Women's Basketball Runs Past San Francisco, 61-53

Dec. 8, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO - The California women's basketball team utilized strong team defense to defeat San Francisco, 61-53, Friday night at War Memorial Gym. With Cal's first road win of the season, the Bears improved to 3-4 overall, while the Dons dropped to 3-2 with their other loss being to Stanford.

USF entered the game averaging 86.8 points per game, 50 percent shooting overall and 46.2 rebounds per game. Cal held USF to 34-points below its scoring average and to 33 percent shooting for the game, and out-rebounded the Dons 45-33. The Bears also shot 44.9 percent for the game, including 41.7 percent from beyond the arc (5-12). The second half also marked Cal's best shooting effort of the season at 52.2 percent.

Starting senior guards Kenya Corley and Courtney Johnson paced Cal with 20 and 17 points, respectively. Corley and Johnson keyed Cal's uptempo offense and full-court pressure. Senior forward Lauren Ashbaugh and senior guard Nicole Ybarra led Cal on the boards with eight each. Eight rebounds is a career high for Ybarra. Kim Whisler led USF with 18 points and Lindsey Huff contributed 14.

'I'm pleased because I thought we had a great defensive effort,' said Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer. 'And, we held them to 53 points. I'm happier about the way we played against the zone, and we shot the ball a lot better than we have. I thought that was very important, especially when we had kids in foul trouble. We had some kids really step up for us. I thought Kenya and Courtney in particular and Lauren got some huge boards for us.'

The first half was characterized by sloppy play by both teams with the Bears committing 16 turnovers and the Dons 11. Cal jumped out to an 8-5 lead four minutes and 35 seconds into the game with three-pointers coming from Johnson and Corley. USF countered by building its biggest lead of the game at 21-16 with Whisler posting five of her team-best eight first-half points. The Bears rallied to grab a 26-24 lead at the half with a short baseline jumper from Johnson with two seconds until the break. Johnson had a team-high eight points.

Less than two minutes into the second half, Cal built a six-point lead, its biggest lead to that point, at 30-24 following a three-point play from Ami Forney. The Dons evened the game at 30 before Corley nailed her second of three treys with 16:38 to go to spur a 15-2 Bear run over the next five minutes, giving them a 45-32 advantage.

A four-point play by USF's Lindsey Huff briefly pulled the momentum back in the Dons favor. The Dons closed to within seven on a couple of occasions and got as close as five at 52-47 with 5:16 on the clock, but Johnson and Corley combined for six of Cal's final nine points to seal the win.

'I thought they played with the fight they needed to down the stretch,' said Horstmeyer. 'They've been really working on that and were able to do that tonight.'

Cal returns home to Haas Pavilion on Sunday to face Santa Clara Sunday at 2 p.m. The game against Horstmeyer's former team will be carried live on FOX Sports Net Bay Area.

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