Washington Pulls Past Bears In Final Minutes, 69-68

Jan. 27, 2001

BERKELEY, Calif. - A second half surge and a five point lead with 7:51 remaining in the game were not enough to beat the Huskies Saturday night as Washington regained the lead with 1:18 to play, defeating California 69-68 inside Haas Pavilion. Junior center Ami Forney erupted with a huge double-double for the Bears, throwing down 27 points while pulling down 14 rebounds in 36 minutes of work.

'Ami Forney was all over the court tonight,' said California head coach Caren Horstmeyer. 'From an offensive perspective, she made a difference. She was aggressive and wanted the ball.'

With just 1:37 left on the clock, senior guard Courtney Johnson scored on a fast-break lay-up to hand California (6-11 overall, 2-5 in the Pac-10) a two point, 68-66, lead. The Huskies came right back down the floor, missing on their first shot but grabbing the rebound and kicking the ball out to sophomore guard Loree Payne who promptly hit a three-pointer, the final points of the game, giving Washington (12-6 overall, 5-3 in the Pac-10) the 69-68 win.

California put up two shots with 12 and six seconds remaining respectively, both failing to drop, before Forney committed a foul with five seconds on the clock. Senior forward LeAnn Sheets missed both resulting free throws for Washington, giving the Bears a glimmer of hope, but the Bears final shot with a second remaining again would not fall.

Senior guard Kenya Corley recorded 20 points for the Bears while Johnson tallied 11 points, six assists and six steals.

'To lose a game this close is hard, but we're building and playing hard as a team,' said Horstmeyer. 'We made the game close tonight. A year ago we wouldn't have made it so close.'

Washington went into halftime with a comfortable 39-30 lead thanks to a strong first half start that never saw the Huskies trailing. Senior guard Megan Franza recorded a game-high 30 points for the Huskies, with 22 of her points coming in the first half, shooting 11-for-17 from the field and 6-of-10 from behind the arch. Freshman center Andrea Lalum finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. Washington shot 42 percent as a team over the course of the night, besting Cal's 35 percent showing.

California hits the road next week, traveling to USC Thursday for a 7:00 p.m. match-up with the Trojans before heading across town to take on UCLA Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in a Fox Sports Net televised game.

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