Feb. 27, 2010
TEMPE, ARIZ. -
Cal had their five-game win streak snapped, falling to the Arizona State Sun Devils, 57-50 in Tempe. Alexis Gray-Lawson led the Bears with 16 points.
In a seesaw and extremely physical first half that featured five lead changes, neither team was able to earn more than a five point advantage through most of the period. Cal's biggest lead came with just over ten minutes left in the first half when a layup by freshman forward Gennifer Brandon on a perfect feed from senior point guard Natasha Vital gave Cal a 14-10 advantage. Arizona State went on a 7-0 run to move back into the lead. ASU broke the five-point advantage barrier with 1:12 left in the half, taking a 29-22 lead. After a Sun Devil turnover under their own basket, Cal had possession with 24 seconds remaining in the half, giving them a chance to cut into the lead before the break, but the tight Sun Devil defense didn't allow Cal to get off a shot. ASU went into the locker room with the 29-22 advantage.
Cal pulled within two after senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson was fouled on a made-layup, converting the freethrow to make it a 33-31 game. Cal made it a one-point play when freshman guard Eliza Pierre drove through the lane, scoring a layup with 14:39 remaining to make it a 34-33 game. On Cal's next possession, Gray-Lawson came up with an offensive rebound and a putback to give Cal a 35-34 lead. Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth had a floater down low go in to extend the Cal lead to 37-34 with 13:32 remaining.
Arizona State pulled within a point, 50-49, with 2:40 left in the game. The Sun Devils regained the lead, 51-50 on a putback after a missed three with just over a minute and a half left in the game. After Cal had two layup opportunities under their own basket and missed them both, ASU came up with the defensive rebound, giving them possession with 49.6 remaining. They answered with a jumper to give them a three-point lead, 53-50. Cal turned the ball over with 27.3 seconds left on the clock. The Sun Devils made four foul shots down the stretch, going away with the 57-50 victory.
Cal, who had held a seven point lead, 47-40, with 6:39 remaining, went ice cold on offense down the stretch, hitting just one three pointer in the remainder of the game.
"This played itself out just like the game at our place last time," said Cal Head Coach Joanne Boyle. "We scored one basket in the final six minutes of the game then, too. They outrebounded us and just outhustled us down the stretch. We didn't get to the freethrow line enough and just didn't solidify it."
Alexis Gray-Lawson scored 16 points in the game, pushing her over the 500 point mark for the season. Eliza Pierre cored 9 points with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Gennifer Brandon scored 10 points with 4 rebounds.
With the loss, the Bears remain a half game up in the race for third place in the Pac-10, leading USC by one in the win column. The Bears are 11-6 in Conference play and 17-11 overall with one game remaining. USC has two left on their schedule, hosting the Arizona schools next week in Los Angeles.
Cal's final regular season game of the year will be next Saturday, March 6 when they host Stanford. The Battle of the Bay will tip at 12:30 p.m. It's a Cal Kids Day where all youth tickets tickets will be $1.