No. 13/9 Bears Top Washington, 62-34
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  01/11/2009

Jan. 11, 2009

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BERKELEY, Calif. -- Senior forward Ashley Walker scored 14 of her 20 points in the first half and pulled down 10 rebounds and No. 13 California won its fifth straight game with a 62-34 victory over Washington on Sunday.

Walker, the Pac-10 leading scorer who moved up to second place on the Cal career scoring list during Thursday's 68-45 win over Washington State, shot 6-for-10 and was a perfect 7-7 from the freethrow line. It was the tenth time this season she scored 20 or more points in a game. The ten rebounds gave Walker her fifth double-double of the season and the 39th of her career.

Senior forward Devanei Hampton added 10 points and eight rebounds and junior guard Lauren Greif grabbed eight boards for the Golden Bears (13-2, 4-0 Pac-10), who were far from sharp in shooting just 41 percent and committing 21 turnovers.

Liz Lay scored 11 points to lead sloppy Washington (5-8, 1-2), which had to be happy to leave the Bay Area after a tough weekend that also included a record 77-point loss at No. 11 Stanford on Thursday night. The Huskies combined for 69 points in their two losses.

The Huskies committed 18 turnovers, were outrebounded 45-26 and fell behind big in a hurry and couldn't recover. Washington went 7:30 between its first and second field goals in the opening half and trailed 32-9 at the break. It was the lowest scoring first half in school history, beating the 12 points the Huskies scored in the first half of a 77-42 loss at Stanford last season. They shot 3-for-24 and went 0-of-12 from 3-point range.

After the 112-35 loss to the Cardinal -- the largest margin of defeat in Washington program and Pac-10 history and Stanford's biggest winning margin ever -- Huskies coach Tia Jackson went with a completely new starting lineup.

It featured four freshmen making their first career starts and a sophomore. This is a far cry from the Washington team that shocked then-No. 9 Cal 74-66 in Seattle last season to conclude the conference schedule, knocking the Bears out of a possible share of the Pac-10 title.

Washington's Charming Barlow and Alexis Gray-Lawson hit heads in a collision at the 16:46 of the first half and both left the game with cuts and required stitches above the eye, with Barlow getting six and Lawson three.

Washington, 0-4 against ranked opponents this season, committed five of its turnovers in the first 3:46 and began the game 2-for-13. The Bears, in contrast, started the game making six of their first nine shots and opened the game on a 17-3 run. The Huskies went from the 7:13 mark of the first half to 18:29 in the second between field goals.

Cal, who is one of the top-25 teams in fewest points allowed, had its second game of the season where the opponent failed to score 40 points. The 34 points scored by the Huskies ties the fewest points allowed by Cal's defense in a Pac-10 game. They also allowed just 34 points to Oregon last season.

"I am happy and excited about the win," said head coach Joanne Boyle. "I think there are some really good things we did, particularly on defense. Our rebounding and our intensity were great. The kids knew the game plan. They knew what they were supposed to do. That was great. We just need to clean up the turnovers."

Cal has all week to prepare for its first showdown of the season with rival and 11th-ranked Stanford on Sunday at home in Haas Pavilion in the Battle of the Bay. Stanford (13-3, 4-0) is the eight-time defending regular-season conference champion and picked to win a ninth straight Pac-10 title, while Cal is expected to place second. The two teams are currenlt tied for the lead in the Pac-10. The game tips on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 3 p.m.