Oct. 31, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. - No. 12 California opened the 2006-07 season with an 81-55 victory over the Melbourne Roos Tuesday night at Haas Pavilion.
"It's a good measuring stick for where we are at," said Cal acting head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "The kids responded in the second half. We did some good things in transition. We need to not take a half to get going."
Cal head coach Joanne Boyle wasn't in attendance at tonight's game due to the passing of her father over the weekend.
"One thing that speaks highly of Coach Boyle is that she instills a sense of pride in the team all of the time," Gottlieb added. "We talked shortly before the game, and she said she had confidence in the staff and the players."
Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker posted a career-high 25 points and added 12 rebounds to lead the Golden Bears. Walker, who paced the Pac-10 in blocks as a rookie, accounted for three of her team's seven blocks. Sophomore guard Alexis Gray-Lawson also contributed 25 points. Freshman forward/center Rama N'diaye added 11 points and seven boards in her Cal debut.
Melbourne trailed only 37-29 at halftime, but Cal opened the second half with a 22-1 run, keyed by eight points from Gray-Lawson and five from Walker. The Bears also converted eight layups, including some on fast breaks, to build a 59-30 edge with 12:40 remaining in the game.
N'diaye nailed a jumper with 4:07 on the clock to give Cal its biggest advantage at 79-46.
Melbourne scored the first point of the game before Cal mounted a 19-4 edge with 11:01 left in the first half behind six points each from Walker and Gray-Lawson. Less than a minute later, Hayley Munro posted the Roos' first basket of the game, which jumpstarted her team's offense.
Skye Rees tallied seven of her team-high 13 points to help the Roos close to within 29-21. Melbourne, which features all-state players from Victoria, stayed within 10 points for the remainder of the first half.
Emma Andrews added 11 points for Melbourne.
Cal shot 46.3 percent from the floor and held Melbourne to 29.3 percent. The Bears forced the Roos into 32 turnovers but committed 29, as well. Freshman guard Lauren Greif grabbed six of Cal's 18 steals, and she had six points, six rebounds and five assists.
Cal entertains Love and Basketball Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m., in its final preparation prior to the Nov. 12 season opener against Saint Mary's at Haas Pavilion.