 13-point edge at 22-9 following a layup by Levy. The Huskies got as close as 10 points again on two occasions, but a jumper by Vital and two free throws by Greif lifted the Bears to a 30-16 margin with 3:13 to go in the opening stanza.

Free throw shooting hurt Cal, as the team sank only 46.2 percent of its chances (12-of-26), compared to the Huskies who converted 81.3 percent of their opportunities (13-of-16). The Bears also held a 27-15 rebounding edge at the half, but the Huskies ended the game with a 46-40 advantage.

Plouffe finished the game with 17 points and 13 rebounds off the bench, and Florence chipped in 12.

Cal looks to rebound against Washington State Saturday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.