Bears Fall to Washington State, 79-69

Jan. 27, 2005

PULLMAN, Wash. - California's second-half struggles continued in a 79-69 loss to Washington State Thursday evening at Friel Court.

'Washington State played a very good game tonight,' Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer said. 'They attacked us and took it at us. Our defense really let us down. Penetration really hurt us.'

Senior forward Leigh Gregory and senior guard Kristin Iwanaga led Cal (8-11, 2-8) with 11 points apiece. Freshman center Jessica Lawson notched 10 points in 10 minutes, and freshman guard Brio Rode posted a career-high 10 points.

Lawson scored Cal's first six points of the game to help the Bears to a 9-3 lead, but sat on the bench for the final 16 minutes of the first half after recording her second foul. The Bears later surged ahead 18-12 on a three-pointer from Sarah Pool at the 11:16 mark.

With WSU (5-14, 1-9) up 26-23 with 6:53 until halftime, Cal went on a 15-2 run behind three three-pointers from Rode and one from Iwanaga to grab its biggest lead of the game at 38-28 with 3:27 to go in the half.

The Cougars closed the half with an 11-4 spurt, but the Bears entered the locker room ahead 42-39, the third straight game they've led at the break but have not come away with the win. Cal, which entered the contest ranked fourth in the nation in three-point percentage (42.2), was 6-for-8 from long range in the opening 20 minutes.

The Bears struggled in the second half, allowing the Cougars to grab a 54-44 lead following three-pointers from Adriane Ferguson and Kate Benz. Following two free throws from Jessica Perry, WSU built its largest lead at 60-44 with 12:14 to go.

The Cougars led 66-52 when Cal went on an 8-0 run, starting with a layup by Emmelie Geraedts and finishing with a layup by Iwanaga. The Bears trailed 66-60 and 68-62 on a basket by Jacqueline Sanchez with 4:22 on the clock. After that, WSU went on a 7-0 run to assure its first Pac-10 win of the season.

'Emmelie Geraedts came in and did a very good job,' Horstmeyer said. 'Jacqueline Sanchez, who we were allowed to play tonight (back pains vs. USC), gave us great minutes. Brio Rode ignited us in the first half with her three-point shooting.'

Geraedts, a sophomore reserve center, posted a season-high seven points and two rebounds, playing 11 straight minutes in the second half. In addition to Geraedts, reserves Sanchez, Rode, Keanna Levy and Renee Wright played bigs minutes in the second half.

Benz, Ferguson and Charmaine Jones posted 16 points each for WSU, and Dani Montgomery chipped in 11 off the bench. Benz also added a game-high 14 rebounds.

Cal entered the game leading the Pac-10 in free throw shooting at 74.3 percent but hit a season-low 59.1 percent (13-22) from the charity stripe against WSU. The Bears sank 45.5 percent of their chances from the floor, while the Cougars shot 48.3 percent.

Cal travels to Washington (8-12, 4-6) Saturday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m. The Huskies lost to No. 2 Stanford, 82-60, tonight.

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