Golden Bear Defense Declaws Wildcats

Dec. 30, 2006

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Devanei Hampton and Rama N'diaye keyed a run of 16 straight points in the first half and No. 18 California held Arizona scoreless for more than seven minutes in a 65-48 victory Saturday.

Keanna Levy led the way for the Golden Bears (10-3, 2-2 Pac-10) with a career-high 17 points, including four 3-pointers. Lauren Greif also hit four 3-pointers for 12 points as Cal shot 9-for-14 from long range.

Ashley Whisonant scored 18 points and Jessica Arnold added 12 for the Wildcats (6-9, 0-3), who have lost six of seven and are off to their worst start in the conference since dropping the first three games in 1992-93. Arizona has lost all seven games this season against ranked opponents.

The recent skid has slowed coach Joan Bonvicini's run at 600 career wins. Bonvicini remained stuck on 597 and will resume her quest at the milestone with home games next week against Washington and Washington State.

The Bears broke the game open with the big run midway through the first half. After Arnold's third 3-pointer of the game tied the score at 11 with 12:58 to go, the Wildcats didn't score again until Whisonant's layup with 5:16 remaining. By that time, Cal had already opened up a double-digit lead.

N'Diaye started the 16-0 run with a jumper and added another basket after Levy's 3-pointer. Hampton then scored the next seven points before N'Diaye capped the run with another basket to make it 27-11.

Whisonant tried to rally the Wildcats with six points late in the half, but Cal still held a 35-23 lead at the break despite committing 11 turnovers in the half.

The Bears kept the lead in double digits the rest of the way, using a 10-0 run in the second half to take a 49-27 lead with 13:40 to go. They held Arizona to 35 percent shooting, overcoming 25 turnovers on offense.

Cal leading scorer Ashley Walker was held to six points on 3-for-10 shooting, ending a streak of 13 straight double-figure games dating to the final game of last season.

Natasha Vital, starting her fourth game in place of injured star point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson had five points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Hampton scored 11 points and N'diaye added with 10.

The trip to the Bay Area was a disappointment for Arizona - especially leading scorer Joy Hollingsworth.

The former San Francisco star who transferred to Arizona was held to five points on 2-for-14 shooting. She scored only seven points on 2-for-22 shooting in the two games against Stanford and Cal, dropping her average from 16.1 points per game to 14.4.

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