Hampton's Career-High Gives No. 9 Cal Eighth Straight Win

Jan. 17, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Devanei Hampton scored a career-high 28 points, 17 in the first half, and No. 9 California beat Arizona State 64-51 Thursday night to take sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.

Ashley Walker added 13 points, seven in a row over a 2:19 span of the second half to lift the Bears out of trouble en route to their eighth consecutive win. The school record is 10 straight victories.

California (16-2, 7-0 Pac-10) is off to its best start since going 17-2 in the 1983-84 season. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the unranked Sun Devils (11-6, 5-1), who rallied from 23 down in the first half to cut the lead to four in the second.

Briann January scored 16 and Lauren Lacey 10 for Arizona State, which missed its first 11 shots and ended up 33 percent from the field, 1-for-13 from 3-point range.

Cal led 16-0 and 33-10 but a 15-1 run late in the first half and early in the second helped Arizona State close it to 40-36. Hampton, though, scored five consecutive points to lift the Bears back into control, 45-36 with 12:23 to play.

Arizona State climbed back one more time by making 6-of-8 free throws, the last two by Kirsten Thompson, to slice the lead to 47-42 with 8:08 to go. Walker scored three times inside, the second one for a three-point play, and Cal led 54-42 with 5:24 to go. The Sun Devils never got closer than 10 after that.

Hampton, a 6-foot-3 junior who missed the first nine games of the season while recovering from surgery on her right knee, dominated inside early, going 8-for-11 in the first half. She finished 13-for-23 overall.

She scored six in a 10-0 Cal run that put the Bears ahead 33-10 with 2:36 left. The Sun Devils finally got their offense rolling, outscoring California 11-1 over the final 2 1/2 minutes of the half to cut the lead to 34-21 at the break.

The run reached 15-1 when Arizona State scored the first four points of the second half, cutting the lead to 34-26 on Dymond Simon's steal and layup. Natasha Vital's 3-pointer boosted the lead to 37-26 with 18:30 to play, and it was 40-28 when Alexis Gray-Lawson made a 3 with 17:14 to go.

A pair of blocked shots by ASU's Kayli Murphy and one by Jill Noe highlighted the 8-0 run that cut it to 40-36 on Simon's two free throws with 13:21 left. But Hampton followed a 3-point play with an inside basket and Cal was on top 45-36 12:33 before the end.

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