Cougars Fall to Cal 85-71

Jan. 4, 2004

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State's Bianca McCall scored in double digits for the fifth time in the past six games but the Cougars were unable to overcome career-high performances from California's Nihan Anaz and LaTasha O'Keith as the Bears defeated WSU 85-71 in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action, Sunday at Friel Court.

The loss dropped WSU to 4-9 overall and 0-4 in the Pac-10 while Cal improved to 9-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play.

McCall led WSU with 16 points with 15 of those coming in the second half. McCall's performance marked the senior's second consecutive 16-point outing and her 28th career game in which she has reached double figures in points. Freshman Stephaine Singer also hit double figures for WSU with 11 points.

Anaz poured in a game-high 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field to shatter her previous career-high effort of 22 points, which she set on two occasions. O'Keith was even hotter from the field, going 9-of-11 to post a career-high 20 points. As a team, the Bears were 33-of-56 (58.9 percent) from the field including 18-of-25 (72 percent) in the second half.

The Bears needed to be that hot as WSU bettered Cal in the second half from the field. The Cougars were 18-of-23 (78.3 percent) from the floor in the second half and was 29-of-50 (58 percent) for the game.

The Cougars were done in once again by turnovers as the team committed 27 against Cal. It marked the fourth time in the past five games that WSU committed at least 27 turnovers. WSU did out rebound Cal 30-19, the fifth time in the last six games that WSU has out rebounded its opponent.

'We out rebounded Cal but it came down to turning the ball over and not playing defense,' WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. 'Those were two things that killed us last year and we're back at it.'

The game was a back and forth affair in the early going as there were four ties and three lead changes in the opening six minutes. With the game tied at 10, Cal went on a 6-0 run to take a 16-10 lead with 12:39 remaining.

The Bears extended their advantage to as much as 11 before going into the half with a 35-26 advantage.

Cal gained a 40-28 lead just over a minute into the second half but five consecutive WSU points pulled the Cougars to within 40-33 with 17:58 remaining.

That was a close as WSU would get to the lead; however, as Cal went on a 10-0 run to regain its double-digit lead.

The Cougars return to the road for games at UCLA , Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. and at USC, Jan. 11 at 2 p.m.
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