Nov. 2, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. - Freshman guard Alexis Gray-Lawson and freshman center Ashley Walker posted 25 points each to lead California to a 94-72 victory over the San Francisco Bay Area Pro Am Wednesday night in a season-opening exhibition at Haas Pavilion.
"I was pleased with the effort, in particular of Lexi and Ashley," said first-year Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "They came in and stepped up as freshmen in the first game. Tonight showed us where we need to be. (Getting the ball inside) is always an emphasis for us. Especially against the zone, we want to get touches to our post players and get the ball back outside and shift the zone. I didn't expect them to play zone the entire night."
Walker added 18 rebounds and three steals, and Gray-Lawson contributed nine rebounds and six assists. Walker and Gray-Lawson are part of the Bears' heralded freshman class, which was ranked No. 7 nationally by Blue Star Index.
After leading, 46-28, at the half, Cal led by at least 12 points for the rest of the game. After the Pro Am cut the deficit to 76-64 with 2:58 left in the contest, four three-pointers from Pool helped Cal regain control of the game. The final margin was the Bears' biggest tonight.
"Early on in the first half, I was pleased with our transition defense," said Boyle. "We got tired at the end. We're low on numbers right now. We gave up way too many points in the second half. There's no excuse for that."
Cal, which dressed only eight players, opened the game with a 17-6 lead with 12:11 to go in the half following six straight points from Walker. The Bay Area squad rallied to within 24-18 with 5:48 to go in the first half. A 9-1 Cal run, sparked by one of Gray-Lawson's three three-pointers, put the Bears up by 14. The Pro Am closed to within six points again, but Cal responded to go ahead 16 at the break following six more points from Walker.
Cal shot 44.6 percent from the floor, and 61.5 percent from beyond the arc (8-13), and limited the Pro Am to a 31.9 percent field goal clip. The Bears held a commanding 60-39 rebounding advantage, including a 21-13 offensive rebounding edge. Forward Renee Wright, the Bears only senior, led the team with seven offensive boards (eight rebounds overall).
Cal junior guard Keanna Levy dished off a team-high seven assists off the bench.
Melanie Turner, who starred at San Francisco, led the Pro Am with 19 points off the bench. Sarah Richen rang up 12 points, Jessica Kellogg had 11 and Toni Russell notched 10.
Cal opens the regular season against Eastern Washington Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. This marks the earliest start to a season in school history.