Feb. 11, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. - California led No. 14 Stanford by three points with 13:11 left in the game but lost 55-46 Saturday afternoon in front of a Haas Pavilion Golden Bear women's basketball record crowd of 4,859 fans. Cal fell to 15-9 overall and 7-7 in Pac-10 play, while Stanford improved to 18-5 (12-2), as head coach Tara VanDerveer earned her 500th win on The Farm.
"Stanford has so many weapons," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "What we've tried to get back to is our defense. I know they're scoring in the 80s. We held them to 55. What I told my team is that they're such a good team that you have very small room for error. When we went up three in the game, I felt like we were like, 'Finally,' and we let down, and that's when Candice (Wiggins) came down and hit a big three. And, they got the momentum back, and once you shift momentum on a team, it's hard to give it back to them. They're so good at taking things away from teams. With a short bench, we don't have a lot of room for error. We struggled to score today."
Freshman center Devanei Hampton led Cal with 12 points and 12 rebounds, tying her teammate Ashley Walker with a Pac-10-leading eight double-doubles. Walker tallied 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked two shots.
Freshman guard Alexis Gray-Lawson hit a jumper to give Cal a 30-27 lead with 13:11 remaining in the game, but sophomore guard Candice Wiggins, who posted a game-high 25 points, tied the game at 30-30 with one of her five three-pointers.
Cal struggled offensively over the next nine minutes, scoring only four points on a free throw from Walker and a free throw and basket from Hampton. Still, the Bears trailed only 40-34 with 5:31 left in the game due to their pressure defense, but Kristin Newlin gave the Cardinal its first double-digit lead since the first half at 44-34 with 3:50 on the clock.
Cal battled back, cutting the deficit to 49-43 with 44 seconds to go following a free throw from Hampton. In the final minute, Wiggins was 4-of-4 from the foul line and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude was 2-of-2 to secure the win for the Cardinal.
Stanford opened the game with a 12-0 advantage behind two treys from Krista Rappahahn and two from Wiggins. Walker scored her team's first points on a spin move in the lane with 12:09 left in the first half. Cal went on a 13-5 run, capped by a three-pointer from Morris, to close to within 17-13. Three treys accounted for Morris' nine points today.
Two free throws from Walker with under a minute to play in the first half sent the Bears into the locker room down only 22-17.
Newlin posted 10 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinal, who shot a season-low 38.8 percent from the floor. Cal hit only 27.6 percent of its chances but did a great job limiting Stanford to a season-low 55 points after the Cardinal entered the game averaging a Pac-10-best 80.0 ppg.
"We needed to get more transition buckets tonight," said Boyle.
Cal held a 38-36 rebounding edge and forced Stanford into 18 turnovers, while committing only 16.
The previous Cal women's basketball attendance record was 3,712, set Jan. 16, 2004, in a 63-53 Stanford win.
"It's nice for these kids to be rewarded for all of their hard work to play in front of such a great crowd, and a crowd that's really behind us," said Boyle. "Hopefully, the crowd took notice that this is going to become a really strong rivalry. We want to create that rivalry and play in that atmosphere. It was awesome."
"We're sad we didn't come out with the win," said Walker. "But, we're proud of ourselves for the way we played."
Cal next travels to Arizona Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m.