March 8, 2008
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Sophomore guard Natasha Vital posted 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to lead No. 2-seeded California to a 67-60 victory over No. 7-seeded Oregon Saturday afternoon in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals at HP Pavilion. The Golden Bears, who are ranked No. 10 by AP and No. 9 in the coaches' poll, set a school record for wins in a season by improving to 25-5 overall (15-3 Pac-10), while the Ducks ended their season 14-17.
Junior posts Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker led Cal with 15 points each, and junior guard Alexis-Gray-Lawson contributed 14 points, including converting 7-of-8 free throws over the final 32 seconds with the game on the line.
Cal led 16-0 with 10:31 left in the first half behind six points from Hampton and two three-pointers by Vital. Nicole Canepa, who finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds, scored Oregon's first points with a jumper with 10:03 to go in the first half to ignite a 17-3 Ducks run.
Cal led 19-17 with 5:10 to go in the opening half before Walker made a layup and Vital converted a jumper to help the Bears secure a 26-19 lead. Freshman guard/forward Kelsey Adrian capped the spurt with a three-pointer.
Hampton scored the final three points of the half for Cal, sending the Bears into the locker room up 31-26.
Taylor Lilley, who led all scorers with 24 points, scored a layup on Oregon's first play of the second half to bring the Ducks to within 31-28.
Cal built its lead back to double figures at 38-28 with 15:34 to go in the game, keyed by a three-pointer by Gray-Lawson, who now has 101 treys for her career. Cal tied the school record of 135 three-pointers with its four treys today.
The Bears led by as many as 13 points on two occasions with the last being 56-43 with 6:56 left in the contest following a layup by Hampton.
Behind two three-pointers and a three-point play, Oregon went on an 11-1 run to close the gap to 57-54 with 1:33 remaining.
Cal iced the game by sinking 10-of-12 free throws in crunch time. Walker was 3-of-4, and Gray-Lawson was 7-of-8.
Hampton also came up with a key steal with 34 seconds on the clock and Oregon down only four. Gray-Lawson also grabbed a key swipe with 12 seconds left.
Kaela Chapdelaine tallied 12 points for Oregon, which shot 37.9 percent from the floor to Cal's 43.1 percent.
Cal held a 41-36 rebounding advantage and committed only 13 turnovers while forcing Oregon into 17 turnovers. Vital, Hampton and Lauren Greif each hauled in a team-high seven boards for Cal.
Cal advances to play No. 3-seeded Arizona State in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals for the second straight season. The Bears and Sun Devils face each other Sunday, March 9, at noon at HP Pavilion. The Sun Devils beat Washington, 83-64, in the first quarterfinal of the day.