Bears Defeat Miami (OH), 81-72, in 1st Round of Oakland Tribune Classic

Dec. 6, 2003

BERKELEY, Calif. - Senior guard Nihan Anaz and junior guard Kristin Iwanaga scored 18 points each to lead California to an 81-72 victory over Miami (OH) in the opening round of the 13th-annual Oakland Tribune Classic Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion.

'Miami of Ohio is a very good team,' said Horstmeyer. 'They are very well coached. They shoot the ball well and play very, very hard. They were a preseason NIT team for very good reason. Tonight's game was a good test for our defense.'

Cal has now scored at least 80 points in a game for the second time this year, the first time the Bears have accomplished that feat since head coach Caren Horstmeyer's inaugural 2000-01 season.

'Once you get (the new offense), everything fits together,' said junior forward Kiki Williams. 'We played together a lot this summer without the new offense. Once we got the new offense, we knew what each other was going to do. Once we knew our spots, we clicked.'

Also in double figures for the Golden Bears (4-2) were Williams with 13 points and junior forward Jacqueline Sanchez with 11. Sanchez added 10 rebounds off the bench for her first career double-double. Anaz had a career-high eight rebounds, and LaTasha O'Keith tallied a career-high five assists to lead the Bears.

Neither team led by more than five points in the first half. Cal held a 39-37 edge at halftime on a three-pointer from Iwanaga with six seconds left in the first half. Miami utilized a 5-of-11 first-half effort from beyond the arc to stick with Cal. Anaz paced Cal with 12 points in the opening half, while Nicole Motto led the RedHawks (1-3) with nine.

Cal built a 10-point lead at 50-40 less than four minutes into the second half behind two three-pointers from Williams and two layups from Olga Volkova, who finished the game with nine points. Williams hit another crucial trey with 7:02 left in the game to help Cal build an 11-point margin.

Miami never let Cal out of its sight, as the Bears couldn't mount a lead bigger than 13 points during the game. A layup by Amanda Jackson brought Miami to within nine points (70-61) with 5:09 on the clock. Cindi Merrill then tallied the RedHawks next four points to close the gap to five.

The Bears sealed the game at the foul line, hitting nine of 12 of their free throws in the final four minutes. Overall, Cal finished the game shooting 81.8 percent from the charity stripe (27-33), led by 9-of-9 from Iwanaga and 6-of-6 from Anaz.

Merrill and Motto led Miami with 14 points each. Kim Smith contributed 11 points.

Cal shot 52.1 percent from the field for its sixth-consecutive game above 40 percent this year.

Cal advances to the championship game of its annual tournament (previously the Golden Bear Classic) for the 21st consecutive year. The Bears entertain Tulane at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Green Wave defeated Wichita State, 62-59, in the first game today on a three-point basket by Delacey Joseph with 0.6 on the clock. Wichita State did not get a shot off after the go-ahead basket. Wichita State led 35-28 at the break.

Joseph led Tulane, which has competed in nine straight NCAA tournaments, with 16 points. Lakethia Hampton tallied 14 points, Tymeka Moore posted a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Kelly Nadeau had 10.

Carlesa Dennis and Angela Buckner paced the Shockers with 16 points each. Buckner also added 10 rebounds. Also in double figures was Antionette Wells with 14 points.

Miami faces Wichita State in the consolation game at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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