March 5, 2009
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - The California Golden Bears fell 63-41 to the Arizona State Sun Devils Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. The Sun Devils won their school-record 15th straight game.
In a battle for second place in the Pac-10, the Sun Devils (23-6, 15-2) went on a 15-2 run midway through the second half and limited Cal to 31 percent shooting to break a four-game losing streak against the Bears (23-5, 14-3).
Devanei Hampton had 14 points for Cal, which made just 14 of 44 shots and tied its season low for points.
A jump hook by Hampton closed the Bears to 36-32, the closest they got since early in the first half. But the Sun Devils scored 12 straight, keyed by a 3-pointer and two free throws by Orsillo to go up 48-32 with 6:16 remaining.
The conference's top defense held the conference's leading scorer, Cal's Ashley Walker, to just eight points. It was the fourth time Walker was limited to single digits this season.
Cal missed 11 of its first 12 shots and trailed 17-6 following the first 3-pointer of the season by Arizona State's Gabby Fage, who then made her second 3-pointer with 4:28 left in the half to give the Sun Devils their biggest lead at 24-12.
Back-to-back baskets by Hampton cut the lead to 24-16, but Simon finished off the half with a 3-pointer and an 18-footer at the buzzer to give Arizona State a 29-18 halftime lead and Cal's largest halftime deficit this season.
"It was obviously a disappointing loss," said Bears head coach Joanne Boyle. "There was a lot on the line here this weekend. Give credit to ASU. They came in, took care of business, and knew what they had to do. We obviously did not."
Cal won the previous meeting 54-53 on a steal and layup by Walker with 1.8 seconds remaining Jan. 4 at Arizona State. The Sun Devils haven't lost since.
The Sun Devils can share the conference title with a win at No. 2 Stanford on Saturday, their first round-robin crown since 2001. The Bears can still finish tied with Arizona State for second place in the Pac-10 if Stanford defeats the Sun Devils Saturday. An ASU victory would drop the Bears into third place.
This was the first time since the 2005-06 season that the Bears had lost back-to-back regular season games.
The Bears were back to full strength with junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson in the starting lineup and sophomore forward Kelsey Adrian coming off the bench. Gray-Lawson sustained a sprained left knee in last Sunday's game at UCLA. She had been questionable for the game, but was in the starting lineup, playing 33 minutes. Gray-Lawson had seven points and two rebounds. Adrian had missed the last two games after sustaining a mild concussion in the Oregon State game. She played 21 minutes with three points and a rebound.
The Bears donned special shooting shirts for their pregame warm ups. The shirts, each individually designed and decorated by each player, will be auctioned off in a silent auction during the first half of March 7th's game against Arizona. CLICK HERE for more details on the auction.
Hapton and Walker were honored before the game for reaching the 1,500 and 2,000 point milestones in their careers last week on the road. Walker was also honored for becoming Cal's all-time career rebounding leader. She was presented a game ball by the player whose record she broke, Colleen Galloway.
Hampton and Walker as well as senior forward Shantrell Sneed will be honored before this Saturday's game, March 7, as part of the senior day ceremony. The Bears will host the Arizona Wildcats to close out the season. Tip time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.