Dec. 8, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. - Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker posted 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead No. 16 California to a 77-62 victory over Fresno State Thursday night at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears improved to 7-1 with their 22nd straight home non-conference win, while the Bulldogs fell to 4-3.
"It was a great win for us," Cal head coach Joanne Boyle said. "Coming down the stretch here towards finals, we're trying to focus on these last two games; this one in particular. Our kids we're really prepared. They've been doing a great job in practice the last couple of days and had a lot of energy. They came out really focused. I think we took care of business."
In addition to recording her second double-double of the season and her 10th of her career, Walker added a career-high seven blocks. Sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton tallied 17 points and five rebounds. Senior guard Keanna Levy posted a career-high 14 points, and sophomore guard Alexis Gray-Lawson added 10 points and matched her career high of nine assists.
"I definitely think we're battle-hardened veterans," said Walker. "(Hampton and I) played 40 minutes per game. We basically got to be freshmen for about one game last year, and that was about it. We've played together for a year. We know what each other can do. We read off of each other. We pass better to each other. We're ready to take on anybody."
Fresno State grabbed a 10-7 lead following Chantella Perera's second three-pointer of the half, but the Bears responded with a 7-0 run, which included a trey from Levy, to grab a 14-10 lead with 13:09 left until halftime.
A three from Tierre Wilson brought the Bulldogs to within one, but Cal answered with a 17-4 spurt to grab its biggest advantage of the game at that point at 31-17 with less than five minutes in the half. Hampton, Walker and Levy each recorded four points during that stretch.
Fresno State, which owns wins over then-No. 18 BYU and then-No. 23 Texas Tech, shaved seven points off of Cal's lead, but a 7-0 run extended the Bears' margin to 15.
Within the first three minutes of the second half, Cal extended its 39-26 halftime lead to 47-28 following a layup from Walker and short jumper from Hampton. Hampton pushed her team's advantage to 58-38 - its largest of the game - with a jumper in the key with 10:56 to play.
Led by nine points from Wilson, Fresno State proceeded to go on a 20-8 run to get within eight points (66-58) with 4:17 remaining on the clock.
Cal finished the game with an 11-4 run, highlighted by six points from Walker.
Perera, who sank 4-of-9 three-pointers, led Fresno State with 19 points, and Wilson contributed 18 points.
The Bears had a season-low 12 turnovers and held the Bulldogs to a 32.8 field goal percentage.
Cal next travels to Kansas Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. CT, for the Bears' final non-conference road game of the season.