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Upset Not in the Cards

Nov. 28, 2007

Berkeley, CA - Twelfth-ranked Cal used a strong second half to pull away from LMU, 75-54, Wednesday morning at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, CA. The Lions (4-3) see their two-game winning streak snapped while the Bears improve to 5-1.

On a day when they needed strong efforts from everyone, the Lions got a lift from their bench. Sophomore Kavita Goss had a career-high 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting while junior Jenna Sybesma added 10 points on 5-for-7. Sophomore Jessica Vargas led the starters with nine points and the Lions got eight points each from sophomore Lisa Helmers and freshman Renahy Young.

Ashley Walker led all scorers with 25 points and 10 rebounds, asserting herself during crucial periods of each half to help the Bears pull away. Kelsey Adrian added 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench and Alexis Gray-Lawson had 13 points for Cal.

After holding a rebounding advantage in five of their first six games, LMU was out-rebounded 43-25. The Lions shot 41.5% (22-for-53) from the floor and 36.8% (7-for-19) from three-point range while the Bears went 45.9% (28-for-61) from the field and 30.8% (4-for-13) from downtown. Free throws were also a big factor. LMU attempted just six, making three, compared to the Bears, who went 15-for-19 (78.9%) at the line.

The early start time might have had something to do with LMU's slow start as it committed four turnovers and missed its first four shots as the Golden Bears took a 6-0 lead in the first four minutes. A three-pointer from the wing by Young got the Lions on the board but Cal held an 11-3 advantage six minutes into the game.

LMU began to claw back with a 13-8 run to cut it to 19-16 with 8:21 left. Vargas got inside for a pair of baskets and Goss knocked down a three from the wing to make it a three-point game. From that point on, Walker took over, scoring her team's next 12 points to help the Bears begin to pull away.

Sybesma kept the Lions close but Gray-Lawson made a steal and a layup at the halftime buzzer to send Cal into the locker room with a 31-24 lead. Bench play carried the Lions in the opening 20 minutes as 18 of the 24 points came from non-starters.

Cal's lead grew to 13 points, 42-39, on a three-pointer by Gray-Lawson at 15:35. Back-to-back three-pointers by senior Amanda DeCoud and Helmers and a fast-break layup by Vargas brought the Lions back to within 10, 49-39, at the 12-minute mark.

After that, it was Walker time again, as the First Team All-Pac 10 performer scored five of the next 14 points with Adrian chipping in with seven during the stretch that saw the Bears extend their lead to 63-44. The Bears used their advantage on the glass to hold off the Lions the rest of the way.

LMU heads to Flagstaff, AZ, on Sunday for a meeting with Northern Arizona before returning home for a three-game home stand.