4:33 PM ET, March 22, 2008
Maples Pavilion, Stanford, California
Golden Bears dominate from the start in first tournament win in 15 years
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- For a week and a half, Ashley Walker and her California teammates could only stew about a blowout loss in the Pac-10 championship and two years of NCAA tournament failure.They took all that aggression out on San Diego.Walker dominated the inside with 21 points and 12 rebounds, Devanei Hampton scored 22 points and the third-seeded Golden Bears won their first NCAA tournament game in 15 years, 77-60 over San Diego on Saturday."We came out of the gates running and doing what we normally do and getting back to our old selves," Walker said. "We were ready to play. Ten days is a long time not to play."The best season in Cal (27-6) history had a disappointing finish as the Bears lost three of their final six games heading into the tournament, including a 56-35 loss to Stanford in the Pac-10 title game.Walker and Hampton were held to seven points against the Cardinal, but the two powerful post players wouldn't let the Bears be one-and-done in the NCAA tournament for a third straight year."It was another of our goals that we set out to get to this year," Walker said. "Things did not go our way necessarily this season. We just wanted to show who we really are and what we can do in the tournament."Cal took advantage of the opportunity to play close to home on Stanford's campus after losing in the first round the past two years in Pennsylvania. With many of their fans cheering on at Maples Pavilion and without the jet lag from a cross-country flight, the Bears overpowered the 14th-seeded Toreros (19-13) and built a 20-point first-half lead."Today we were a lot more consistent," guard Alexis Gray-Lawson said. "We were all rejuvenated and we forgot about the Stanford game."Cal advanced to play sixth-seeded George Washington (26-6) in Monday's second round. The Colonials beat Auburn 66-56 earlier in the Greensboro Regional.
Not So Golden
Prior to Saturday afternoon's victory, California's women's basketball team has had a rough go of it in NCAA tournament play. The Golden Bears had not a game in 15 years and now have only 2 NCAA tournament wins in the school's history.
|1990||#11||First||Long Beach St.||L, 87-74|
|1992||#5||First||Santa Clara||L, 73-71|
|2006||#10||First||St. John's||L, 78-68|
|2007||#8||First||Notre Dame||L, 62-59|
|2008||#3||First||San Diego||W, 77-60|
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||24-53 (.453)||30-62 (.484)|
|3P Made-Attempted||6-10 (.600)||3-10 (.300)|
|FT Made-Attempted||6-7 (.857)||14-24 (.583)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||19 (0/0)||14 (0/0)|