Women's Basketball Stumbles Against California, 77-71

Dec. 29, 2004

Box Score

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Junior guard Mandy Close poured in 21 points, but Oregon State's women's basketball team dropped a 77-71 contest to University of California in Wednesday night's Pacific-10 Conference action.

The Beavers (4-7; 0-2 Pac-10) had one of their most balanced offensive efforts of the season, but were unable to fend off the Bears' (7-4; 1-1 Pac-10) attack.

Cal opened the game with a 7-0 run, but OSU worked its way back into the contest behind a jumper from Anita Rivera and four straight points from freshman Tiffany Ducker.

Jessica Mellinger capped off a 7-0 run by the Beavers late in the first half, cutting the Bears lead to 23-21 with 5:23 left. Cal answered with six straight of its own and took a 34-28 advantage into the locker room.

Oregon State took its first lead of the game after Close buried a jumper and Melanie Casey followed with a lay-up at the 16:29 mark. The Bears scored eight of the next 10 points however, and Kristin Iwanaga's 3-pointer with just under 14 minutes to play helped Cal take the lead for good.

'I thought our players really battled in there,' said OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra. 'We played some of our best team basketball.'

Close buried 8-of-16 shots from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, en route to her team-leading 21 points. The Bozeman, MT, native has reached double figures in scoring in four straight games.

Sophomore Casey Bunn added 11 points and six boards for the Beavers, while Ducker just missed a double-double with nine points and a career-high nine rebounds. Mellinger matched her career-high with seven assists and added seven points. Shannon Howell - who entered the week as the nation's leading scorer - was held to just four points on 2-of-13 shooting.

Leigh Gregory led the Bears with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting and senior post Kiki Williams recorded her first career double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.

Oregon State held a 42-34 rebounding edge.

The Beavers travel to Los Angeles for a 2 p.m. game against No. 23 ranked UCLA on Sunday.

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