Women's Basketball Falls To Cal, 68-59

Feb. 21, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. - California put an end to its 11-game losing streak with a 68-59 victory over the USC women's basketball team on Saturday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. The Women of Troy, who were still holding out hope for a shot at their first conference title in 10 years, were helpless as the Bears put forth a passionate effort on Senior Day.

With the loss, the Trojans fall to 14-11 overall and 11-6 in the Pac-10, while Cal improved to 10-15 overall and 3-13 in conference play.

Cal senior Nihan Anaz scored 21 points to lead the Golden Bears. Junior Leigh Gregory finished with 15 points, including a 10-point effort in the second half that helped the Bears clinch the victory. Guard Jacqueline Sanchez came off the bench to score 11 points, including a 5-for-5 effort at the line in the final minutes.

Ebony Hoffman led the Women of Troy with 15 points and Rometra Craig added 12. Hoffman and freshman Jamie Funn each added seven rebounds.

It took four minutes until California was able to hit a field goal at the start of the game, but the Bears kept the Women of Troy within close range for most of the afternoon. USC entered the break with a 30-24 advantage following a 43.3 percent shooting effort. The Bears were held to 28.9 percent in the first half.

Cal's LaTasha O'Keith opened the second half by scoring six consecutive points as the Bears continued to put pressure on the Women of Troy. Eventually, the Bears earned their first lead of the game following a layup by Anaz, to go ahead 37-36 at the 14:22 mark. The team went on to extend its lead to as much as seven points, 60-53, with three minutes remaining.

By that point, USC was unable to slow the Bears' momentum. The Trojans missed six shots in the final stretch, while Cal hit key layups and collected six points at the line to secure the victory.

California shot 46.7 percent from the field in the second half and USC was held to a 29.7 percent effort.

The Women of Troy return home this week for its final games of the regular season. USC hosts UC Santa Barbara in a nonconference match-up on Thursday, Feb. 26, then travel cross town to face rival UCLA on Sunday, Feb. 29.

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