Jan. 10, 2002
BERKELEY - California, which trailed by only one point with 3:34 to play, is still looking for its first Pac-10 win of the season with a 65-53 loss to Oregon Thursday night at Haas Pavilion.
Senior Ami Forney once again shone for the Golden Bears, which dropped to 5-9 (0-5 Pac-10). Forney scored 13 points and collected eight rebounds on the night. LaTasha O'Keith also had a strong night for Cal, putting up 13 points in her 20 minutes on the floor.
"We saw a great first half with an incredibly intense Cal team that showed in one half that they could probably beat anybody," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "You saw in the second half that we have to learn how to maintain our intensity for at least 30-35 minutes, and if we do that, then we'll win some games. Our team is working hard to be able to do that."
The Ducks, which improved to 10-6 (5-2) with the win were led by Catherine Kraayeveld, who notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Oregon's leading scorer on the night was Shaquala Williams, who scored 16 points, playing nearly the entire game. She did struggle from the floor, shooting only 6-of-17.
Oregon got off to a quick start, taking an early 12-6 lead. A quick shot by O'Keith followed by a Leigh Gregory 3-pointer less than a minute later keyed a 7-0 run, in which the Bears took their first lead of the game, a narrow 15-14 margin. The two teams battled back and forth, neither taking a lead larger than four points, and at the close of the half, Cal led the Ducks by two, 24-22. O'Keith and Kraayeveld led all scorers with eight points.
"(O'Keith) is a very confident player," said Horstmeyer. "She is very aggressive. I consider her a spark plug for us. Her defense in some ways led to her offense. She played so well defensively, that she got pumped on the offensive end. I think that she's starting to show that she can get that three point shot."
It was the Bears' turn to take an early lead in the second half, with Forney scoring five of the seven points in Cal's run. And it was the Ducks' time to battle back, as over the next nine minutes, Oregon outscored Cal by a 26-10 margin to take a 50-41 lead with a mere 6:29 remaining in the game. The Bears attempted yet another rally, reeling off a 10-1 run to pull within a point at 52-51, with 3:34 to go. Jackie Lord's second three-pointer of the game keyed the run. But Cal was only able to muster two points off of free throws by Forney for the duration, as the Ducks put up 13 to close the game.
Cal outrebounded Oregon by a narrow 36-35 margin, and took advantage of their opportunities from the charity stripe, converting 90 percent of their shots. But they were unable to sink their shots, notching a 38.5 percent field goal percentage, and turnovers proved to be the key, as the Bears gave up 27 to the Duck's 16.
"We've been working on that," said Horstmeyer. "A lot of times we're playing so hard on the defensive end that we're a little bit frantic, and then we become a little bit more frantic on the offensive end. We're just in that learning process where we have to slow down on the offensive end. We've got to pivot, make passes, and go back to the basics. I really feel strongly that when you have this many turnovers, you have to go back to the basics."
Cal next entertains Oregon State Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.