Jan. 5, 2006
EUGENE, Ore. - California saw its three-game winning streak come to an end with a 70-41 loss to Oregon Thursday night at McArthur Court. The Golden Bears fell to 11-4 overall (3-2 Pac-10), while the Ducks improved to 10-3 (1-2) with their first conference triumph. Cal's record still equals the 1992-93 team for the program's best start in the last 14 seasons.
"Bev (Smith) does a great job with her team in terms of them moving the ball, and everybody participates in their offense," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "We came out flat tonight. I don't think we guarded. That's been our strength all year. They hit some good shots, tough shots, uncontested shots, and they got the momentum, and they carried it throughout the entire game. We put our heads down, and we gave up. That's the first time I've seen that from my team this year. Being a young team, we didn't have any leadership tonight. We didn't have anybody step up and say that we were going to stop this."
Freshman center Devanei Hampton led Cal with 15 points, and freshman forward/center Ashley Walker tallied her second straight double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Walker, the Pac-10's leader for blocked shots at 2.0 bpg, notched two more today.
The game pitted the Pac-10's top two defensive teams in California (54.4 ppg) and Oregon (54.7). After posting their first sweep of UCLA and USC since 2000-01 last week, the Bears never could get on track. The 41 points represent the fewest Cal has scored since an 81-40 setback against Stanford March 5, 2005, in the second round of the Pac-10 Tournament.
Oregon jumped out to a 16-8 lead behind two three-pointers from Chelsea Wagner and two from Cicely Oaks with 12:38 left in the first half. Cal freshman guard Jene Morris countered with a trey to cut the deficit to 16-11 before Wagner's third three of the half capped a 7-0 spurt that extended the Ducks' advantage to 23-11.
Hampton, Cal's leading scorer entering the game at 15.1 ppg, scored her first points with 7:18 left until halftime and scored her first points on the inside to bring Cal within 25-15 at the 5:12 mark. But, Oaks' third three of the half ignited a 9-2 Oregon run to close the half, giving the Ducks a 34-17 halftime advantage. The 34 points is the most Cal, which led 2-0 and 4-2, has allowed in the first half this season, and 17 points is the most the Bears have trailed by at the break.
A driving layup from Oaks extended Oregon's lead to 44-22 with 16:08 to play, as the Bears continued to struggle offensively and defensively in the second half. Wagner's fifth trey of the game gave the Ducks a 59-28 edge - their biggest of the night -- with 7:30 on the clock.
Walker was one of the lone bright spots for Cal until the final minutes of the second half, as she posted 11 points and grabbed six boards. Hampton, who picked up her third foul with 16:54 to play in the game, scored seven of her points in the final 4:14. The Bears' full court press forced the Ducks into four turnovers in the final 4:22.
Wagner finished with a game-high 17 points, while Oaks tallied 13 points, and Gabrielle Richards added 12. Oregon made 10-of-21 three-point attempts (47.6 percent) and shot 45.5 percent overall. Cal shot a season-low 26.4 percent.
The Bears held a 37-35 rebounding advantage.
Cal looks to rebound at Oregon State Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net.