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Bears storm back in second half for win

By Jared Green Daily Planet Staff
Friday February 09, 2001

The first half belonged to Felicia Ragland. The second half belonged to Kenya Corley. Luckily for the Cal women’s basketball team, Corley had some help, while Ragland did not. 

Corley, the Bears’ shooting guard, scored 21 of her 23 points after halftime, leading her team from a 15-point deficit early in the second half to a 72-60 victory over Oregon State on Thursday at Haas Pavilion. 

The Bears (9-11, 5-5 Pac-10) started slowly, and Ragland was viciously accurate from beyond the arc in the first half, hitting 5-of-6 from three-point land and scoring 19 points in the half. The Beavers (11-9, 3-7) pulled out to an early 13-5 lead thanks to their domination of the boards, pulling down the first 13 rebounds of the game. 

Trailing 36-24 at halftime, Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer told her team to stop Ragland. 

“We wanted to make someone else beat us, and we did a good job on Ragland in the second half,” Horstmeyer said. 

Ragland scored a career-high 30 in the game, but struggled after the break, making just four of her 14 shots. Nicole Funn was the only other Beaver to score in double figures, but shot just 4-of-13 on her way to 11 points. 

Corley, on the other hand, got plenty of help. Center Genevieve Swedor scored a career-high 13 off the bench, while forward Ami Forney and point guard Courtney Johnson each scored nine points. 

“Genevieve was a great spark for us,” Horstmeyer said. “It’s nice to get that kind of bench play.” 

The Beavers took a 41-26 lead before two events got the Bears fired up. First, Corley came out of nowhere to block a Beaver layup, then Horstmeyer stomped halfway across the court to protest a call, earning herself a technical foul. 

“When you see a coach that fired up, it really sparked us,” Corley said. 

From there on in, it was all Bears. Corley hit a three-pointer on the next possession, then made two free throws and another three. After making another free throw, she hit yet another three-pointer, giving her 12 points in two minutes and pulling the Bears within five. 

“I knew I played passively in the first half, and I wanted to come out and be aggressive in the second half,” Corley said. 

Cal forward Amber White blocked a shot on the next Oregon State possession, and point guard Courtney Johnson took the ball all the way for a layup. Corley followed with an acrobatic layup, the a jumper in the lane to tie the game at 49-49 with 10 minutes left in the game. 

Ragland immediately answered with a three-pointer of her own, and she shushed the Cal student section on her way back down the floor. But the momentum was still with the Bears, and when Corley again attacked the basket and was fouled, she converted both free throws to give the Bears their first lead of the game, 53-52, after nearly 32 minutes of play. It would be the only lead change of the entire game. 

Ragland tried to pull her team back into the lead, but missed two shots and committed a turnover on the next three Beaver possessions. Cal forward Ami Forney hit a layup and a free throw, then Corley did the same, and the Bears had a 67-58 lead. The Beavers started fouling the Bears, and a Cal procession to the free-throw line ensued. The Bears ended up with 30 shots from the charity stripe after shooting none in the first half.