No. 15 Cal Falls in Overtime to UCLA, 77-68, in Pac-10 Opener
Dec. 20, 2006
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton recorded a career-high 27 points, but it wasn't enough to prevent No. 15 California from losing to UCLA, 77-68, in overtime in both teams' Pac-10 opener Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion. The Golden Bears fell to 8-2 overall, as they saw their four-game winning streak snapped, while the Bruins improved to 7-6.
Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker registered 14 points, and senior guard Keanna Levy tallied 11 points for the Bears. Six UCLA players contributed double-digit points, led by Amanda Livingston with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Today's was Cal's first game without starting point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson who tore her ACL and meniscus in the second half of a win over Kansas Dec. 10. Gray-Lawson will miss the remainder of the season.
Hampton tallied Cal's first four points of the second half to twice give Cal a 10-point lead, including at 38-28 with 17:34 on the clock.
UCLA responded with a 12-2 run to tie the game at 40-40 with 12:52 remaining in the game after Noelle Quinn made 1-of-2 free throws. Freshman forward/center Rama N'diaye converted a layup and stole the ball at mid court and found Walker for a transition layup to put the Bears back up four. A three-point play by Walker propelled Cal to a 47-40 lead with under 12 minutes to play.
The Bruins briefly grabbed a 49-48 edge - their first lead since 2-0 - but freshman guard Natasha Vital, who made her first start of the season, countered with a three-pointer on the other end of the court. Levy then stole the ball and made a layup.
A layup by Hampton put the Bears up 60-54 with 4:56 to go. UCLA's full court press forced Cal into four turnovers, allowing the Bruins to take a 64-60 lead following six straight points from Erica Latimer. The Bears didn't fold, as a layup from Hampton off a pass from Walker tied the game at 66-66 with 28 ticks to go.
The teams entered overtime tied at 66-66, but UCLA held a 11-2 scoring advantage in extra minutes, with all of the Bruins' points coming at the foul line. Cal, which began the game as the Pac-10 leader in free throw attempts at 26.7 per game, converted 9-of-15 chances (60 percent) today, while UCLA made 20-of-27 free throws (74.1 percent).
Cal jumped out to a 15-9 lead with 15:23 to play in the first half behind eight of Hampton's 12 first-half points, and five from Walker. Livingston tallied consecutive baskets in an up-tempo game to bring the Bruins to within 15-13.
The Bears' lead fluctuated between two and four points before a 6-0 spurt, capped by a layup from Hampton, extended Cal's advantage to 25-17 with 8:03 left until halftime.
Levy scored on a layup and hit a three-pointer, after Walker blocked Livingston's shot at the other end, to push Cal's edge to a then game-high nine points at 32-23.
Latimer sank UCLA's second three-pointer of the half and Hampton scored on a pass from the high post from Walker to send Cal into the locker room up 34-26.
Cal shot 41.2 percent from the field and held UCLA to 38.2 percent. Freshman guard Lauren Greif grabbed a career-high 10 boards for the second consecutive game to help the Bears own 44-43 edge on the glass. Greif played all 45 minutes.
Last season, Cal lost to UCLA in overtime in Los Angeles, 90-87. Hampton scored her previous career high of 24 points in that game.
Cal returns to action against USC Friday, Dec. 22, at 1 p.m. at the new Galen Center.