Cal Edged By Arizona State, 56-52

Jan. 10, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. - California lost a 56-52 defensive battle with Arizona State Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears dropped to 9-6 overall and 2-4 in the Pac-10 after their third straight loss at home by four or fewer points. The Sun Devils improved to 9-5 (3-2).

'I don't think either team played particularly well,' said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. 'They hit a couple big shots when they needed to. They obviously did a good job of making us turn the ball over and taking us out of our offense. Good credit to their defense. But, we did a good job of not allowing them to shoot the ball very well.'

Cal shot 45.8 percent from the floor but scored a season-low 52 points. However, the Bears did hold ASU to 33.9 percent.

Cal led 48-44 with 6:54 to play following a layup by Kiki Williams. The Bears lost the lead and regained it at 50-49 following a layup by Nihan Anaz with 3:01 to play.

'Three games - Oregon State, Arizona and Arizona State, we have a lead (late), and we don't get stops on the defensive end,' said Horstmeyer, 'and we take poor shots on the offensive end. It's a common theme in all three games. We need to fix that, and it is fixable. We have to evaluate what's happening.'

ASU guard Carrie Buckner countered with a basket, and the Bears missed their next shot. Kylan Loney hit a critical 25-foot three-pointer after what appeared to be a missed travelling call to give the Sun Devils a four-point cushion. Olga Volkova brought Cal back to within two at 54-52 with a layup with 34 seconds remaining, but that's as close as the Bears could get.

Cal held its largest lead of the game at 18-14 but trailed 32-31 at the half. ASU led by as many as six at 38-32 with 15:46 to go in the game.

Anaz led the Bears with 11 points for her 14th double-figure scoring game of the year. LaTasha O'Keith added 10 points for her fifth consecutive double-digit effort.

Betsy Boardman and Jenny Thigpin paced the Sun Devils with 12 points each. Thigpin's performance was a career high.

Two keys to the game were Arizona State forcing Cal into 26 turnovers, while committing only 20, and the Sun Devils' 40-30 edge on the glass. Cal held a 16-15 rebounding advantage at the half. Volkova, who had a career-high 11 boards vs. Arizona, held team-high honors with nine this afternoon.

The Bears wrap up a three-game homestand against No. 7 Stanford Friday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

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