Nov. 22, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. - Freshmen Jene Morris, Alexis Gray-Lawson and Ashley Walker combined for 50 points to lead California to a 67-58 victory over UC Davis Tuesday night at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears improved to 3-1, while the Aggies dropped to 0-2 in a game carried live by Comcast SportsNet.
"You're going to go through your ups and downs with a young team," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "You just have to ride out the highs and the lows and the waves you're going to go through. I felt like tonight that was kind of what we had to do. We got down early. I don't think we did a good job with transition defense. They were getting some early buckets, and that kind of broke our back (for awhile)."
Morris led Cal with a career-high 18 points and added four steals, and Gray-Lawson posted career highs of 16 points and nine assists. Walker, who entered the game leading the Bears in scoring at 16.7 ppg, also had 16 points, including 14 in the opening 20 minutes.
Cal led 57-51 with 9:30 left in the game before UC Davis closed to within 57-55 at the 6:31 mark following a layup from Ellen Porshneva, who led the Aggies with 14 points. Her teammate, Jessica Campbell had 13 points.
The Bears closed the game with a 10-3 run, which included four points from senior forward Renee Wright.
UC Davis opened up a 10-2 lead a little over four minutes into the game.
With 7:34 left in the first half, freshman forward/center Devanei Hampton, who made her first start for Cal tonight, fell to the ground after a jump ball call. Hampton left the game and didn't return to the floor. Preliminary indications were that she sprained her left knee. She posted five points and five rebounds before getting injured.
After a steal by Morris and a layup at the other end by her, the Bears found themselves down 22-20 with 7:19 remaining in the half.
A 10-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from Gray-Lawson with three ticks left in the half, evened the score at 35-35 at halftime.
In the second half, Gray-Lawson and Morris led Cal offensively, as the two combined to hit 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. Gray-Lawson gave Cal its first lead at 38-35 with a three-pointer on her team's opening possession.
"We struggled against the zone early, and then we talked in the locker room how the most important part of the game would be the first five minutes of the second half," said Boyle. "We came out more focused, and we focused on our defense. We changed it up a bit in the second half. (UC Davis) missed a couple shots, and I think they started questioning themselves."
The Bears fell behind 49-44 with 13:57 left in the second half but allowed the Aggies only nine points the rest of the game. After hitting 59.1 percent in the first half, UC Davis finished the game at 40.4 percent, while Cal was at 40.3.
Behind 11 boards from Wright, Cal held a 40-31 rebounding advantage for the game.
Cal will spend the Thanksgiving holiday at the Caribbean Classic. The Bears open the tournament Thursday, Nov. 24 against Marshall at 7 p.m. CT, before facing Baylor - the defending national champion - Nov. 26 at 1:30 p.m. CT.