Nov. 26, 2004
HONOLULU - Senior Leigh Gregory scored a career-high 25 points, but California opened the 26th-annual Rainbow Wahine Classic with a 96-89 loss to TCU Friday afternoon at the Stan Sheriff Center.
"I thought we played confidently and shot the ball very well which were definitely keys," said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. "We played together as a team where everybody supported each other. We got the ball inside but not enough. We did a good job with our zone defense, which maybe was something we could have stayed in a little bit longer."
In addition to Gregory who was 11-of-15 form the floor, the Bears' other four seniors were also a huge factor in the team's strong showing against the Lady Frogs, a 2004 NCAA Tournament participant. Forward Kiki Williams contributed 18 points off the bench and shot 4-of-4 from three-point range, helping Cal establish a new school record for three-point percentage in a game in back to back contests. Guard Kristin Iwanaga tallied 16 points, and center Khadijah Coakley notched five points and three rebounds in addition to playing solid defensive off the bench.
Cal converted on 81.8 percent (9-of-11) of its treys after hitting 80 percent (8-of-10) against Navy.
The Bears (1-1) opened the game with a 12-7 lead behind five-points from freshman center Jessica Lawson, but Lawson played only five minutes in the first half due to three personal fouls. TCU (2-1) went on a 29-11 run by capitalizing on turnovers forced from its full court press and went ahead 36-23 with 6:01 left in the first half.
Behind the direction of sophomore guard Sarah Pool, Cal picked up the pace and regained its composure, closing out the half with a 16-2 run, including six points from Iwanaga, four from Gregory and four from Williams.
Pool finished the game with a career-high 10 assists and added seven points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Gregory and Pool hit three-pointers to start the second half to help Cal extend its lead to 49-41 with 16:38 remaining. TCU pulled even with Cal at 59-59 with 10:35 on the clock with its top player, forward Sandora Irvin, sitting on the bench after picking up her fourth foul less than three minutes into the second half.
Iwanaga hit consecutive threes to put the Bears up 65-59. Cal led 68-62 with 8:49 to play following a three from Williams. But, that's when Irvin took over the game, scoring 16 of her game-high 27 points down the stretch.
The Lady Frogs built their largest lead of the game at 83-74 with just over three minutes to play, and the Bears gave a valiant come-back effort, closing to within four on two occasions.
Lawson finished the game with 11 points. Adrienne Ross (23), Nikki Newton (17), Vanessa Clementino (12) and Ashley Davis (11) also had double-digit points for TCU.
Cal shot 47.9 percent for the game, while TCU hit 53.2 percent of its shots. The Bears sank 80.0 percent of its foul shots (12-of-15) but didn't get to the foul line in the second half.
Cal faces Idaho in the consolation bracket Saturday at 11 a.m. local time (1 p.m. PT). The Vandals lost to No. 3 Georgia, 77-55, in the first game today.