Jan. 29, 2009
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -Senior forward Ashley Walker overcame a sluggish first half to score 17 points, senior center Devanei Hampton added 11 points and 12 rebounds, her first double-double of the season, and No. 7 California remained unbeaten in the Pac-10 with a 64-48 win over UCLA on Thursday night.
Junior guard Natasha Vital had 16 points for the Golden Bears (17-2, 8-0), who won their ninth straight overall, one shy of the team record set in 1981-82 and matched in 1986-87. Cal, which also started 8-0 in the conference last year, has matched the best conference start in school history.
Doreena Campell scored 13 points for UCLA (14-5, 5-3). The Bruins, who were off to their best start in a decade under first-year coach Nikki Caldwell, were held to 10 points over the final 11 minutes and had their three-game win streak snapped.
Cal scored a season-low 22 points in the first half and trailed by as much as nine before rallying behind Walker. The Pac-10's leading scorer, Walker had only four points in the first half but went 6-for-8 from the floor in the second half to lead the Bears' comeback.
She had four points as part of a 7-0 run early in the second half then scored back-to-back baskets to give Cal a 37-31 lead.
While Walker was making her shots, UCLA went more than 4 minutes without a basket and lost control of the game. Campbell scored 11 straight points for the Bruins, who were within 41-38 with 10:11 remaining before their offense struggled.
Cal went on an 11-2 run before sealing the game with a 7-0 run late to beat the Bruins for the fourth straight time.
The Bears stumbled in the first half, committing five turnovers in the first 5 minutes while missing nine of their first 11 shots. Walker, the Pac-10 leading scorer, was held scoreless for more than 16 minutes and California shot just 28.6 percent (8-for-28) from the floor, making only 2 of 14 3-pointers. In contrast, Cal shot 65.0 percent in the second half, scoring 42 points in the period.
UCLA led 11-2 and was ahead by five when Walker made two shots in an 6-0 spurt, the second of which put Cal ahead 22-21 late in the half. But Darxia Morris scored on a short jumper with one minute left, and the Bruins took a 23-22 lead into halftime.
The Bruins came into the game as one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, averaging over 44 board per game and grabbing an average of 11 more rebounds per game than their opponents. The Bears outrebounded the Bruins 36-26.
Junior forward Rama N'diaye saw her first playing time of the season. N'Diaye had been recovering from an ACL injury she sustained in last season's NCAA tournament. N'Diaye had two stints on the court in her return, pulling in two rebounds in her three minutes of playing time.
Cal is back home again on Saturday, Jan. 31 when they host the USC Women of Troy in a 2 p.m. game at Haas Pavilion.