Nov. 11, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - Junior forward Renee Wright posted a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds to lead California to a 69-57 exhibition victory over the Bay Area Pro-Am Wednesday night at Haas Pavilion.
"It was a great game for us to play against mature, physical players," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "They challenged us and exposed things that needed to be exposed for us to get better. We had players step up when others were not at their best tonight."
In addition to Wright, senior center Khadijah Coakley and sophomore guard/forward Keanna Levy were two other players Horstmeyer noted that stepped up. Coakley, who tallied a double-double in the Golden Bears' first exhibition win, tallied 11 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and three steals in 20 minutes off the bench tonight. Levy added six points, two rebounds and four assists, with only one turnover, in 19 minutes as a reserve.
Cal never trailed in a long game which had 58 fouls whistled and 75 turnovers committed. The Pro-Am saw five of its 10 players foul out of the game.
The Bears built their biggest lead of the first half at 24-13 with 2:34 to play following two free throws from Leigh Gregory. Led by Coakley (9-11), Levy (6-6), Gregory (5-5) and Kristin Iwanaga (5-5), Cal shot 77.8 percent from the charity stripe (35-45) in the game.
"We were trying to get the ball inside early, and they were fouling us," said Coakley.
After Cal took a 27-19 lead into the locker room, the Bay Area team, which was comprised of former college players, whittled Cal's advantage down to three on several occasions in the second half. For the final 6:32 of the contest, the Bears led by at least 10 points and built their biggest advantage at 17 (63-46) on a basket from freshman center Jessica Lawson with 3:26 to play. Lawson, who led Cal with 17 points in the first exhibition, played only nine minutes tonight due to foul trouble but finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
Iwanaga added 10 points and seven boards for Cal. Sarah Richen, a former Pepperdine player, led the Pro-Am with 15 points, while former USC player Danielle Golay tallied 13.
Cal opens the regular season against Navy Sunday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.