January 2, 1997
Cal Can't Get Over Hump, Fall to Arizona
BERKLEY, Calif. - The California Golden Bears (4-6, 0-1) suffered a tough loss in the Pacific 10 season opener Thursday in Harmon Gym against the Arizona Wildcats (11-1, 1-0), 79-59.
It looked as if the Wildcats had control of the first half as they led the Bears by as much as 10 points, 22-12. But California came back, led by Jennie Leanderto and tied the score at 25 with just under five minutes left in the first half. Arizona, however, regained the lead only to have Cal tie the game with a last-second 3-pointer by Paige Bowie to tie the score at 33 at halftime.
The second half looked much like the first with Arizona stretching the margin and California coming back to make it close. The Wildcats opened with a 7-0 run, but found the Bears within striking distance, 47-45. Despite coming withing five points of the Wildcats, the Bears didn't have enough to take a lead in the closing minutes of the game.
"Tonight's game says that we can compete in the Pac-10," California head coach Marianne Stanley said. "It was a close game for us, out overall effort was outstanding. The game was well executed, it just got away from us."
Adia Barnes led the Wildcats with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Jacque Barrington poured in 19 points and seven rebounds as Arizona shot 49 percent from the field, holding Cal to only 37 percent. The Wildcats dominated the boards, pulling down 45 rebounds compared to 35 by Cal.
"I'm really proud of this team tonight," Stanley said. "They were right there. Our players did everything they talked about doing, we just let them (Arizona) get the ball inside in the second half."