Dec. 27, 2004
EUGENE, Ore. - California opened the Pac-10 season with an 81-50 loss to No. 24 Oregon Monday night at McArthur Court. The Golden Bears fall to 6-4 overall after seeing their five-game winning streak snapped. The Ducks, who had lost their last two games, improve to 8-2.
"It started out where we played some decent defense, both teams kind of did," Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer said. "Their defense was a lot better than our defense. We stopped scoring for awhile, and that really hurt us. It led to less pressure defensively. I think we panicked. It was really us hurting ourselves in the first half. We haven't played a lot of games on the road. I'm glad that we experienced this early."
Senior forward Kiki Williams led Cal with 15 points and was 3-for-5 from three-point range in her first start of the season. Senior forward Leigh Gregory was the next highest scorer for the Bears with eight points, followed by junior forward Renee Wright with seven points and five rebounds off the bench.
"I just tried to be aggressive," Williams said. "We didn't play very well offensively. I just tried to get something started."
The Bears shot a season-low 36.4 percent as they posted a season-low 50 points. For the first 11 minutes, it looked like it would be a close game. Cal won two of three contests versus Oregon in 2003-04, including a 25-point triumph in the opening round of the Pac-10 Tournament.
"I don't think we had good ball movement," Horstmeyer said. "We talked a lot about getting the ball reversed. We were going to the post on the first pass. I think Oregon also did a good job defensively. They're playing good position, and they're only giving you one shot."
The lead went back and forth in the first half before Cal surged ahead 19-14 with 9:20 to play following consecutive baskets from Sarah Pool.
Oregon responded with a 19-2 run, keyed by 10 points from reserve Brandi Davis to go ahead 33-21 with 2:21 remaining in the half. The Ducks entered the locker room up 37-25. Pool and Williams led Cal with six points each.
The Ducks scored the first 10 points in the first three minutes after the break to go ahead 47-25. The Bears closed to within 62-44 at the 8:12 mark following five points from Jessica Lawson, but that's as close as they would get.
Catherine Kraayeveld paced the Ducks with 15 points, followed by 12 points from Davis and 10 from Andrea Bills.
Cal finished the game with 23 turnovers, while Oregon had only 13. Corrie Mizusawa, the Pac-10 leader for assists, dished off six assists tonight but also had six turnovers.
Starting forward Krista Foster suffered a broken nose in the first half after being elbowed by Kraayeveld. Foster returned for Cal briefly in the second half.
The Bears return to action at Oregon State Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. The Beavers (4-6, 0-1) lost their Pac-10 opener to No. 2 Stanford, 83-45, Monday night.