Feb. 2, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. - California couldn't overcome a sluggish first half in a 63-55 loss to Oregon State Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears fell to 14-8 overall and 6-6 in the Pac-10 after consecutive setbacks, while the Beavers improved to 10-9 (4-7).
"Oregon State did a great job," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "They had a great game plan. I give all the credit to them because they played a great game. They came off a win from Oregon, and they continued that. For us, I thought we learned from our Arizona game about coming out prepared, and we didn't."
Cal's four freshman starters paced the team in scoring, led by forward Ashley Walker and guard Jene Morris with 12 points each. Morris led the Bears with three blocks. Center Devanei Hampton contributed 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season, and guard Alexis Gray-Lawson chipped in 11 points.
Morris notched her first of three three-pointers in the game to give Cal its only lead at 3-0. Oregon State led 10-5 with 15:30 to play in the opening half before six points form Gray-Lawson tied the game at 13-13 about three minutes later. The Beavers built a 22-15 edge behind five of Kim Butlers game-high 30 points and four of Tiffany Duckers 12 points. Ducker added 10 rebounds to help her team hold a 37-35 rebounding edge over the Bears, who had outrebounded 17 of their first 21 opponents.
However, the Bears rallied to within 24-21 and 29-26 on a basket by sophomore forward Krista Foster with 3:05 until halftime. The Beavers closed the half on an 8-0 run to lead 37-26 behind 16 first-half points from Butler.
"Kim Butler, obviously we did not defend her," said Boyle. "She scored 30 points. We haven't showed up defensively for two games. We have lost our identity. Early in the season, I don't think we ever walked on the floor expecting to win. We went out there with a competitive attitude and edge that we were going to take a game from somebody. We're not grinding games out like we used to, especially on the defensive end."
Oregon State built its biggest lead of the game at 41-27 on a basket from Casey Nash. The Bears closed to within three at 46:43 with 11 minutes left in the game after Walker, Gray-Lawson and Hampton combined for an 8-0 spurt.
Hampton scored Cal's only points over the next five minutes, allowing Oregon State to claim a 55-45 edge. Cal clawed its way back to within three at 58-55 with 57 ticks remaining after Morris made 3-of-4 free throws. But, that's as close as Cal could get. The Bears couldn't capitalize on the Beavers making only 3-of-8 free throws in the final minute.
Foster contributed six points and three rebounds off Cal's bench.
Cal hosts Oregon Saturday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.