March 8, 2003
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Despite playing inspired defense, ninth-seeded California fell to top-seeded Stanford, 60-35, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament Saturday night at the HP Pavilion.
"Our effort was unbelievable tonight in terms of us having to play back to back," said Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer, whose team played with less than 24 hours rest since defeating Arizona State, 46-38, in the opening round Friday. "Stanford obviously was extremely prepared. It's disappointing to do so well last night and then not to show the same offensive output we know we can put forth. We credit Stanford's defense to that, as well. All year, we haven't shown that we could come back for two games, and that has to be a learning experience for us."
Sophomore forward Leigh Gregory paced the Golden Bears (10-19, 5-13 Pac-10) with nine points and tied her career high of 10 rebounds. Junior center Timea Ivanyi added seven points and seven rebounds. The eighth-ranked Cardinal (24-4, 15-3 Pac-10) was led by Nicole Powell, who tallied 18 points and nine boards. Azella Perryman and Chelsea Trotter also posted double-figure points with 12 and 11, respectively.
One day after holding Arizona State to a Pac-10 Tournament record low of 38 points, Cal acquired the dubious distinction against the Cardinal. With eight different players contributing, Stanford raced to a 19-2 lead with 9:28 left in the first half. After a basket by Ivanyi with 1:57 remaining in the opening stanza, the Bears closed the gap to 13 at 27-14 and trailed 29-14 at the break. Ivanyi led Cal with six first half points.
The Bears' defense, which held seven of their final 11 opponents to 61 or fewer points, limited the Cardinal to only 34.6 percent field goal shooting in the first half. Unfortunately, Cal's offense only clicked to the tune of 18.5 percent shooting.
Sophomore guard Kristin Iwanaga hit the first points of the second half as the shot clock expired to bring the Bears back within 13, but that's as close as they would get the rest of the contest. Four three-pointers, including three from Powell, helped Stanford build its lead over 20 points.
For the game, Cal held Stanford to 36.2 percent shooting, far below its season average of 44.7. The Bears finished at 22.2 percent.
"In terms of our program, we got one win in the tournament, and we need to learn from that," said Horstmeyer. "Last year, hopefully, we learned from our loss. This year, I hope we learn from our first win and from our second loss."