Jan. 12, 2002
BERKELEY - The California women's basketball team is still searching for its first Pac-10 win of the season after an 80-52 loss to Oregon State Saturday night at Haas Pavilion. The loss drops Cal to 5-10 (0-6 Pac-10), and with the win, Oregon State improves to 9-8 (5-3).
Twenty-six different players checked into tonight's game between the Pac-10 rivals. The Bears continue to have problems with turnovers, giving up the ball 28 times to the Ducks' 21. Oregon State played a very aggressive defense, which included a one-two-one-one press for the game, that overwhelmed the young California squad. The Beavers picked up 13 steals in the game.
"We will continue to make (turnovers) an extreme focus," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "They are killing us. We would rather get a shot off, even if its early in an offense before we can turn it over. I'm only somewhat joking."
Point guard Kristin Iwanaga led the Bears with 10 points, two assists and two rebounds, while hitting half her shots from the floor (3-of-6), including 2-of-2 from three-point range. The freshman was the only Bear to reach double digits in points for the game, as the team hit on only 37.8 percent of its shots.
"I thought (Iwanaga) fought," said Horstmeyer. "I want the kind of fight that K.I. has, and I want her to continue to fight that way. We need players to play with her that will fight."
Conversely, Oregon State shot well, putting down 48.5 percent of its shots, with three players scoring at least 10. Felicia Ragland and Leilani Estavan both scored 14 points on the evening. Ragland also picked up three steals and assisted on four shots.
"That was the best game I have seen (Oregon State) play on tape," said Horstmeyer. "That was the best game I have seen them play all year. To their credit, they made all their shots, and took us out of any kind of rhythm. We played into their hands."
Cal took the first lead of the game and appeared to have the momentum following a blocked three-pointer by Leigh Gregory. Iwanaga took the rebound the length of the floor for an easy lay-up, giving the Bears a 9-7 lead with 15:32 until halftime and energizing the 1189 in attendance at Haas Pavilion. Cal, however, would never lead again. Bear faithful watched as Oregon State put together a 23-6 run over the next six minutes to go up 30-15. The run was kicked off by a Brina Chaney basket and a Ragland three-pointer. Cal clawed its way back to within nine points, only to be outdone by the Duck's 10-point explosion to end the first half.
The two teams traded baskets during the early-going of the second half. With a 19-point lead, Estavan sank a foul shot which was the beginning of another streak in which the Ducks put up 14 unanswered points. With the game very much out of their hands, Horstmeyer removed her starters and looked down the bench, playing a total of fifteen different players on the night, with no starter remaining in the game for more than 23 minutes. Oregon State followed suit, with 11 of its players recording double-digit minutes for the evening.
The 80 points given up by Cal, which entered the game ranked first in the Pac-10 for scoring defense at 58.2 ppg, were the most the team has given up to any opponent this season. The 28 point loss was also the largest margin of defeat for the Bears this year.
The Bears look to rebound next week when they travel to Washington on Jan. 17 and to Washington State on Jan. 19.