No. 21 California Tops Oregon State, 63-57
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  01/18/2007

Jan. 19, 2007

Final Stats |  Quotes |  AP Gallery 

BERKELEY, Calif. - Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker posted a game-high 23 points and sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton recorded her third double-double of the season to lead No. 21 California to a 63-57 win over Oregon State Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears, who withstood a late second-half surge by the Beavers, improved to 14-4 overall (5-3 Pac-10), while the Beavers fell to 7-9 (2-5 Pac-10).

"LaVonda (Wagner, OSU's coach) always prepares really well for us, and she did tonight," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle, who utilized a six-player rotation to win her 99th career game. "We came out with a great game plan, and the kids knew the scout very well. Everything we did was exactly what we wanted. We have to handle lapses in the game taking care of the ball. There was no secret that we're turning the ball over way too many times. When a team gets 10 more shots than you in a game, it's going to put you in a situation like this. I am happy we won. I think LaVonda does a great job with her team. They're young, and she gets them going."

Cal shot 53.2 percent from the field behind Walker's 11-of-12 performance (91.7 percent). Hampton, this week's Pac-10 Player of the Week, registered 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Natasha Vital added a career-high 12 points and six assists in 40 minutes on the court.

Bears freshman guard Lauren Greif also played all 40 minutes, as Cal was without senior guard Keanna Levy, who is still recovering from a concussion suffered against Washington Jan. 13.

Freshman forward/center Rama N'diaye, who earned the start in place of Levy, scored on a layup with 9:01 left in the game to give Cal a 52-38 advantage.

However, Oregon State responded with a 14-2 run, to pull to within 54-52 with 4:14 to play. The come-back effort was ignited by 10 points from Casey Nash, the Pac-10's leading scorer entering the game at 20.4 ppg. Cal also had four of its 21 turnovers during that stretch. Nash finished the contest with 18 points, 14 coming in the second half.

Vital drained two free throws and assisted on a layup by Walker to extend Cal's lead back to 58-52 at the 2:07 mark. Oregon State cut the deficit to three two more times, but Vital hit three of four three throws down the stretch and Walker hit a critical short jumper in the key with 35 ticks left and blocked Judy Lomax's shot with 15 seconds to play to help Cal hang on for the win.

Cal jumped out to a 7-0 lead behind six points from Walker before Oregon State answered with an 8-0 run to briefly regain the advantage. The Bears responded with a 15-2 run, which included six points from Walker and a three-pointer from Greif, to go ahead 22-10 with 6:25 to play in the first half.

Lomax put an end to the Bears' 11-0 spurt with a rebound and putback with 4:16 remaining until halftime.

Vital scored on a driving layup from the left side to give Cal its biggest first-half advantage at 26-12. The Bears entered the locker room up 30-20 behind 12 points from Walker, who scored three baskets after grabbing offensive rebounds, and nine from Hampton.

The Beavers closed to within eight points on their first possession of the second half and trailed only 40-30 with 13:22 remaining in the game. Hampton then scored on a short jumper and Walker converted a three-point play to propel Cal to its largest lead at 45-30 with 12:37 to go. The Bears also held a 47-32 edge.

Walker and Greif added seven rebounds each for the Bears, who capitalized on a 36-26 rebounding margin to win for the fifth time in the last six games.

Jasmine Smith tallied 15 points and Lomax added 12 points for the Beavers.

Cal completes its homestand against Oregon Saturday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m.