Stanford Outlasts Cal, 63-56
Jan. 20, 2001
BERKELEY, Calif. - Down for most of the second half, Stanford battled past the Bears in the final minutes of a hard fought Bay Area match-up Saturday afternoon, defeating California 63-56 inside Haas Pavilion. Senior guard Kenya Corley led the Bears with 18 points, while senior guard Courtney Johnson tipped in 17 points and six steals.
'The Cal-Stanford rivalry is a great rivalry and I think you saw a great game played,' said California head coach Caren Horstmeyer. 'Unfortunately, Stanford did what they needed to do down the stretch. I thought we did a good job pressuring the way we wanted to pressure. I think we could have taken a little bit more advantage of that in the full court. I'm proud of the way our players played this afternoon and I thought we played as a team.'
After trailing Stanford (8-7 overall, 2-3 in the Pac-10) 30-25 at halftime, the Bears pulled together to go on a crowd-rousing 6-2 run to start the second half and take a 33-32 lead just 2:04 into the set. California (5-10 overall, 1-4 in the Pac-10) would go on to score six more points for a 39-34 lead with 12:57 remaining in the game. That five point advantage would be Cal's largest of the night.
From that point on, the Cardinal began to wear down the Bears defense, chipping away at the lead to eventually pull together a six point, 46-52, lead with 4:34 remaining. California went back to work from there, with Johnson throwing down four quick points and Corley hitting a pair of free throws to tie the game 54-54 with 2:35 to play. But Stanford came out of the media timeout with a 5-0 run that became too much for the Bears to tackle. Junior center Ami Forney would be the only Bear to score after that fateful timeout.
'The one area that really hurt us were the boards,' said Horstmeyer. 'We didn't rebound the way we really needed to and Stanford came at us on the boards and did a good job with that.'
Stanford was led in scoring by freshman forward Nicole Powell's 19 points and 12 rebounds. She also added four assists and four steals. Senior forward Sarah Dimson added 11 points while junior guard Lindsey Yamasaki chipped in 10 points. But for Cardinal, it was all about Yamasaki's two critical three-pointers, one in the first half with 1:31remaining and one with 6:06 remaining in the second. Both were instrumental in turning the tide in favor of the Cardinal.
Shooting in the second half hurt the Bears, who only scored on 35 percent of their shots compared to Stanford's 46 percent. And while California held the advantage in steals 13-6 over the course of the game, the Bears were left empty handed in blocked shots while the Cardinal utilized their height with seven blocked shots.
'I think our team came in with confidence,' said Horstmeyer. 'We felt this was a good opportunity to beat Stanford. The disappointment is there from not having won the game.'
Freshman guard Latasha O'Keith had a huge game off the bench for the Bears, knocking down 3-of-4 from the floor and 4-for-6 from the charity stripe to post 10 points. She also had four steals. But perhaps more importantly, O'Keith provided California with needed intensity and hustle in the back court while giving Cal's starters much needed rest.