Cal Tops Arizona State to Advance to State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Semis
March 12, 2010
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Alexis Gray-Lawson scored 15 points, DeNesha Stallworth added 14 points and eight rebounds, and California pulled away in the final minutes to advance to the Pac-10 tournament semifinals with a 60-50 victory over Arizona State on Friday.
Natasha Vital scored 12 points for the fourth-seeded Golden Bears (18-12), who broke open an even quarterfinal game with 8 minutes to play.
Cal went on a 14-4 run led by Gray-Lawson, the fifth-year senior and the Pac-10's second-leading scorer. Stallworth, the Bears' promising freshman, scored 12 points in the second half.
Becca Tobin had eight points and seven rebounds for the Sun Devils (17-13), who made less than 30 percent of their shots and foundered late in their third consecutive loss.
With Gray-Lawson creating fast breaks with her usual defensive flair and Stallworth repeatedly finishing underneath, Cal ended the quarterfinal game at USC's Galen Center on a 21-11 run over the final 7 1/2 minutes.
While Arizona State finished two games behind the Bears in the Pac-10 standings, the Sun Devils beat Cal twice during the regular season, both times ending five-game winning streaks for the Bears. Arizona State had won three straight over Cal, but couldn't produce nearly enough offense in the final minutes.
Leading scorer Danielle Orsillo, who hit a buzzer beater to send the Sun Devils past the Bears on Jan. 30 in Berkeley, had just seven points on 3-of-9 shooting and committed five turnovers. Tenaya Watson had five points and six turnovers.
Arizona State fell behind 15-8 early before going on a 16-2 run late in the first half. Cal rallied with seven straight points to tie it before the Sun Devils took a 26-24 lead into halftime.
Cal's Rachelle Federico was ejected in the first half for clocking Orsillo with a swinging elbow that put the Arizona State senior flat on the court. The Bears argued against the flagrant foul and ejection, noting Orsillo was leaning well into Federico while playing defense.
Orsillo wasn't injured on the play and shot her own free throws. Federico will be eligible to play in Cal's semifinal game.
Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz, a former Cal student and Berkeley resident, cheered for the Bears while sitting with actress girlfriend Emmy Rossum and Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour.