Dec. 28, 1997

#10 Virginia Defeats California, 81-66

Amber Lacey.

OAKLAND, Calif. - The California women's basketball team stayed with the 10th-ranked Virginia Cavaliers for the first half, but the Cavaliers eventually wore the Bears down for a 81-66 victory at Kaiser Arena Sunday afternoon. Virginia improved to 8-1 on the season, while Cal fell to 4-6 overall.

The lead changed hands four times and was tied seven times during the first half, with Virginia taking a 29-25 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Bears worked it down to just a one-point deficit, 38-37, with 15:07 left in the game, but then Virginia turned it on.

The Cavaliers then went on a 16-2 run over the next four minutes, getting scoring from six different players to take a commanding 53-40 lead and put the Bears away.

"I thought we played a very good first half, but we need to play a full 40 minutes," said Cal head coach Marianne Stanley. "We are not satisfied with just hanging in there; we have to do more.

"We're not happy with the outcome, but we aren't hanging our heads either. This was a good wakeup call for us."

Junior forward Lesley Brown came off the bench to score a game-high 21 points for Virginia, while starting forward Mimi McKinney added 15 points, eight rebounds and six steals. Erin Stovall came off the bench to add 14 points, while Lisa Hosac added 11 points. Virginia's leading scorer, DeMya Walker, was limited to just six points before fouling out with 6:13 left in the game.

For the Bears, senior forward Amber Lacey was the only player in double-figures, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds. Five other Cal players were nearly in double figures scoring, with forward Paige Bowie and guards Sherrise Smith and Kenya Corley adding nine points each, and guards Masa Radovic and Tamara Inoue scoring eight points each. Guard Courtney Johnson and forward Jamilla Churchill both came off the bench to grab a team-high six rebounds eac.

Cal was hurt the most by a season-high 35 turnovers, with Virginia snagging 25 steals. The Cavaliers shot 43.1 percent from the field, while Cal shot 40.4 percent, and Cal outrebounded Virginia, 45-40.

"Our defense was outstanding at times, and we were able to control the tempo for most of the first half," Stanley said. "But we were not as aggressive as we needed to be. We stopped attacking them in the second half, and allowed them back into their game."

Cal returns to action Friday, Jan. 2 to open Pac-10 Conference play at home against the Oregon Ducks at 7:30 p.m. in Kaiser Arena. The Bears also host Oregon State on Sunday, Jan. 4 at 3:00 p.m. in a game to be televised nationally by Fox Sports Net.