Bears Hold of Women of Troy in Overtime

Feb. 2, 2008

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Devanei Hampton had 20 points and 15 rebounds, including the tiebreaking basket in overtime, and No. 10 California survived a poor shooting performance to hold off Southern California 60-55 on Saturday.

The Golden Bears (19-3, 10-1 Pac-10) managed to win their 14th straight home game despite shooting just 31 percent in the game in one of their worst offensive performances of the season.

But with their usual strong defensive effort and a solid performance from Hampton, Cal was able to beat the Trojans (13-9, 6-5) for the sixth straight time and complete its first four-game regular-season sweep against USC and UCLA ever.

This one wasn't easy. Hampton's jumper gave Cal a 53-51 lead with 1:27 remaining in overtime. Nadia Parker missed at the other end for USC and after the Trojans got a stop Camille LeNoir misfired on a 3-pointer. Natasha Vital hit two free throws with 33.2 seconds to go to make it 57-53. Cal added three more free throws to seal the win.

Hampton, who was 4-for-18 shooting with just 12 points the previous two games, got off to another rough start when she traveled the first two times she touched the ball. She missed four of her first five shots before finally finding the form that helped her win Pac-10 Player of the Year last season.

She dominated inside and wouldn't let Cal become an upset victim. Alexis Gray-Lawson and Ashley Walker added 11 points apiece for the Bears.

LeNoir led USC with 21 points on 9-for-25 shooting and Parker added 12. The Trojans came into the Bay Area this weekend on a three-game winning streak but were swept by No. 7 Stanford and Cal. USC shot just 36 percent for the game against the Pac-10's top defense.

USC took a 41-40 lead midway through the second half after a pair of baskets by LeNoir. The second came when she stole the ball from Walker and went in for an uncontested layup. Cal responded with seven straight points, including four by Hampton to regain a six-point lead.

But USC wouldn't go away, holding Cal scoreless for more than 5 minutes (528-) and tying the game at 47 on Camille LeNoir's basket with 3 minutes left. Nadia Parker gave the Trojans the lead with an inside basket with 1:33 remaining, but Hampton ended Cal's dry spell by making two free throws with 25.1 seconds remaining to tie it at 49. LeNoir missed a jumper in the final seconds that would have won it for USC.

Cal got off to a horrid shooting start, missing 15 of its first 19 shots. USC took advantage of the Bears' struggles and went on an 11-2 run that included a pair of 3-pointers by LeNoir to take a 19-12 lead midway through the half. Cal responded by pounding the ball inside to Hampton and Walker and finally drawing fouls to get to the foul line.

Hampton scored six points during a 15-2 run that put the Bears up 27-21. Vital capped the spurt with a 3-pointer with 2:04 remaining in the half. But Cal wouldn't score again and led only 27-25 at the break.

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