Feb. 18, 2007
CORVALLIS, Ore. - No. 22 California won a thrilling 67-61 double-overtime game over Oregon State Saturday night at Gill Coliseum. The Golden Bears improved to 20-7 (10-6 Pac-10), while the Beavers fell to 8-17 (3-13 Pac-10).
"We knew this would be a tough game being their Senior Night," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "They have been playing every team tough, and they don't get blown out. We had to earn it. To go into double overtime with a young team and to come out with a win, I'm so proud of them. Everybody contributed in a different way, and that's why we came out with a win."
Cal played its third overtime game of the season and first double-overtime contest in more than nine years to register its first 20-win season since the 1991-92 team finished with a 20-9 record. The Bears were 0-2 prior to tonight in overtime games this season. Cal edged George Mason, 70-69, Dec. 19, 1997, in its last double-overtime contest.
"I think we did a great job down the stretch executing the things we needed to do," said Boyle.
Sophomore center Devanei Hampton, who picked up her fourth foul with 15:11 to play in the second half and never fouled out, led Cal with 17 points and eight rebounds and came up with big plays in critical situations late in the game. Sophomore forward Ashley Walker contributed 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Keanna Levy added 13 points, and freshman guard Natasha Vital had 10 points for the Bears.
Hampton tied the game at 52-52 with 59.6 seconds left in regulation with a power move to the basket after receiving a pass from Walker. Freshman guard Lauren Greif then tipped the ball away for a steal by Walker on Oregon State's next possession to give the Bears a chance to win the game in regulation. Cal called timeout with 34.8 seconds to go but turned the ball back over to Oregon State with a shot clock violation. The Beavers Ashley Allen missed a three-pointer in the final second of the second half.
In the first overtime, Judie Lomax converted a three-point play and Casey Nash, who registered a game-high 25 points, sank two free throws to give Oregon State a 57-54 edge with 1:06 on the clock. After Hampton missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw situation, the Beavers had a chance to extend their lead, but Hampton poked the ball away to Levy for a fast-break layup with 27.6 seconds remaining.
"I knew my team needed something so when I caught the tip (from Hampton), I just took it coast to coast," said Levy.
The Bears then fouled Merces Fox-Griffin with 24.3 seconds remaining. Fox Griffin made her first free throw attempt in a 1-and-1 situation and missed the second to give her team a 58-56 edge. After Cal called a 30-second timeout, Walker lobbed the ball into Hampton in traffic, and Hampton somehow caught the pass and scored the game-tying layup with 4.5 seconds left in the first overtime period. Oregon State didn't get a shot off on the other end of the court, and the game went to a second overtime.
Nash hit a jumper with 3:14 to go to put the Beavers ahead 61-60. Hampton then made a layup off an assist by Greif to put Cal ahead for good at 62-61 with 2:53 on the clock. The Bears sealed the win with a 7-0 run to close the game. Walker made two free throws to extend Cal's lead to 64-61, and Hampton then came up with a key block on Lomax's shot, which led to a Beavers' shot-clock violation.
In the final minute, Levy drove to the basket and dropped the ball off to Walker for a layup and Hampton converted 1-of-2 free throws to give the Bears the season sweep over the Beavers. Cal has won six of the last seven over the Beavers.
"We all had confidence in each other because coach puts us in these situations in practice," said Hampton.
Oregon State entered halftime with a 26-25 lead after ending the first half on a 9-2 run. Lomax tallied 14 points, and Fox-Griffin notched 10 points in the game. Cal led by as many as six points earlier in the game at 23-17 following a layup by Hampton with 7:55 remaining in the opening half. The Beavers led by as many as five points three times in the second half.
Cal concludes the regular season at home against USC Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. and vs. UCLA Saturday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.