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Cal women fall late again

Daily Planet Wire Services
Friday January 11, 2002

California, which trailed the Oregon Ducks by only one point with 3:34 to play on Thursday night, is still looking for its first Pac-10 win of the season when they let down late in the game, leading to a 65-53 loss at Haas Pavilion.  

Senior Ami Forney once again shone for the Golden Bears, which dropped to 5-9 (0-5 Pac-10). Forney scored 13 points and collected eight rebounds on the night. LaTasha O’Keith also had a strong night for Cal, putting up 13 points in her 20 minutes on the floor.  

“We saw a great first half with an incredibly intense Cal team that showed in one half that they could probably beat anybody,” said Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. “You saw in the second half that we have to learn how to maintain our intensity for at least 30-35 minutes, and if we do that, then we’ll win some games.”  

The Ducks, who improved to 10-6 (5-2) with the win, were led by Catherine Kraayeveld, who notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Oregon’s leading scorer on the night was Shaquala Williams, who scored 16 points, playing nearly the entire game. She did struggle from the floor, shooting only 6-of-17.  

Oregon got off to a quick start, taking an early 12-6 lead. A quick shot by O’Keith followed by a Leigh Gregory 3-pointer less than a minute later keyed a 7-0 run, in which the Bears took their first lead of the game, a narrow 15-14 margin. The two teams battled back and forth, neither taking a lead larger than four points, and at the close of the half, Cal led the Ducks by two, 24-22. O’Keith and Kraayeveld led all scorers with eight points.  

“(O’Keith) is a very confident player,” Horstmeyer said . “She is very aggressive. I consider her a spark plug for us. Her defense in some ways led to her offense. She played so well defensively, that she got pumped on the offensive end.”  

It was the Bears’ turn to take an early lead in the second half, with Forney scoring five of the seven points in Cal’s run. Then it was the Ducks’ time to battle back, as over the next nine minutes, Oregon outscored Cal by a 26-10 margin to take a 50-41 lead with 6:29 remaining in the game. The Bears attempted yet another rally, reeling off a 10-1 run to pull within a point at 52-51, with 3:34 to go. Jackie Lord’s second 3-pointer of the game keyed the run. But Cal was only able to muster two points off of free throws by Forney for the rest of the game, as the Ducks put up 13 to pull away.  

Cal outrebounded Oregon by a narrow 36-35 margin, and took advantage of their opportunities from the charity stripe, converting 90 percent of their free throws. But they were unable to sink their shots from the field, notching a 38.5 percent field goal percentage, and turnovers proved to be the key, as the Bears gave up 27 to the Duck’s 16.  

“We’ve been working on that,” said Horstmeyer. “A lot of times we’re playing so hard on the defensive end that we’re a little bit frantic, and then we become a little bit more frantic on the offensive end. We’re just in that learning process where we have to slow down on the offensive end.”  

Cal next entertains Oregon State Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.