Bears Race Past Visiting Bruins, 83-59
March 1, 2001
BERKELEY, Calif. - California easily handled a struggling Bruin squad Thursday night, rolling up an 83-59 victory over UCLA inside Haas Pavilion. The win marks Cal's first season sweep of UCLA in the program's history and was also the team's largest margin of victory over the Bruins ever. To cap things off, senior guard Courtney Johnson recorded her 1,000th career point, becoming the 16th Cal player in history to do so.
'I thought our team was very focused and played with a lot of passion,' said California head coach Caren Horstmeyer, whose squad rang-up a season-best 83 points and closed out Cal's largest margin of victory since the 1996-97 season. 'I'm proud of them for coming back from two hard losses at the Washington schools and putting a full game together. They really took UCLA out of what they wanted to do.'
Never trailing in the contest, California (12-13 overall, 8-7 in the Pac-10) amassed a double-digit lead just 5:02 into the first half en route to a 38-23 halftime advantage. Senior guard Kenya Corley tallied 14 points over the opening 20 minutes on her way to a team-leading 22 points. Johnson finished the night with 17 points and a steal, tying her with OSU's Margo Evashevski (1990-93) for third in the Pac-10's all-time steals category with 276.
UCLA lost the first half battle at the free throw line, shooting only six times in a 5-of-6 performance compared to California's 15-for-20 showing. Those points, and a season-high 30-of-39 from the charity stripe over the course of the game, helped the Bears overcome a 33 percent shooting display on the floor during the first stanza. The Bruins shot 37 percent through the first half but failed to improve over the final 20 minutes of the game. At the same time, California regrouped and posted a 15-of-25 effort during the second half to shoot 60 percent in the field, averaging out to a healthy 46 percent over the course of the game.
'I think UCLA is a very good ball club,' said Horstmeyer. 'They are very athletic and very dangerous. I thought our setting the tempo early was very important. We have to get a lead, keep a lead, maintain a lead, and build a lead. We've talked about that from day one, and we have not been able to do that. Tonight was the first game we've been able to do that.'
Junior guard Michelle Greco led the Bruins with 16 points and three steals. Junior center Malika Leatham finished with 14 points while sophomore forward Kristee Porter rounded out the leading scorers for UCLA with 13 points and eight rebounds.
California is back in action Saturday, March 3rd, when it hosts USC at 1:00 p.m. inside Haas Pavilion.