UCLA Edges California, 65-56
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  01/22/2011

Jan. 22, 2011

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BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - DeNesha Stallworth scored 22 points for California (11-7, 3-4 Pac-10), which lost at home for just the second time this season to No. 8 UCLA 65-56 on Saturday.

The Bears scored six straight points and pulled within 60-56 on Eliza Pierre's breakaway layup with 57.3 seconds left. Pierre was fouled on the play but missed the free throw and Cal couldn't get closer.

The Bruins were far from sharp offensively most of the game and couldn't put the Golden Bears away until Atonye Nyingifa made four free throws in the final 52.6 seconds to seal the win.

Nyingifa finished with 14 points and seven rebounds for UCLA (16-2, 6-1 Pac-10), which bounced back from Thursday's 26-point loss to No. 4 Stanford.

UCLA committed 16 turnovers, 12 in the first half, and nearly blew a 14-point lead in the second half before holding on for its fourth straight win over California.

Pierre's miss was the fifth straight from the stripe over the final 5:17 for the Bears, who had missed only one prior to their struggles down the stretch.

The Bruins, who saw their 13-game conference winning streak snapped with the loss to Stanford, also continued their streak of defensive gems. California committed 16 turnovers, shot only 39.1 percent in the first half and was just 1 of 9 on 3-pointers.

UCLA has not allowed an opponent to score more than 67 points in regulation this season. Then-No. 12 Notre Dame scored 83 in a double-overtime loss to the Bruins on Nov. 18.

Morris had 11 points in the first half and was one of the few UCLA players shooting well early. After going 3 of 10 with nine points in the loss to Stanford, Morris made five of her first eight shots against Cal and had 11 points by halftime.

Morris made an 8-foot jumper from the right side to give the Bruins a 32-19 lead with 34.6 seconds remaining.

Despite committing 12 turnovers in the first half, UCLA still took a 32-23 advantage into the break while holding Cal to just three baskets over the last six minutes before halftime.

The Bruins pulled away to start the second half and led 47-33 on Morris's 6-footer from the baseline. Cal responded with an 8-0 run and continued to chip away at UCLA's lead, getting within six points four different times.

But the Bears couldn't make their free throws and Dixon scored on consecutive trips down the court to help the Bruins hold on.

"I think it was a great, competitive college basketball game," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "I wish we would have gotten off to a better start, but I am proud of my time for how they came out and fought and competed against a top-10 team. When you play that hard and that competitive, you can beat a lot of teams. When you get to a top-10 team, it comes down to details. I think down the stretch our details caused us some issues."

DeNesha Stallworth had her sixth 20-point game of the season, scoring 22 with 8 rebounds and four assists. Talia Caldwell had 9 points with 5 rebounds and three assists, with all but two of the points and one of the assists coming in the second half. Layshia Clarendon scored six points with six rebounds and four assists.

The Bears will try to turn around their road luck with back-to-back road trips. Next week, Cal will take on the Oregon schools beginning on Thursday, Jan. 27 at Oregon State followed by a Saturday afternoon game at Oregon. The Bears will be in Arizona the first week of February.