December 18, 1998
Northwestern University got treated to an early gift this Holiday season, a screening of the "Paige Bowie Show" at the Kaiser Arena, as Bowie helped lead the California Golden Bears to an 88-76 victory and run their record to 3-2 on the season.
The junior went off, setting new school records in three-pointers made (8) and attempted (15). The old mark for three's made was seven, set by Chris Holten in 1989, while the record for attempts was 13 set by Jennifer Self in 1991. Bowie also tied her career high in rebounds with eight. She was also the games high scorer as she set a new career high in points scored with 30, bettering her previous mark of 24 (two times, last time 3/5/98 v. Oregon State).
For most of the first half the two teams went back and forth exchanging baskets. Cal was the first to assert itself, taking a 30-24 lead at the 5:15 mark. Northwestern quickly responded, going on a 16-3 tear to put them up 40-33 with 52 seconds to go in the stanza. Wildcat sophomore Dana Leonard chipped in 10 points during the surge and led all scorers with 22 points in the half. Cal quickly answered with a 5-0 run of its own to close out the half and head into the locker room down only two, 38-40. Sophomore Courtney Johnson and Bowie led the way for the Bears in the half, with Johnson tallying eight points and six rebounds, while Bowie put in 12 and grabbed five boards.
In the second half Bowie took over, hitting 4 of 6 three's and scoring 18 total points. The lead was flip-flopped most of the second half, until at the 7:23 mark. At this point the Bears began a 23-10 run to close out the game, during which Bowie poured in 13 points, including three-three-pointers. Courtney Johnson also contributed six points during the streak.
"For two and a half years, I've had a vision of this team playing like this," said Stanley. "It's really nice to see it come to fruitition maybe in one of the least likely occassions.
"Northwestern is going to beat a lot of people this year. This is a big win for this program."
26 points from guard Dana Leonard, and 22 from forward Leslie Schock paced 5-4 Northwestern. Tami Sears also pitched in with a double-double (14 points, 14 rebounds). Their leading scorer, Megan Chawansky, who averaged 18.3 coming in to the contest, was held to four points, thanks in big part to smothering defense played by Johnson and Bowie.
Bowie wasn't the only Bear to have a career best night. Courtney Johnson set new personal bests in steals with eight, surpassing her old mark of 5 (WSU, 1/24/98), and scoring with 20 (17, Pacific 11/20/98). Sherrise Smith dished out a career high 10 assists, besting her old mark of eight, which she has done on five different occasions.
"Our guard play was instrumental," said Stanley. "Paige (Bowie) stepped up big time. Sherrise (Smith) distributed the ball well and Courtney Johnson played tough defense."
Cal returns to action Sunday, Dec. 20 versus Pittsburgh in the first round of the Oakland Tribune Classic. The other game in the tournament pits No. 9 Colorado State against Wake Forest. Cal plays at 6 p.m., while the Wake Forest-Colorado State game tips at 4 p.m. at the Kaiser Arena.