Feb. 22, 2002
LOS ANGELES - In a preview of a first round Pac-10 Tournament game, California fell to UCLA, 58-48, in a defensive battle Friday night at Pauley Pavilion.
"We had very good ball movement for the first 12 minutes of the first half," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "This was an odd game. We could play so hard and with such passion against Washington and then come out against UCLA, a team we fell we're better than, and just be out-competed, out-hustled and outplayed. Going into the Pac-10 Tournament, you would like to come out and see a little bit of fire. We haven't had that kind of fire the last couple of games.
Cal dropped to 7-19 (2-15 Pac-10) with the loss and UCLA improved to 8-18 (4-13). The Bruins have clinched the No. 8 seed in the inaugural Pac-10 Tournament with the win and will face the Bears, the No. 9 seed, Fri., March 1, at 8:45 p.m. in the opening round.
LaTasha O'Keith led Cal with nine points, followed by Leigh Gregory with seven. Gennifer Arranaga came off the bench to pace UCLA with 14 points. Shalada Allen turned in a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Whitney Jones also had 12 points for the Bruins, 10 coming in the first half.
O'Keith hit a three-pointer to give Cal its biggest lead of the game at 15-11 with 11:23 to play until halftime. The Bruins then tightened up their defense and sliced through the Bears' defense for numerous lay-ups to grab their biggest lead of the half at 30-21 following a basket from Shalada Allen at the 2:14 mark.
The Bears didn't let the Bruins extend their lead to double figures and trailed 32-25 at the half. Cal shot only 22.6 percent in the first half to UCLA's 43.8 but were able to keep the game close by holding 24-19 rebounding edge and shooting 90 percent (9-10) from the foul line.
Both teams' offenses were cold in the second half for long stretches, but UCLA was still able to extend its lead to 13 at 49-36 with about four minutes left in the game.
UCLA played zone against Cal for almost the entire game, which led to the Bears 22.6 percent shooting for the game. At times, it seemed like there was a lid on the basket as the Bears got good looks but didn't score enough. The Bears substituted for offense and defense situations down the stretch and cut the Bruins lead to nine. But that was as close as they would get.
"We did not shoot well," said Horstmeyer. "We had good looks, but we just missed shots."
The Bruins also shot a paltry 33.8 percent for the game.
On a positive note, Cal snared a season-high 49 rebounds, including 19 on the offensive glass, to out-rebound UCLA by one. Senior center Ami Forney had a team-high eight boards for the Bears. Kristin Iwanaga had a career-high seven rebounds. Cal also committed only 17 turnovers for the game after having 11 at halftime.
Cal looks to rebound Sunday against USC in the final regular season game. The 1 p.m. game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net. USC led Stanford by eight at the half tonight before losing 78-60 at the LA Sports Arena.