ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -- Ashley Walker scored 30 points to help No. 3 California rout Texas Tech on Friday night at the Paradise Jam tournament.
Cal (5-0) has won its first five games for only the second time in school history.Texas Tech cut a 38-29 halftime deficit to four as the Lady Raiders held Cal scoreless for the first 5 minutes of the second half. Devanei Hampton ended the drought, hitting the sixth 3-pointer of her career to restore the cushion. Her basket started a run that restored the lead to 13 on Walker's 3-pointer.Cal coach Joanne Boyle was surprised that Hampton and Walker would shoot from behind the arc."It's not the shot that I think we should always take, but if it gives us a little boost of confidence, we'll take it," she said.Hampton was playing in her second game since coming back from a right knee injury that forced her to miss the first four games of the season."I'm really trying to find my rhythm right now," she said." It's just like last year. I don't want to go out there and do too much because I haven't been in the flow yet. Right now, I'm just trying to get my feet under me, get back in the groove, get back in the rotation, so I can be that player that I know my team needs me to be throughout the year."Hampton scored five points on 1-for-7 shooting.The Bears extended the advantage to 16 when Texas Tech coach Kristy Curry was ejected after arguing with the officials. It was a ragged game with 54 free throws."They couldn't get into a rhythm, but when the game is called like that, we just have to find a way to play through it," Boyle said.Dominic Seals led the Lady Raiders (4-2) with 10 points."I thought our team really competed and played extremely hard," Curry said. "We made some mental mistakes against a top five team you can't have. We are better for having played them and can take a lot of positives away from tonight."Walker has scored 30 points in a game three times in her career. The Bears will play Iowa in the tournament finale on Saturday.