Jan. 18, 2003
BERKELEY - The California bench scored 50 points, led by a career-high 16 points from freshman Sarah Pool and a season-high-tying 15 from sophomore Kiki Williams, to lead the Golden Bears past Washington State, 73-61, in women's basketball action Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion.
"We were very pleased with our bench play, obviously," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer.
Cal (6-9 overall, 2-4 Pac-10) got off to a slow start, trailing by as many as seven (9-2) just over five minutes into the game. But in a first half that featured seven lead changes and six ties, the Bears finally took the lead for good following a three-pointer by Williams at the 2:45 mark which made the score 24-23. Williams scored 13 of her season-high-tying 15 in the opening 20 minutes. Cal enjoyed a 30-24 lead at halftime.
The Bears pushed their lead to 11 points five minutes into the second half, but the Cougars were not about to give up. Trailing 43-32, WSU went on an 11-2 run over the next five minutes to cut the lead to just two at 45-43 with 10:02 to play. But Cal responded immediately with a 13-4 run that extended their lead back to 11 at 58-47.
"Kiki (Williams) hit some big shots and relaxed us a little bit when she went in in the first half," added Horstmeyer. "And Sarah (Pool) relaxed us in the second half."
Pool, who was five-for-five from the field and scored all 16 of her points in the second half, led a California bench which outscored its starters by a 50-23 margin. And it did so by shooting at a .586 (17-for-29) clip. By comparison, Washington State's bench scored just 12 points. WSU was held to just .361 shooting, Cal's best defensive effort since holding Cal Poly to just .296 shooting 12 games ago.
Sophomore Leigh Gregory set a new career-high with 10 rebounds making her the first Cal player this season to post a double-digit rebouding performance. Junior Olga Volkova tied her career-best with eight off the glass.
Washington State (0-15, 0-7) was led by Bianca McCall who tallied a career-high 24 points. She also pulled down 13 boards for her third straight double-double. Lindsey Egeland added 11 points and eight rebounds.
From a team perspective, this was one of Cal's finest efforts of the season. Five different players each hit a three-pointer giving the team their highest total from long range in the last five games. Four different players dished off at least four assists for the first tie this year. And after 14 turnovers in the first half, the Bears finished the game with only 18, marking the third straight game they have committed 18 or fewer giveaways.
Twelve California players saw action with 11 making a mark in the scoring column.
Cal heads back out on the road for its next three games, beginning Friday, Jan. 24 at USC. Tip-off is 7:00 p.m.