No. 9/9 Cal Extends Winning Streak to Seven

Jan. 12, 2008

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BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - A trip to the San Francisco Bay area used to be a mixed blessing for Pac-10 women's basketball teams - a struggle at perennial power Stanford coupled with a less-challenging contest at lowly California.

Now, the whole weekend is tough. Just ask Oregon State.

Devanei Hampton had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 9 California held the Beavers to 26 percent shooting in a 61-45 win Saturday to give the Bears their first seven-game winning streak in 16 years.

Ashley Walker had 17 points to lead the Bears (15-2, 6-0 Pac-10), and Alexis Gray-Lawson added 14. Hampton, the reigning Pac-10 player of the year who has battled back from several knee operations, dominated underneath and nearly had a double-double at halftime.

The defeat completed a long weekend for Oregon State (8-8, 1-4), and especially for leading scorer Ashley Allen - who began the week leading the conference with 21.1 points, but was held to 13 points in Thursday's loss at No. 7 Stanford and seven points Saturday on 3-for-16 shooting.

'They're both very good defensively, very quick at the guard spots and big inside, which made it very tough for us,' said Allen, whose miserable day from the field ended with a missed layup with 2:30 remaining.

'They did a very good job of just being up in my face and following me everywhere and not making it easy for me,' Allen added. 'Every basketball player has their nights where things don't go their way, and today was one of those days.'

That was exactly the way Cal coach Joanne Boyle had it planned.

'I think the kids did a really good job of taking her and frustrating her a little bit,' Boyle said. 'I was pleased with our defense today.'

The Beavers were no match underneath for the much bigger Bears, with California holding a 40-8 points advantage inside. And OSU, which came into the game averaging 44 percent shooting, went 15-of-57 from the field.

Talisa Rhea led the Beavers with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and Mercedes Fox-Griffin had 10 points and 5 assists.

Cal is 6-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time, but now will be heading into a much more challenging stretch that includes games Thursday at Arizona State and Jan. 26 at Stanford. Games against Stanford traditionally have been for local bragging rights, but this season also could be a battle of top-10 teams.

'We have higher expectations for ourselves,' Walker said. 'Mentally you have to think about what you have to do for every game. We're ranked the No. 9 team in the country, so we have to play like that every game.'

Cal's winning streak is its longest since the 1991-92 team won eight straight.

Walker and Gray-Lawson each had 11 points, and Hampton had 10 points and 8 rebounds, as Cal took a 42-21 halftime lead. The Beavers shot 21 percent in the half, hitting 7 of 33 shots.

Cal hit its first six shots and took a 14-2 lead, and held a comfortable lead the rest of the half. The 6-foot-3 Hampton dominated against much smaller OSU players, and even added a bit of flair by dribbling behind her back on one fast break.

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