Jan. 20, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. - Freshman guard Lauren Greif posted a career-high 19 points to lead No. 21 California to a 65-56 victory over Oregon Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears improved to 15-4 overall and 6-3 in the Pac-10 with their fourth straight win, while the Ducks fell to 10-8 (2-6).
Today's win also marked the 100th in Cal coach Joanne Boyle's five-year career as a head coach. Her career record is now 100-45 (.690), and her two-year record at Cal is 33-16 (.673). The Bears have also equaled the 1991-92 team for the second-best start in school history. The 1983-84 Bears own the program's best opening through 19 games at 17-2.
"It's a great feeling, especially to get (100) off of a game like this," said Boyle, who thanked the crowd of 3031 on the arena mic after the game. "We were down in the locker room celebrating the team effort and what that means in terms of the growth that we've had. We came together today and played great team basketball between our guards and our posts. Finally, some growth in terms of taking care of the ball (only 13 turnovers). It felt like such a great flow to the game. I thought we did a great job taking away Oregon's strengths for the most part. Other than our free throw shooting (64.0 percent), I thought it was almost a perfect game for us."
Tamika Nurse hit a three-pointer to give Oregon a 9-5 lead with 14:10 to play in the opening half before Cal went on a 13-1 run to grab an eight-point advantage. Walker sank a turnaround jumper as the shot clock winded down to give the Bears an 18-10 edge with 7:56 remaining in the first half. Greif hit one of her four treys in the game during the spurt.
Nurse's second three-pointer of the half brought the Ducks to within 22-19 at the 2:42 mark. The Bears rebuilt their lead to eight points with a 7-2 run, which was capped by a three-pointer by Vital. Oregon's Taylor Lilley answered with a three-pointer to send the Ducks into the locker room down 29-24.
Greif, who hails from Portland, Ore., broke a 34-34 tie in the second half with consecutive three-pointers to put Cal up 40-34 with 12:49 to play in the game. Vital extended Cal's run to 8-0 with a jumper.
"It's not really a story here (that I'm from Oregon)," said Greif. "When we go back to Oregon, I think it'll be more of a story. Here, we're just going out trying to protect our home court. We did what we had to do."
The Ducks hung around for the remainder of the game and didn't allow the Bears' to build a double-digit lead in the game. Carolyn Ganes, who tied Nurse with 14 points for Oregon's team-high honors, sank her only three-pointer to close Cal's lead to 49-46. After Cal senior guard Keanna Levy made a layup, Nurse hit two free throws to bring the Ducks back to within three points at 51-48.
Vital responded with a layup and Greif hit two free throws to give Cal a 55-48 lead with 3:17 on the clock. The Ducks couldn't get any closer than four points the rest of the contest. Hampton drained a jumper and hit a layup to secure the win for the Bears in the final two minutes.
Cal, which entered the game with the second-best rebounding margin in the Pac-10 at +6.2, capitalized on a 42-30 rebounding edge today. Walker and Levy paced the Bears with eight boards each, and Hampton and Greif hauled in seven apiece.
The Bears held the Ducks to 30.8 percent from three-point range (4-13) after they began the day as the Pac-10's top long-range threat at 38.7 percent. Oregon began the day averaging 6.12 threes per outing.
Cal returns to action at Arizona State Thursday, Jan. 25, at 6:30 p.m. MT (5:30 p.m. PT).