No. 9 Cal Deafeats San Jose State 76- 40
Dec. 13, 2008
San Jose, Calif. -
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Joanne Boyle's players took shot after shot in practice this week to find their groove again. They know they'll need to be sharp for their next opponent: fifth-ranked Oklahoma.
Ashley Walker scored six of her 17 points during a 12-0 run to start the second half and No. 9 California beat San Jose State 76-40 in the Basketball By The Bay Classic on Friday night.
Next up for the Golden Bears (8-1) is a date with the Sooners on Saturday night.
'It's going to be a fun game to play - a game with people I grew up with,' Walker said, who played on the same AAU team as Oklahoma's twin stars, Ashley and Courtney Paris.
Walker, coming off back-to-back Pac-10 Player of the Week awards and her third 30-point performance of the season last Sunday in a loss to Texas Christian, shot 7-for-11 and also grabbed seven rebounds. She is the Pac-10's leading scorer so far at 22.6 points per game.
'It was a great game,' Boyle said. 'After last weekend and taking it on the chin, we came out and we were really focused.'
Chasity Shavers scored 14 points to lead the overmatched Spartans (1-7), who couldn't withstand a 23-4 first-half run by the Bears that quickly turned the game into a rout.
Oklahoma (8-2), with the return of the Paris sisters to their native Bay Area, beat Cal State Bakersfield 105-84 in Friday's first game.
Cal bounced back with a solid effort after suffering its first loss of the season to No. 19 TCU 82-73 in their last game, ending the Bears' 33-game nonconference winning streak in Haas Pavilion. Cal, which allowed its most points since an 87-75 loss to rival Stanford on Jan. 14, 2006, dropped six spots in this week's poll from No. 3 after its first defeat.
'As a guard group we really focused this week on getting shots up and getting extra work in,' Gray-Lawson said. 'Kelsey's one of those players when she has a really bad shooting game she'll come back and she'll hit.'
Natalie White, the Spartans' only player averaging double figures at 14.0 points per game coming in, was held scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting. She also had six turnovers.
San Jose State was outrebounded 45-20, allowing Cal to get 17 offensive boards. The Spartans also committed 24 turnovers.
'We came out this game with fire. Our defense fell apart,' White said. 'I think people just expect me to shoot. I have to learn to adjust to that and incorporate other teammates. Of course they're always going to play me tight. I didn't really adjust to that.'
Shavers scored three straight baskets to close the first half for San Jose State, which trailed 39-25 at the break after Cal went the final 5:32 of the half without a field goal. The Spartans came in giving up 79.6 points per game. They missed their first six shots out of halftime as the Bears went on their run.
Putting this game out of reach early in the second half was the plan.
'We always talk about winning the first five and the last five (minutes),' Walker said. 'We wanted to come out and make a statement early, and it starts with our defense.'
Cal, which shot 7-for-27 from 3-point range against TCU, jumped out to a 10-0 lead only 1:48 into the game and made eight of its first 13 shots.
'In the first half, our kids fought,' San Jose State coach Pam DeCosta said. 'We had the momentum going into the locker room. You would hope your kids would come out and do what they did in the first half. We were just flat.'
The Bears are still waiting to be at full strength. Rama N'diaye, their 6-foot-5 center, is about a week away from returning from right knee surgery. She tore her anterior cruciate ligament in Cal's first-round NCAA tournament victory against San Diego in March.
'One more week,' said N'diaye, who had been limited in practice this week.
Host San Jose State will face Cal State Bakersfield on the final day of the classic Saturday.