Jan. 17, 2002
SEATTLE - The California women's basketball team had its second-straight poor defensive effort in an 85-46 loss to Washington Thursday night at the Bank of America Arena.
The loss comes on the heels of an 80-52 loss to Oregon State last Saturday. Through the first 14 games of the season, no team scored more than 69 points against the Bears. Even so, Cal entered tonight's game still ranked second in the league for scoring defense at 59.7 ppg.
Cal head coach Caren Horstmyer tried a new starting lineup in an effort to jumpstart her team. Regular starters center Ami Forney and forward Amber White got the starting nod, along with guard Nicole Berry and forwards Alisa Lewis and Khadijah Coakley.
"We're trying to shake things up a little bit right now," said Horstmeyer. "Right now, we're going to see what kind of pride we have. This is the first time in a long time, and I know the margin of defeat was great, that I don't feel we had people who put their heads down. In general, I don't think we do. But there have been some times in the closer losses, that some people have. They could have done that tonight. We're again struggling with our turnovers, and our ability to score.
"What you saw was the people that I didn't start, played a little harder today than they had been. That was part of the purpose. Let's find out where we are. We need to compete in practice every day, and we need to look towards our future. We are looking for different combinations we feel will make us successful."
The Bears dropped to 5-11 (0-7 Pac-10), while the Huskies improved to 10-7 (5-3 Pac-10) after breaking a two-game losing streak.
Sophomore guard LaTasha O'Keith led Cal with 10 points, and freshman forward Alisa Lewis, who hails from Spokane, Wash., posted career-highs of both nine points and seven rebounds. She also had two assists and two steals. Washington had three players in double figures with reserve Kellie O'Neill leading the way with 12 points.
The Huskies shot 57.6 percent in the first half to race to a 54-20 lead at the half. With 8:20 until the intermission, UW already held a 31-7 lead with O'Keith posting four of the Bears first seven points.
Washington converted on 7-of-13 three-point attempts and capitalized on transition baskets to put the game well in hand in the first half. The Bears 20 percent shooting for the first half was a season low, and UW's 54 points is the most the Bears have given up in a half.
There was some drama to end the first half. O'Keith was surrounded and called the Bears third timeout of the game with 1.5 seconds left. Out of the timeout, she then proceeded to drain a halfcourt three-point shot.
The Bears played a much better second half, only being outscored 31-26. Cal had 10 of their 14 steals after the break. Kristin Iwanaga led Cal with a career-high four steals. Even with Cal's renewed energy, UW still shot 54.8 percent for the game to Cal's season-low 20.8.
Cal held a commanding advantage at the charity stripe, converting 22-of-33 (66.7 percent) to the Huskies 9-of-13 (69.2 percent).
Cal tries again to earn its first Pac-10 win of the season Saturday at Washington State (2-16, 0-8 Pac-10).