Cal Rallies for 62-53 Win over Marshall
Nov. 24, 2005
RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico - Freshman guard Jene Morris posted a career-high 19 points in her first collegiate start to lead California (4-1) to a 62-53 victory over Marshall Thursday night on the opening day of the Caribbean Classic at the Soul Ball Room at the Convention Center of the Aventura Spa Palace Resort.
'This is the first time I feel like we've had a really good team win,' said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. 'The younger kids have always won, and they don't know any better. The upper-classmen wants something different, and they see it in themselves. They're really starting to believe in themselves, and that they can come back from five and eight points. Once you do it and you win, it gives you that much more hope. I think the same situation happened here today. Every day, we grow as a team.'
Bears senior forward Renee Wright tallied her second career double-double and first since her freshman year with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman forward/center Ashley Walker added 12 points for the Bears.
Marshall (2-1) jumped out to a 10-4 lead with 14:36 left in the first half, but Cal responded with a 9-2 run to take its first lead at 13-12 following four straight points from Wright.
The Thundering Herd regained the momentum to build its biggest lead of the game at 22-15 following a three-pointer from Sikeetha Shepard-Hall with 6:51 to play until halftime.
Morris scored nine of Cal's final 11 points to send the Bears into the locker room up 26-24.
'Jene got us started with her defense,' said Boyle. 'She got a couple steals for us. She was really aggressive on the defensive end and got some easy buckets. I think we finally started to breathe when we got some steals off of the press. That helped settle us down.'
Mudupe Ishola, who led her team with 16 points, scored the first five points of the second half to propel Marshall on an 11-3 run. The Bears battled back to 35-33 with 10:27 left in the game after an offensive rebound and putback from Wright.
A three-pointer from Shepard-Hall gave Marshall a 38-33 edge. The Bears answered with an 11-1 run to reclaim the lead for good at 44-39 with 5:41 remaining in the game. The run started with a basket from Krista Foster.
'Krista went in and got a big bucket,' said Boyle. 'Her energy raised our level, and Sarah Pool came in and gave us some great minutes and settled us down a little bit. Those two really gave us a lift. I'm so proud of them because those two have had to change their roles from starting and not starting. Every game, it changes. They've embraced the fact that they're all about the team.'
The second of Morris' two three-pointers gave Cal its biggest lead of the game at 56-44. Despite shooting only 63.3 percent from the foul line, Cal was able to ice the game by making its final six shots at the charity stripe - two by Foster, Walker and Alexis Gray-Lawson.
Cal held a 40-34 rebounding advantage and committed a season-low 11 turnovers. The Bears shot 40.0 percent from the floor, and Marshall hit 40.8 percent of its chances (only 34.6 percent in the second half).
Cal concludes the Caribbean Classic against Baylor, the defending NCAA champion, Saturday, Nov. 26 at 1:30 p.m. CT. Fans can listen to the game on KALX Radio (90.7 FM) or through the link on CalBears.com.