Jan. 31, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - California played an inspired game but still came away with a 72-67 loss to Washington Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears fall to 9-11 overall and 2-9 in the Pac-10, while the Huskies improved to 12-8 overall and 5-6 in the conference with their first Pac-10 road win of the season.
"Our players were not satisfied with the way we came out against Washington State," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "We came out much more aggressive and played with passion and desire (today) which was lacking against Washington State."
The game was tied at 61-61 with 7:35 to play when Washington's Giuliana Mendiola took charge of the game. She scored seven of her game-high 28 points down the stretch. The Huskies went up 70-65 following a three-point play by Mendiola with 2:15 remaining. A driving layup by Jacqueline Sanchez brought the Bears to within three with 38 seconds left.
Cal knew that it could get the ball back with eight seconds on the clock, so it opted to play defense instead of fouling to put Washington on the free throw line. Giuliana Mendiola missed her shot attempt, but her teammate, Andrea Lalum, corralled the rebound and scored to give the Huskies the win.
"Almost all of their shooters are way over 70 percent," said Horstmeyer. "We're talking 80 percent or above. There was an eight seconds shot differential, and I thought we could get a stop, and we did. However, we didn't get the defensive rebound. We have had a couple of games where we foul, foul, and then we can't even have a chance to tie it in the end. I thought our defense was good enough tonight."
Cal shot 63.6 percent in the first half to lead 38-34 behind 10 points each from junior forwards Kiki Williams and Leigh Gregory. Williams scored eight of her points on 4-of-4 shooting on jumpers in the first four minutes of the game. The Bears held their biggest lead of the game at 38-31 with 1:45 until the break on a basket from Olga Volkova.
Neither team led by more than five points in the second half. Washington was able to post its second win of the season when trailing at the half by shooting 58.6 percent after halftime and holding Cal to 39.1 percent. The Huskies finished at 55.4 percent for the game, while the Bears shot 51.1 percent, their fifth game over 50 percent from the floor this season.
Gregory led Cal with 16 points, while Williams finished with 10 points, and senior guard Nihan Anaz also had 10.
Giuliana Mendiola finished two points shy of her season high. Washington's Andrea Lalum had 16 points, and Jill Bell added 11.
The Bears forced the Huskies into 20 turnovers, while committing only 16.
"We're having a hard time off the court," said Williams. "We just have to stay positive and know that one of these games we're going to get. Once we get one of these games, it's going to catapult us forward. We're just going to keep working for that game. When that game comes, it's going to restart everything for us."
Cal concludes the regular season with five of seven games on the road. Up first is a game at Arizona State on Thursday, Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. PT.