No. 9 Cal Moves to 5-0 in Pac-10 Play
Jan. 10, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - The California Golden Bears found a way to maintain their fast start.
By beating Oregon 61-52 on Thursday night, they not only maintained their hold on their best ranking (ninth), they also went 5-0 in Pac-10 play for the first time and won six straight games for the first time since 1992-93.
Ashley Walker lead the Bears with 25 points and eight rebounds. Alexis Gray-Lawson was the only other Cal player in double figures with 10, as the team (14-2, 5-0) struggled against Oregon's defense all night.
'I'm glad we got out with a win,' said Cal coach Joanne Boyle, who wasn't pleased with her team's execution on offense. 'We're too good to go through the season grinding games out. We're better than that.'
Taylor Lilley led Oregon (8-7, 2-2) with 15 points, but her three 3-pointers in the final 1:20 came after the game was decided. Micaela Cocks added 13 and Ellyce Ironmonger had 12, but the Ducks struggled to score.
'We had some shots that just didn't go in,' said Oregon coach Bev Smith, who gave credit to her team's interior defense for allowing the Ducks to stay close. 'We made them work for every basket they got.'
But Cal did wind up with a 32-14 edge in points in the paint, thanks mostly to Walker. 'She's strong, she's big, she's fast - and she can jump,' said the 6-foot-4 Ironmonger.
The game started off as though it would be a romp for the Bears, as Cal scored the first five points. Oregon's steady shooting and solid rebounding got the visitors back in it, however, and they took the lead at 14-13 on Ellie Manou's follow. A 6-0 run eventually put the Ducks ahead 24-20, and they led 24-22 at the half.
The second half started well for Oregon, as the lead stretched to six on Ironmonger's jumper, but the tone shifted abruptly when Ironmonger picked up two quick fouls - her third and fourth - and had to leave with 15:50 remaining. Her departure played a big part in Cal's 17-4 run, which gave the Bears a 38-33 lead they never lost.