Jan. 14, 2006
STANFORD, Calif. - California held a lead over No. 14 Stanford for most of the first half, but Candice Wiggins led a Cardinal charge that resulted in an 87-75 Stanford victory on Saturday afternoon at Maples Pavilion. A trio of Golden Bears freshmen scored in double figures, including guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, who poured in a career-high 30 points. Guard Jene Morris had 17 and center Ashley Walker chipped in 14.
"I'm so proud of these kids sitting right here and the entire team," said Cal acting head coach Lindsay Gottlieb. "We've faced a lot of adversity this week, and they came out and competed. Am I happy about giving up 87 points? No. Am I happy about their effort? Absolutely"
Walker added 11 rebounds for her fourth straight double-double. Wiggins scored a game-high 33 points, including seven made three-pointers. Stanford made 14 treys in the game.
"Coming into the game, I just wanted to lead the team," said Gray-Lawson, who became the first Cal player to score at least 30 points since Nihan Anaz tallied the same amount on Jan. 4, 2004, against Washington State. "I just ended up with 30 points. I didn't come in thinking I would hit 30 points."
Cal (12-5, 4-3) jumped out to a 12-4 lead with 13:33 left in the first half following the first of two three-pointers from Gray-Lawson with the shot clock winding down. Five straight points from Wiggins brought the Cardinal even at 15-15 about a minute later.
The Bears answered with seven straight points, capped by a three in the right corner from Morris. Stanford responded with its own 7-0 run to even the game again at 22-22 with 8:13 until halftime. Wiggins launched three three-pointers and Krista Rappahahn converted one against the Cal zone to lift Stanford to a 38-28 edge.
Cal, which shot 51.9 percent in the opening 20 minutes, refused to let Stanford (11-4, 6-1) get out of its sight behind the backcourt scoring of Gray-Lawson and Morris, who finished with 14 and nine first-half points, respectively. Gray-Lawson hit a jumper in the key and Morris scored on a fast-break layup to cut the Cardinal edge to 41-32 at the break.
After Stanford built its biggest lead of the game at 58-42, Cal closed to within 60-50 following a basket from Walker and had two opportunities to close to within eight points. A short jumper in the paint from Renee Wright cut the gap to 63-54 with under 10 minutes to play.
An offensive rebound and putback from Walker brought the Bears to within 70-64 at 5:33 left on the clock, but that's as close as they could get. After Cal trailed 73-66 following a fast-break layup from Morris, Stanford closed the game on a 14-9 run.
Cal held a 34-29 rebounding edge but was hurt by 29 turnovers, including 16 in the first half.
Cal was short-handed today, missing both leading scorer Devanei Hampton and head coach Joanne Boyle. Gottlieb was the acting head coach for Cal, as Boyle missed the game due to a family emergency. Hampton, a freshman center, was out with a one-game suspension.
"The kids that were in there really stepped up, and did a great job in (Hampton's) absence," said Gottlieb. "We talked about it not being one person able to fill what she fills, but collectively. Collectively, we played Renee (Wright) at the four - first time all year she's played the four. Krista (Foster), Shantrell (Sneed) they all stepped in, and did what they needed to do. Obviously, Ashley was unbelievable in terms of being the anchor for us."
The Bears return home to host Arizona State Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.