March 1, 2009
LOS ANGELES (AP)--The UCLA Bruins upset the No.4 California Golden Bears 71-56 on Sunday in Los Angeles. The Bruins (17-10, 8-8 Pac-10) hit two key 3-pointers, one by Christina Nzekwe at 5:55 and another by Tukiainen at 5:20, to give the Bruins the lead for good, 54-49.
Cal (23-4, 14-2 Pac-10) started out the second on a 9-2 run to take a 36-32 lead, its first lead since 5:12 of the first half.
Hampton had two layups and a free throw and Walker added four in a 2:20 span.
Cal couldn't get shots to fall down the stretch, though, and missed opportunities when it mattered most.
Casey Morris turned the ball over with 18 seconds remaining and both she and Greif missed 3-pointers with less than a minute remaining that would have brought Cal within six.
Ashley Walker led Cal with 17 points and 11 rebounds and scored her 2,000th career point when she made a layup with 18:17 remaining in the second half. Walker became the second player in Cal history and the 11th in Pac-10 history to do so.
Devanei Hampton, who finished with 11, reached her own milestone when she scored on a jumper at 7:40 to post her 1,500th career point.
"It's a great accomplishment," Cal head coach Joanne Boyle said. "It should be a joyous occasion for these two kids but losing makes it difficult."
Cal, which had won the last four matchups, couldn't get shots to fall down the stretch, though, and missed opportunities when it mattered most.
"We were not focused. We were sloppy and we turned it over," Boyle said. "We got away with one on Friday (against USC), but it caught up with us today."
The Bruins started out short-handed as starters Tierra Henderson and Monique Alexander were suspended before the game for violating team rules and both sat out against Cal.The Bruins didn't miss them, though. Morris, a sophomore guard and six-game starter this season, stepped in to give UCLA a boost.
Cal had trouble getting the ball into Walker and Hampton and threw the ball away when trying to force that pass in.
Hampton was 0-for-1 in the first and Walker had eight points, mostly on putbacks.
The Bruins were down for most of the first half until Morris scored six straight to give UCLA a 24-21 lead.
UCLA took a 30-27 halftime lead behind Morris and seven points from Tukiainen.
It didn't help when Cal lost sophomore Alexis Gray-Lawson, who went down with a sprained left knee with over two minutes left in the first half. Gray-Lawson, who finished with six points, didn't return in the second and was on crutches after the game.
With Gray-Lawson out, Cal lost a long-distance threat--the guard was 10-for-15 in 3-point shooting over the past four games and had two Sunday before going down with the injury. The sophomore, who had 22 points in a win over USC on Friday night, will be reevlauated once the team returns home.
The Bears, now tied for second place in the Pac-10, will host the team they are tied with, Arizona State, Thursday night at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley. Tip off is at 7 p.m.