Feb. 6, 2003
BERKELEY - The California women's basketball team shot .509 from the floor, including a .560 clip in the second half, in defeating Oregon State, 70-55, Thursday evening at Haas Pavilion.
The Golden Bears' 15-point margin of victory is their largest against the Beavers since an 89-70 victory at Harmon Gym on Jan. 5, 1991.
Cal's performance was a complete turnaround from this season's first meeting between these two teams last month in Corvallis. In that contest, the Bears were held to just 37 points on .216 shooting and no one scored more than six points.
The win improves California to 8-12 overall and 4-7 in the Pac-10. With the victory, the Bears have surpassed last year's win total of seven, and have doubled their amount of conference victories. Oregon State falls to 12-9 and 6-6 in Pac-10 play.
"We keep trying to figure out what is going to get us over the hump," said head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "Right now it's togetherness. Being together and believing in each other has brought this team together. It has helped to give us some confidence and we need to build on that.
"From that, you get renewed enthusiasm and renewed belief. And I've settled into a rotation and that's helped from a togetherness, confidence standpoint."
Oregon State came into the game leading the Pac-10 in scoring defense (57.2 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.372). Cal obliterated both marks in the game with its 70 points and .509 shooting.
The game started well for Cal as all five starters were in the scoring column within the first 3:24 of the game. The Bears led by as many as 13 on two occassions (20-7, 22-9) before enduring what has become all to customary - a long scoring drought. With Cal leading 22-9 at the 10:48 mark, Oregon State began a 16-0 run over the next 8:37 to overtake the lead albeit one that would be short-lived. Michelle Smith's three-pointer put OSU up 25-22 with 2:42 before the break. The Bears rallied to close out the half, scoring eight of the final 11 points in the last 1:16 to take a 32-28 advantage into the locker room.
The 15-minute break did not cause any shift in the momentum as the Bears came out firing in the second half. Cal opened the half on an 11-3 run over the first 4:54, opening their lead to 12 (43-31). Their advantage would not dip into single digits again. Timea Ivanyi scored 12 of her game-high 15 points in the second half to lead the charge.
Olga Volkova also had perhaps her best game in a Cal uniform as she tallied a career-high 10 points, all in the second half.
For the second time in four games, Cal had four players in double figures. Nihan Anaz added 13 points and Kristin Iwanaga chipped in 10, giving her back-to-back double-digit scoring games for the first time this year, and only the third time in her career. Iwanaga also tied her career-high with seven assists. Amber White tallied seven points, all in the first half, for her most prolific offensive output in 11 contests.
Cal's strong shooting performance was not limited to close-range shots. The Bears were an impressive .500 from three-point range, connecting on four of eight attempts. This effort is their third straight game with at least four treys.
Brina Chaney led Oregon State with 12 points and 12 assists, her fifth double-double of the season. Casey Bunn added 11 points.
"Our defense has really picked up," added Horstmeyer. "I've said all along that we have to hold people under 42% shooting to win games." Oregon State shot just .382.
In addition, White and Anaz played great defense on OSU's top two scorers. Hollye Chapman came into the game averaging 12.2 points and Leilani Estavan was scoring 11.5. Each scored just eight points against the Bears on combined 5-for-19 shooting.
Cal continues returns to action Saturday, Feb. 8 when it hosts Oregon at Haas Pavilion. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.