Nov. 20, 2001
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The California women's basketball team clawed back from a 69-53 deficit and escaped with a 71-69 win over host Cal Poly Tuesday evening at Mott Gym. The Golden Bears improved their record to 2-0, while the Mustangs fell to 0-2.
"We have a do not give up attitude," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "It's having kids from winning programs mentality, and it's having a point guard who's an incredible leader for freshman, who stepped up her play, which stepped up everyone else's play. I try to tell our team that players have to make plays to win games."
Things looked bleak for Cal as the Mustangs built a 66-53 lead late in the second half. Things got worse with 2:15 remaining when Paterson hit a basket and was fouled by Ami Forney, who fouled out on the play. Paterson converted the free throw to give the Mustangs a 69-53 lead.
Iwanaga proved to be the heroine, converting a three-point play with 14.3 seconds remaining in the game to give Cal the lead for good at 70-69. The freshman point guard later grabbed a rebound on the Mustangs' final shot and was fouled. Iwanaga made the subsequent free throw to complete the 18-0 run. Iwanaga missed the second, but a Cal Poly desperation three fell well short of the basket as time expired.
The Bears jumped out to an 8-2 lead with 14:30 to play in the first half, behind three pointers from O'Keith and Gregory. The Mustangs wouldn't let the Bears get too far ahead, evening the score at 12-12 with just under 10 minutes until halftime. The momentum shifted back in Cal's favor for the next six minutes with the Bears grabbing its biggest lead of the game at 21-16. However, Cal Poly closed out the half with an 11-0 run behind five of Paterson's 11 first-half points to lead 33-27 at the half. O'Keith led the Bears with seven points.
The Mustangs extended their run to 15-0 to start the second half. Cal Poly built its lead to as much as 12 at 48-36, but the Bears wouldn't go away, putting on a 9-1 run to cut the lead to three(49-46) with 9:55 left in the game. The Mustangs responded with an 11-0 run to seemingly pull away for good.
The Bears have the next eight days off before hosting Fresno State, Wed, Nov. 28, at 5:30 p.m.