Women's Hoops Loses At Washington, 78-71

Feb. 22, 2001

SEATTLE - Despite four players scoring in double figures, California saw its five-game winning streak come to an end with a 78-71 loss to Washington Thursday night at Bank of America Arena. The Golden Bears record fell to 11-12 and 7-6 in the Pac-10 with the loss, while the Huskies improved to 17-7, 10-4 in league play.

'That was a great game,' said Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer. 'It was nip and tuck. Washington deserves a tremendous amount of credit for being as mentally tough as they were in the last five minutes of the game. We feel we've been playing pretty well during that time. But, I don't think we were particularly composed. Washington stepped up and hit big shots and really showed that they wanted the game.

Senior guard Courtney Johnson led Cal with 16 points (all in the second half), seven assists and six steals. The six steals moved Johnson into a tie with Stanford's Jennifer Azzi for fifth in Pac-10 history with 271. Also in double figures for the Bears were senior guard Kenya Corley with 15, senior forward Lauren Ashbaugh with 14 and junior center Ami Forney with 11.

Washington jumped out to a 15-6 lead with 12:28 to play in the first half behind seven points from Giuliana Mendiola, who led UW with a career-high 22 points after being held scoreless in Berkeley in January. The Bears then utilized a full court press and a strong transition game to go on a 10-3 run, which closed the gap to 18-16 with 5:26 until intermission. Corley scored eight-straight points for the Bears during that run. Loree Payne drained the Huskies second three pointer of the first half to increase their lead back to seven points at 25-18 with 2:46 to play. Ashbaugh, who had eight first-half points, capped a 9-4 Cal first half closing run, sending Cal into the locker room down only 29-27.

After being held scoreless in the first half, UW's leading scorer Megan Franza poured in 21 second-half points to help the Huskies earn a sweep of the Bears this year. California grabbed its first lead of the game at 33-31 following a layup from Ashbaugh. With the game tied at 37-all, UW went on a 5-0 run spurred by a three-point play by Mendiola to lead 42-37 with 11:54 remaining in the game.

The Bears later grabbed two one-point leads and had the game tied at 54-54 at the 5:29 mark behind nine points from Forney. UW then rattled off eight unanswered points to lead 62-54 with 3:57 on the clock. The Bears dug in with a 7-0 run of their own with four different players contributing, bring them to within 62-61 with 2:15 to play, but that was as close as Cal would get. Franza scored five of her points, and the Huskies drained 11-of-13 free throws down the stretch to pull away from the Bears.

The two differences in the game were free throw shooting and rebounding. UW held a 36-30 edge on the glass and converted on 19-of-26 free throws to Cal's 10-of-16. The Bears entered the game averaging 25.5 trips to the charity stripe each game. Otherwise, the statistics were similar, including Cal shooting 48.3 percent from the field to UW's 48.2.

California next travels to Washington State Saturday for a 6 p.m. tip on FOX Sports Net Northwest.

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