Jan. 22, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. - After leading by nine points at halftime, California lost its first home game of the season with an 80-76 setback to Arizona Sunday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears dropped to 13-6 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-10 as they saw their nine-game home winning streak snapped. The Wildcats improved to 7-12 (3-6).
"Arizona had a great game plan," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "Having their two post players hurt (Che Oh and Amina Njonkou), they changed everything they were doing and just tried to spread the floor and run a lot of ball screens and got them driving and kicking for the three, which they did. And, they hit them. I thought they did a great job. I don't think we did a good job making adjustments during the game which I feel all year we've done a good job making adjustments. Today, we did not."
Freshman center Devanei Hampton paced Cal with 21 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season, and freshman forward/center Ashley Walker posted her sixth consecutive double-double with 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
The Bears held a 38-29 advantage at the half, and Walker gave Cal its largest lead of the game at 40-29 with a layup in the first minute of the second half. Arizona then began to chip away at the deficit and grabbed a 46-45 edge at the 14:12 mark following five straight points from Natalie Jones, who finished the game with 10 points.
A layup from Walker with 13:42 to play provided Cal its last lead of the contest at 47-46. The Wildcats stormed back with a 26-12 run, which included three of their 10 three-pointers, to go ahead 72-59.
Arizona went up 74-61 with 5:01 on the clock before Cal mounted a furious come-back effort. Senior forward Renee Wright, who poured in a season-high 13 points, keyed an 8-0 Bears' run with two jumpers and a steal. A free throw from Ashley Whisonant broke the run, but Cal wasn't finished yet, closing to within 75-73 with 28 ticks remaining following a basket and two free throws from Hampton.
Freshman guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, who couldn't find her shooting touch for most of the game, brought Cal within 77-76 following her only trey today with 12 seconds to go. Gray-Lawson posted 16 points but was only 5-of-17 from the floor.
The Bears were forced to foul Whisonant, who sank two free throws five seconds later. Gray-Lawson took the ball down court, looking to launch a three-pointer, but instead Arizona's Jessica Arnold fouled Gray-Lawson to prevent her from tying the game. She missed the first of two free throws and then intentionally missed the next hoping her teammates could get the rebound and kick it back outside for a three-pointer. However, Arnold secured the rebound and capped the scoring with one of two foul shots at the other end of the court.
Cal fell behind 7-2 and trailed until Hampton tied the game at 19-19 with a driving layup with 9:27 left in the first half. A jumper from Wright gave the Bears' their first lead of the day at 21-19. Another layup from Hampton lifted her team to its biggest lead at that point (34-25).
Foul shooting cost the Bears the game, as they converted only 10-of-29 attempts. Arizona helped its cause by sinking 10-of-20 three-point attempts and hitting 76.2 percent of its fouls shots (16-of-21).
Cal shot 48.5 percent for the game, while Arizona made 44.3 percent of its attempts after converting only 32.4 percent in the opening 20 minutes. Hampton and Walker helped Cal secure a 48-34 rebounding edge against an Arizona squad that started four guards.
Joy Hollingsworth paced Arizona with 23 points and eight rebounds. Whisonant had 15 points, Arnold notched 14, and Kelsey Burns added 10 off the bench. Sophomore reserve forward Krista Foster sparked Cal with seven points and four boards, and freshman guard Jene Morris dished off a career-high nine assists.
The Bears look to get back on track Friday, Jan. 27 at USC.