January 28, 1999
OAKLAND - California opened up its largest margin of victory this season to steam-roll past Arizona State 74-60, handing head coach Marianne Stanley her 400th-career win in a critical Pac-10 match-up for the struggling Bears.
Sherrise Smith knocked down a career-best 20 points to lead all scoring while shooting a solid 8-for-13 from the field and hitting 2-of-2 from downtown. Five players scored in double-digits for California in the rout: Jennie Leander 15, Courtney Johnson 12, Paige Bowie 11, Shavaki Jackson 10. Bowie also tied a career-high four steals.
"The excitement for me is in that the team played well," said Stanley, who became the 28th active Division 1 women's coach to achieve that plateau and just the 12th youngest to do it.
"It's a nice milestone. The way it was won makes 400 special. That just means that I've coached a lot of good teams and players through the years."
The Golden Bears (8-9, 2-6) took an impressive 11 point lead into halftime, its largest lead going into the locker room this season, before watching Arizona State (8-9, 2-6) bring that margin down to just three with 13:20 remaining in the game on a 3-pointer from Natalie Tucker.
At that point, Leander scored inside from Kenya Corley to re-ignite her squad. The Bears never looked back, grabbing a 16 point lead with 8:05 left on the clock to extinguish the Sun Devils' hopes.
"Seventeen assists is outstanding," said Stanley. "We shot the ball better and took care of the ball. Those are areas we wanted to concentrate on."
That lead would widen to Grand Canyon proportions with 2:13 left, a 21 point margin, with Smith's two free throws, the same two free throws that tied and then broke her previous career best point total of 17.
"Tonight I was able to take the ball to the basket," said Smith. "That's my style of play. We want to play hard and give it our best effort as a team."
Theresa Jantzen led Arizona State off the bench with 15 points and five rebounds. Tucker added 13 in an effort that saw the Sun Devils shoot just 33% from the floor, as opposed to the Bears 52% performance.
California now leads the series with the Sun Devils 18-12, a series in which the home team has won the last six.