Sun Devils Force Season Split wtih Bears
Feb. 27, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. - It took Cal nearly four minutes to score its first points of the game, a three-point play by Timea Ivanyi, which unfortunately proved to be a sign of things to come as the Golden Bears had trouble with Arizona State's defensive pressure and ulitmately fell, 61-47, Thursday evening at Wells Fargo Arena.
The Bears then went another 6 ï¿½ minutes before their next field goal, scoring just five free throws during the stretch. After Olga Volkova's free throw at the 12:22 mark made the score 8-8, ASU rattled off the next eight points and then extended that into a 15-5 run that lasted 7 ï¿½ minutes and gave the Sun Devils a 10-point advantage at 23-13 with 4:37 before halftime.
Cal came right back with an 8-0 run of its own to cut the lead to two, 23-21, but ASU nailed two baskets in the final minute of the half to head to the locker room with a 27-21 advantage.
ASU nailed three quick baskets to open the second half and the lead was quickly up to 12 points, 33-21. The Bears managed to cut the lead to eight three times with the last being after a driving layup by Sarah Pool made the score 48-40. But the deficit would never get smaller than that. The Sun Devils stretched their lead to as much as 15, 59-44 with 1:56 to play, after Kylan Loney's second three-pointer of the night.
Kiki Williams came off the bench for a season-high 16 points and seven rebounds as the Cal bench outscored the starters by a 24-23 margin. Williams was an impressive seven-for-14 from the floor and also added her eighth three-pointer of the year. She was the only Cal player to score in double figures. Olga Volkova paced the club with eight rebounds.
In a very physical and often sloppy game, both teams turned the ball over 13 times in the opening period. The Bears cut that to just four in the second half to finish with 17 turnovers while the Sun Devils coughed the ball up 21 times.
'These are two pretty good defensive teams, so I knew it was going to be an ugly game,' said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. 'They outplayed us and did a great job on both ends of the court. They took us out of what we normally do.
'They were a little more physical, and they play with a lot of confidence on their home floor. But I don't think they felt really confident that they had the game won until the last two minutes.'
There were 41 fouls called in the contest and the teams combined for 49 free throws.
Freshman Jill Noe led ASU in both scoring and rebounding with her a double-double, her fifth of the season, of 12 points and 11 rebounds. She also turned the ball over nine times. Loney added 10 points.
ASU held a commanding 44-34 rebounding advantage.
Cal's 47 points ties its second lowest scoring output of the season. On the other hand, this was the fifth time in the last eight games that the Bears have held their opposition to 61 points or fewer.
'Despite losing, I see this game as a positive,' continued Horstmeyer. 'It's very possible that we play them again (in next week's State Farm Pac-10 Tournament).'
Cal closes out the regular season when it plays at Arizona Saturday, March 1 at 12 p.m. PST.