Women's Basketball Comes Close, Can't Down California

Feb. 18, 2010

BERKELEY, Calif. - Four players scored in double figures, but the Oregon State women's basketball team lost a narrow 66-62 decision to California Thursday night at Haas Pavilion.

Eisha Sheppard, Talisa Rhea, Haiden Palmer and Kirsten Tilleman all finished with at least 10 points as the Beavers opened their Bay Area road trip with a strong showing against the Golden Bears. Oregon State finished the night shooting 48.1 percent and got to within as little as two points of California with less than a minute to play but could not match the Golden Bears.

California led 65-62 with 4.5 seconds remaining but DeNesha Stallworth hit the second of two free throws to put the game out of reach for the Beavers.

Rhea tallied 15 points on the night to finish in double figures for the 16th straight game. The junior now has 20 games of 10 or more points this season and 57 for her career.

Sheppard had 15 points, a career-best for the guard who is in her first season with the Beavers. It was her first game in double figures this season and she played a season-high 25 points.

Palmer, meanwhile, hit the 10-point plateau for the fourth straight game. The guard hit on five baskets from the field to finish the night with 15 points, tying both Sheppard and Rhea for the team lead.

Kirsten Tilleman also got into the action, totaling 10 points to hit double figures for the 10th time in 2009-10. She was 5-for-7 from the field and also collected five rebounds.

El Sara Greer led Oregon State with nine rebounds as the Beavers were credited with 26 on the night. That gave California a slight advantage in the category as the Golden Bears totaled 34. Gennifer Brandon led Cal with 10 rebounds.

Overall, California matched Oregon State in shooting, hitting at a 48.2 percent clip. The Golden Bears took two more shots than the Beavers, finishing with 56, while hitting on one more basket, 27.

The game remained close throughout with Cal's biggest lead, 10 points, coming at the 7:52 mark of the second. OSU's biggest lead was seven points at the 10:13 mark of the first half.

The game was tied five times throughout with the lead changing hands six times.

Stallworth led California with 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting. Alexis Gray-Lawson, meanwhile, was second on the team with 17 points, playing a full 40 minutes.

The loss dropped Oregon State to 9-15 on the year and 1-12 in Pacific-10 Conference play. California, meanwhile, improved to 15-10 overall and 9-5 in league games.

The teams played a tight first half with California taking a slight, 35-33, lead into the break. Both teams shot very well, with the Beavers posting a 53.8 percent clip (14-of-26) compared to 46.9 percent (15-for-32) for the Golden Bears.

The score was tied three times during the first half and it changed hands six times, making the game reminiscient of the team's first meeting of the season when Cal won, 79-75, in double overtime.

Palmer paced the Beavers with 12 first-half points, while Tilleman had three of the Beavers' nine first-half boards to pace the team.

Clarendon led California with seven first-half points. Brandon, meanwhile, was tops on the team with seven rebounds.

Like the score, the situational points were nearly even in the first half. Eighteen of Cal's 35 points came in the paint, while the Beavers posted 16 in the paint. OSU scored nine off seven California turnovers, and the Beavers had eight points off six Beavers' turnovers.

Oregon State finishes its road trip Saturday when the Beavers visit Stanford in a 7 p.m. PT tip. Please note this is a time change from its originally scheduled start of 8 p.m.

Catch the game live on the radio by tuning into KLOO 1340-AM in Corvallis and KKAD 1550-AM in Portland. It can also be heard live on the Internet by visiting Beaver Nation Online (osubeavers.com). Ron Callan will call all the action.

Support Oregon State University Athletics by making your tax deductible donation to the Beaver Athletic Student Fund. For more information follow this link or call 541-737-2370. You can make an 'everyday champion.'Follow Beaver Athletics on Twitter

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