Dec. 1, 2001
BERKELEY - The University of California women's basketball team jumped out to a 16-0 lead and never looked back as it defeated Central Connecticut State, 72-38, Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion in the second game of the 11th-annual Oakland Tribune Classic.
"Obviously, you want to win that first game," said Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer. "What was really good for us tonight was to see what some players could do in a game situation, where a number of players haven't really gotten in to play very much. We're starting to see more and more confidence from Olga Volkova. Janet Franey, I thought did a very good job. Khadijah Coakley we haven't seen a whole lot of because she's had some catching up to do from when she came in showed us tonight that she is a very good defender and can really rebound the basketball. Michelle Wald did a good job at point guard."
The Golden Bears improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1985-86, while CCSU dropped to 0-4. The 34-point win also was Cal's biggest margin of victory since defeating Cal Poly by 36 (94-58), Nov. 20, 1997. The last time the Bears held an opponent under 40 points was in the Oakland Tribune Classic in 1998 when they defeated Pittsburgh, 40-35.
The only negative to come out of the game was that senior forward/center Ami Forney injured a joint in her right shoulder in the first minute of the game and only saw six minutes of action. She is listed as probable for tomorrow's championship game.
Sophomore guard LaTasha O'Keith paced Cal by matching her career high of 13 points. Junior forward Amber White added both a season-high 10 points and 7 rebounds, and freshman reserve forward Leigh Gregory also had 10 points for the Bears. Sophomore center Olga Volkova grabbed a career-high 6 rebounds off the bench. Tara Loller paced the Blue Devils with 6 points.
Both teams had trouble scoring in the early going as the score remained 0-0 for the first 4 minutes, 28 seconds. Loller got her team on the scoreboard with a three-pointer with 9:36 to play in the first half. The Bears led by as many as 17 points in the first half and held a 33-18 lead at the half.
In the second half, Cal built its lead to 21 points at 41-20 with 16:51 on the clock and as of 7:08 to play the Bears led by over 30 for good. The Bears reserves earned ample playing time against the Blue Devils. All 15 of Cal's dressed players saw playing time and 14 of them scored.
Cal advances to the championship game of the Oakland Tribune Classic for the 11th-straight year. The Bears face No. 13 Georgia, Sunday at 3 p.m. The last time Cal won its tournament was in 1998 when it defeated No. 9 Colorado State, 80-75. CCSU plays UNLV in the consolation game at 1 p.m.
In the first game today, No. 13 Georgia (4-0) overcame a nine-point halftime deficit (41-32) to defeat UNLV, 77-62. Kara Braxton led the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points off the bench. The Lady Rebels (4-1) were paced by Linda Frohlich's 27 points and 10 rebounds.
"I think we're fortunate to win," said Georgia coach Andy Landers, whose team boasts seven freshmen. "When you're playing young people with no experience, who haven't played together, every important factor that a veteran team should have doesn't exist. They don't know how to play with each other. They don't know how to manage things. They're not good at time and score. They forget plays."