Dec. 4, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. - Freshman forward/center Devanei Hampton posted career highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead California to a 58-50 victory over UNLV Sunday afternoon at Haas Pavilion in the championship game of the second-annual Contra Costa Times Classic. The Golden Bears improved to 6-2 with their 17th straight home non-conference victory, while the Lady Rebels dropped to 4-2.
"It was a great game for us, playing against UNLV, a very physical, very athletic team," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle, whose team defeated Columbia, 71-36, n the first round of the tournament. "I think they challenged us. I think our kids really stepped up. We talked so much about that it might not be a pretty game because of the transition and how physical everybody is on both sides, but that if we took care of the rebounding and limit their offensive rebounding and stop their transition, we should win the game. Our kids did a great job following the game plan. Although on the offensive end it wasn't pretty, they really stepped it up on the defensive end."
Cal led the entire second half but held only a 39-37 advantage with 7:32 left in the game. Bears freshman guard Alexis Gray-Lawson nailed a three-pointer - her first points of the game - and Hampton sank her first trey of the season to extend Cal's lead to 45-37 about a minute later.
Two free throws from Hampton provided Cal a 55-44 cushion with 1:13 on the clock. UNLV couldn't get any closer than seven points the rest of the way.
"I've improved a lot over the last couple of games," said Hampton. "My defense and hustle have gotten better. Krista (Foster) runs like a horse. Trying to keep up with her is hard. When I see her running, I'm not as quick as her and don't have as much endurance as her, but I just have to keep running with her. She makes me better."
Hampton was named the Contra Costa Times Classic MVP, as Cal won its own tournament for the third straight year for the first time since the Bears claimed the first five Oakland Tribune Classics from 1991-95. Hampton's double-double was her second of the season. Cal senior forward Renee Wright joined Hampton on the all-tournament team after posting 12 points and six rebounds today.
Rounding out the all-tournament team were UNLV's Sherry McCracklin, Columbia's Becky Hogue and Albany's Jen Schumacher. McCracklin recorded 12 points and seven rebounds for the Lady Rebels today. Albany held off Columbia, 58-54, in the consolation game earlier today.
UNLV began today's game with a 12-8 lead with 10:54 to play in the first half. Cal responded with a 16-9 run, capped by four consecutive points from sophomore forward Krista Foster, to equal its biggest lead of the game at 28-17. The Lady Rebels closed the half on a 6-0 run to trail 28-23.
Foster tallied season highs of 12 points - shooting 6-of-10 from the floor - and seven rebounds off the Bears' bench. Sequoia Holmes paced UNLV with 19 points.
Cal shot 37.7 percent from the floor, while UNLV converted 38.8 percent of its chances. The Bears held a 38-32 rebounding advantage and forced UNLV into 26 turnovers, while committing only 17.
The Bears wrap up their non-conference schedule at San Jose State, Thursday, Dec. 8 and at home against South Carolina State Dec. 10. Cal was 5-3 through eight games last season.
(Photo by Mollie McClure)