Jan. 4, 2002
NASSAU, Bahamas - The California women's basketball team broke a seven-game losing streak with an 80-45 victory over Lipscomb in the opening round of the Nassau Knockout Friday night at the National Gymnasium.
The Golden Bears improve to 5-7 (0-4 Pac-10), while Lipscomb falls to 4-11.
Despite senior center Ami Forney, Cal's leading scorer entering the game at 15.6 ppg being held to only four points, the Bears offense was hitting on all cylinders tonight as nine different players contributed at least five points. The 80 points and 63 percent field goal (34-54) shooting for the game were both season highs for the Bears.
Junior forward Audrey Watler led the Bears with a career-high 18 points on 9-of-9 shooting coming off of the bench. Cal held a 38-16 edge on the glass for the game with Watler leading the way with six. Junior forward Amber White also was in double figures for Cal, tying her season high of 10 points, and had four of Cal's 10 steals. Senior guard Janet Franey added a career-high eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, including two threes (Cal 5-of-12 3FG), in only five minutes of playing time.
"We've been working with Audrey the last week and a half," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "She can score. There's no question about that. I've been telling Audrey that I want her to score, and that we need her to score. I was impressed with Audrey, but I was most impressed with Amber. Amber played aggressively. Amber played with confidence. Amber scored points. Amber got layups. Amber got steals. I want her to take that back into Pac-10s."
Angie Ester paced Lipscomb with 14 points, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor. But, overall, Cal held Lipscomb to 37.5 percent shooting and forced them into 23 turnovers. The only negative for Cal was its 26 turnovers.
The Bears led 11-10 seven minutes into the first half in an up-tempo game. Four different players scored as Cal went on a 10-0 run to pull away from the Lady Bison. By halftime, Cal built its lead to 39-19.
"For the first five minutes of the game, we played with them and they played with us," said Horstmeyer. "We were more athletic, skilled and more talented, but when you don't play with the intensity you need to and play as a team, you play with teams. I was impressed with our ability to step up our play."
Cal opened the second half with an 11-3 run, scoring layup after layup, to build its lead to 30 points with 14:32 to play. The Lady Bison didn't get any closer than 28 points the rest of the game.
"This game is going to help us from a confidence and a team perspective as to where we want to be when we return to Pac-10 play," said Horstmeyer.
The Bears play the winner of the Bucknell-IP Fort Wayne game tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET. They should be well-rested as no one played more than 21 minutes against Lipscomb and all 14 available players saw action.