Cal Defeats ASU, 46-38, In First Round Of Pac-10 Tourney

March 7, 2003

AP Sports Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif.-- Nihan Anaz picked the perfect time for one of her best offensive performances.

Anaz scored 18 points as No. 9 seed California defeated eighth-seeded Arizona State 46-38 Friday night in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament.

'I thought Nihan was unbelievable tonight,' said Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer, who won her 250th game. 'She's also one of our best defenders. We played defense as hard as we could.'

The Golden Bears (10-18) will play top-seeded and ninth-ranked Stanford, the Pac-10 champion, on Saturday. Anaz shot 8-for-19 in her second-best scoring output of the season.

Carrie Buckner scored 14 points to lead Arizona State, which had won five of the previous six meetings between the schools. With 10:27 left, Buckner had 14 of her team's 23 points - or 61 percent - and no other player had more than three points. Jill Noe finished with 11 and Kristen Kovesdy had 12 rebounds.

Buckner also made several hustle plays on defense, but it wasn't enough as Arizona State (15-13) couldn't find any offensive rhythm.

Cal lost six of its last seven in the regular season, including a 61-47 loss at Arizona State on Feb. 27, but the Bears jumped out to an early lead and never lost it Friday despite scoring only 16 points in the final 20 minutes.

They turned a 30-18 halftime lead into a 40-21 advantage with a 10-3 run early in the second half.

Neither team shot particularly well, with Arizona State missing 11 of its first 13 shots after halftime. The Sun Devils finished 22 percent from the field to the Bears' 35 percent.

'Obviously you're not going to win very many games shooting 22 percent,' ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. 'Our scorers didn't score. We rushed our way through the game and Cal played very good defense.'

Arizona State's points total was its lowest of the season. The Sun Devils, who averaged 64.8 points per game this season, were limited to 45 points in a 25-point loss at Oregon State on Feb. 1.

It was also the fewest points allowed by Cal all season, and the fewest the program has ever given up to a Pac-10 opponent.

Cal used a three-point play by LaTasha O'Keith and then a long 3-pointer by Kristin Iwanaga as the shot clock expired for a 17-8 lead, and Kiki Williams made two free throws at 8:01 to make it 19-8.

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