Bears Lose Oakland Tribune Classic Final to Colorado, 66-47

Dec. 8, 2002

BERKELEY - Junior guard LaTasha O'Keith scored 12 points off the bench, but that wasn't enough as Colorado defeated California 66-47 in the championship game of the 12th-annual Oakland Tribune Classic Sunday at Haas Pavilion.

The Buffaloes (6-1) got a game-high 18 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks from center Tera Bjorklund, 14 points from Kate Fagan and 10 points from Amber Metoyer. Sabrina Scott added nine to her 18 points and 10 rebounds in yesterday's win over Evansville to take tournament MVP honors.

'This game and the Colorado team is where we're striving to be at,' Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer said. 'They're a very good team. I think that our effort was incredibly good. And I think that they hit some big shots at critical times, when we're closing the lead, whether they call a timeout and they execute the play really well or whether they come down and nail a three near the end of the game.'

Along with Scott, the all-tournament team consisted of Cal's Timea Ivanyi, who scored 10 points and grabbed five boards against the Buffaloes, Coloardo's Bjorklund, Evansville's Jamie Gray and Penn's Jewel Clark.

'Bjorklund is a very, very good player,' Horstmeyer said. 'We can talk about Bjorklund and their offense, but their defense is so good that it tends to take you out of the flow of your game.'

Colorado limited Cal (3-3) to 33.3 percent field goal shooting. Meanwhile, the Buffaloes shot 54 percent. Each team had 18 turnovers.

O'Keith played well in a season-high 20 minutes, particularly in the first half, when she scored six and grabbed all of her five boards. Ivanyi also scored six, but she played just six minutes after committing two fouls. Colorado led a close game at 26-20 before going on a 9-2 run in the final 3:56 of the first half to lead 35-22 at the break.

'My defense has improved a lot,' said O'Keith. 'I've been working on that. Coach always says, 'Play hard on defense, and everything else comes to you.' That's what I've been keeping in mind.'

In the second half, Cal got as close as 11 on two occasion but couldn't cut the deficit to single digits. A three-point play by forward Khadijah Coakley cut the lead to 11 at 53-41 with 7:53 remaining, but that was as close as Cal would get the rest of the way.

Cal shut out Scott in the second half. The Colorado forward scored 0 points on 0-of-2 shooting from the field.

Guard Nihan Anaz, who hails from Istanbul, Turkey, scored seven points and made four steals in her Cal debut.

In Sunday's consolation game, Evansville (3-3) edged 1-4 Pennsylvania 77-75. Three Purple Aces - Gray (23) Jenna Hayes (18) and Alissa Kirby (12) - and three Quakers - Clark (a game-high 24), Cat Makarewich (13) and Karen Habrukowich (12) -- scored in double figures. Penn rallied from a 13-point deficit to take the lead twice in the final 3:02 but fell short.

Cal returns to action at Saint Mary's Dec. 21 with its first road game of the season. Game time is 2 p.m.

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