Cal Can't Hang on in 73-61 Loss to UCLA
Feb. 18, 2005
LOS ANGELES - Cal held a five-point lead with about six minutes to play in the game before falling to UCLA, 73-61, Friday night at Pauley Pavilion. The Golden Bears drop to 9-15 overall (3-12 Pac-10), while the Bruins improve to 16-9 (10-6).
Cal led 58-53 with 6:13 left in the game following a basket from Jessica Lawson. Nikki Blue then took over the game for UCLA, scoring 14 of her game-high 25 points on a 20-3 run down the stretch.
'Somebody needed to step up and say, `Hey, we're fine,'' said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. 'We needed to finish the game better defensively. We can't give up layups late in the game or foul on a layup. It starts to extend the score.'
Senior guard Kristin Iwanaga led Cal with 15 points, followed by senior reserve center Khadijah Coakley with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Kiki Williams chipped in 10 points and made two three-pointers.
'Khadijah gave us incredibly great minutes,' Horstmeyer said. 'From rebounding to putting the ball in the basket, she did everything we needed her to do. She stepped up and gave other players confidence.'
Cal grabbed an 8-5 lead following a three-point play by Iwanaga with 16:33 to play in the first half. The Bears led 11-9 following another three-point play from Leigh Gregory before UCLA grabbed a 15-11 edge. Cal regained the lead at 16-15 and held a 25-23 lead with 8:43 to go on a three-pointer from Williams.
Six straight points from Coakley and a jumper from Renee Wright gave the Bears their biggest lead of the game to that point at 37-30 with less than a minute left in the opening stanza.
The Bears extended a 37-32 halftime lead to 44-37 on another three-point play from Iwanaga with 16:21 to go in the game. Cal grabbed its biggest lead of the game at 49-41 on a layup by Coakley off a pass from Sarah Pool.
'I saw great teamwork (for most of the game),' Horstmeyer added. 'I saw great passing, people looking to shoot, people wanting to be aggressive.'
Lindsey Pluimer scored six of her 17 points to help the Bruins close to within 52-51 with a little over eight minutes on the clock.
Lawson, who finished the game with nine points and seven rebounds, scored Cal's final five points of the game. The Bears converted only 29.6 percent from the floor in the second half after hitting 45.7 percent of their chances in the first 20 minutes.
Cal held a 44-39 edge on the glass, but was hurt by 25 turnovers, while the Bruins had only 14 miscues.
Lisa Willis added 18 points for the Bruins.
Cal next faces USC Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
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