Golden Bears Top Ducks, 65-50
Jan. 24, 2009
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Senior forward Ashley Walker scored 23 points and the No. 8/6 Golden Bears beat the Ducks 65-50. Alexis Gray-Lawson added 17 points and Natasha Vital had 13 for Cal (16-2, 7-0 Pac-10), which held Oregon (7-11, 4-4) to 0-for-17 shooting over the final 12:41 of the first half.
Oregon didn't score its first bucket of the second half until the 17:26 mark - that's more than 15 minutes without a single point.
"It's always a tough road trip to come up here and just grind games out and I think we did that," Cal coach Joanne Boyle said.
The Bears missed their share of shots, lost turnovers and were slow on defense as Oregon opened an early 8-7 lead. Then Gray-Lawson had a steal and a layup, falling hard into the base of the hoop as she was fouled. After gathering herself, she converted the three-point play.
"I was just trying to be a little more aggressive offensively, and Ashley was trying to do the same," Gray-Lawson said.
After that, it was all California, as the Bears ended the first half on a 21-0 run. Ashley Walker, who started the game 0-for-4, hit six straight field goals to close out the first half. She had 13 points at the break.
By the time Taylor Lilley finally ended Oregon's drought in the second half, Cal led 34-12.
The victory over Oregon completed an impressive sweep for the Bears after beating Oregon State 77-72 on Thursday in Corvallis and defeating rival Stanford a week ago to take over first place in the Pac-10.
"We're happy with the wins, but we're a little disappointed in ourselves that we gave up a really huge lead," Gray-Lawson said. "Coach always talks about us pushing and pushing harder and I don't think we did that."
Trailing by as many as 28 early in the second half, the Ducks fought back with three straight 3-pointers and eventually pulled within 50-36 on Micaela Cocks' 3-pointer with 4:37 left. The Ducks hit eight three-pointers in the second half, going 8-for-14 from long range. They were 0-for-10 from three-point range in the first half.
"We got out on a little bit of a lead and then we have moments when we just shut down and didn't play like we needed to play," Boyle said.
But Oregon had trouble making a dent in a Bears defense that ranks fourth in the nation in scoring defense at 52.1 points per game.
"Maybe we were a little intimidated in the first half. It was a little bit deer-in-the-headlights (look)," Oregon coach Bev Smith said. "We easily could've gone home, but we got it rolling a little bit in the second half."
Lilley finished with 17 points and Cocks scored all 13 of her points in the second half for Oregon, which was 15 of 31 from the field after the break.
The Bears remain in sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 with a 7-0 record in Conference play. They have won eight straight games, their longest winning streak of the season.
The Bears are back home this next week, hosting UCLA Thursday night, Jan. 29, at Haas Pavilion. The game tips at 7 p.m.