California matched its season low for points in a 64-48 loss to UCLA at Haas Pavilion, extending its losing streak to seven games.
On Dec. 2, Georgia defeated Cal, 54-48.
The loss dropped Cal’s record to 4-7 and 0-4 in the Pac-10 Conference. UCLA’s record improved to 4-8 (1-3).
Ami Forney led the Bears with 18 points and 10 rebounds for her 10th career double-double and third of the season. But the senior center had just three points and three boards at halftime.
Cal, which struggled against UCLA’s 2-3 zone, particularly in the first half, had just three points until the 7:27 mark, when Forney hit one of two free throws. Cal struggled from the perimeter all afternoon, making just 1-of-13 shots from three-point range. That one make, by LaTasha O’Keith, who scored 15 points, came with 3:09 left in the first half.
On a positive note, Cal outrebounded UCLA, 44-36. The Bears had been outrebounded by their last four opponents by an average of 13 per game. Cal also held UCLA to just 33.3 percent shooting from the field but itself shot just 30.4 percent for the game.
UCLA also forced the Bears into season-high 33 turnovers, to just 18 for the Bruins.
“UCLA came out and had a very good game plan against us,” Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer said. “They basically out-hustled us and beat us to balls. It was like, ‘Welcome to the Pac-10,’ in terms of their physicalness. They out-physicaled us, they out-hustled us, they out-played us and they deserved to win the game.”
Whitney Jones led UCLA with 13 points. Point guard Natalie Nakase led the Bruins with six assists and chipped in eight points, four steals and six turnovers.
UCLA led 19-4 at the 4:41 mark, only to see Cal storm back with a 14-4 run to end the first half, with UCLA leading 23-18. Cal’s O’Keith scored 10 points, including five from the free-throw line, during that run.
O’Keith added two more free throws as Cal crept back even more in the early moments of the second half to cut UCLA’s lead to 24-20. But the Bruins went on a run of their own, pouring in 21 points to eight for the home team to make the score 45-28.
The Bears recovered somewhat with seven-straight points to make the score 45-35 but could never get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
“My team did not give up, and I think that’s important,” Horstmeyer said. “We have to find a way to get back to the winning track. Rebounding was an issue [Friday] against USC. We outrebounded UCLA. We really worked on trying to fix that problem. We obviously have a turnover issue, and that’s the next problem that we need to fix.”
Cal takes a break from Pac-10 action as it journeys to the Bahamas for the New Year to compete in the Nassau Knockout. Cal plays Lipscomb on Jan. 4 and plays again on Jan. 5 against either IUPUI-Ft. Wayne or Bucknell. The Bears offense will get some help at the tournament with the expected return of freshman starting forward Leigh Gregory, who averaged 10.9 ppg through the first seven games of the season but missed the last four games with a knee injury.