Dec. 10, 2006
LAWRENCE, Kan. - No. 16 California rallied from a nine-point first-half deficit to defeat Kansas, 73-65, Sunday afternoon at the Allen Fieldhouse. The Golden Bears, who are off to their best start in 14 seasons, improved to 8-1, while the Jayhawks fell to 4-4.
Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker led Cal with 26 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, good for her third double-double of the season and her second in a row. Sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton tallied 11 points, and freshman guard Natasha Vital added career highs of 10 points and four assists in a career-high 35 minutes of action.
After trailing by four points at the half, Cal's zone defense held Kansas to 1-of-15 shooting to start the second half. The Jayhawks shot 24.3 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes, while the Bears' offense improved to 57.9 percent after halftime and finished at 46.8 percent. The Jayhawks made only 31.9 percent of their field goals.
Vital pushed the pace and scored a transition layup and fed Hampton for a fast-break layup as part of a 6-0 Cal run to start the second half. After the Jayhawks regained a two-point lead - their last of the game -- sophomore guard Alexis Gray-Lawson sank two free throws and made a layup, and Hampton hit two free throws, as well to give the Bears a 48-42 edge with 12:13 remaining in the game.
Gray-Lawson left the game with a hyper-extended right knee after her layup and didn't return to the contest.
A three-pointer from freshman guard Lauren Greif and two free throws from Vital gave the Bears a 55-45 advantage with 8:42 on the clock. Kelly Kohn, who posted 11 points, converted a three-pointer to get the Jayhawks to within six for the final time with 22 ticks left. Cal led by as many as 11 points at 67-56.
LaChelda Jacobs scored five points to lift Kansas to a 9-6 lead with 16:08 remaining in the first half. The Bears were whistled for four fouls in the first four minutes of the game, including two on Gray-Lawson.
Walker tallied six of her points to key an 8-3 Cal run, giving the Bears a 14-12 edge about three minutes later.
Kansas utilized a 22-11 spurt to grab its biggest lead of the game at 34-25 with 4:19 left in the first half. Danielle McCray had nine of team-high 19 points in the contest during the stretch.
The Bears entered the locker room down only 38-34 after closing the half on a 9-4 run, which was jumpstarted by Greif's first three-pointer of the game. Greif tallied nine points, a career-high 10 rebounds, dished off three assists and registered a block in 40 minutes on the court.
Both teams were whistled for a combined 26 fouls in the first half. The difference was that Cal converted only 11-of-22 free throw attempts, while Kansas hit all seven of its chances. In the second half, the Bears were 15-of-20 from the charity stripe (75.0 percent).
Kansas also capitalized on a 25-20 first-half rebounding margin and earned a 43-40 edge on the glass for the game, marking the first time all season that Cal was outrebounded.
Sade Morris finished with 10 points for Kansas.
Cal takes a nine-day break from competition for final exams before opening Pac-10 play at UCLA Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.