11:00 PM ET, February 19, 2009
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Ashley Walker had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Laura Greif added 11 points and No. 6 California bounced back from its only conference loss of the season to beat Oregon 84-42 on Thursday night.Walker, the Pac-10's leading scorer, was coming off her worst shooting performance of the season during the Golden Bears' 58-41 loss to then-No. 6 Stanford on Saturday. She went 11 of 22 from the floor against the Ducks while leading Cal (21-3, 12-1) to its most lopsided win of the season.Alexis Gray-Lawson added 11 points with three 3-pointers for the Bears, who have won five straight over the Ducks.Ellie Manou and Taylor Lilley had 10 points apiece for Oregon (9-16, 5-9). The Ducks shot just 30.6 percent for the game while losing for the seventh time in their last nine games.By completing the season sweep of Oregon, the Bears also shook off any lingering effects from their loss to Stanford. Cal controlled the game against the Cardinal early but wore down late, leaving coach Joanne Boyle to question her team's focus.That loss dropped Cal three spots in the poll and left them tied for first place in the Pac-10 along with Stanford. The Bears remain tied with the Cardinal atop the conference after Stanford beat Oregon State on Thursday but feel better about their situation now that Walker is back on track.Cal's senior leader, who shot a season-worst 5-for-16 and scored just 11 points in the loss to Stanford, routinely shredded the Ducks' interior defense despite consistently being double-teamed. At one point in the first half, Walker was singlehandedly outscoring Oregon 20-19.She played sparingly in the second half when Boyle emptied her bench, but finished with her eighth double-double of the season and 42nd of her career. Walker also closed in on the school's career record for rebounds and needs just nine more to move past Colleen Galloway for Cal's top spot.With Walker anchoring the middle, Cal led by as much as 25 late in the first half and went into halftime with a 46-23 advantage.The Bears also got a boost from point guard Natasha Vital, who was questionable earlier in the week after colliding heads with Stanford's Jeanette Pohlen on Saturday. Pohlen suffered a big gash on her forehead which later required nine stitches while Vital was dazed for several moments before being helped off the floor.Vital practiced this week with no limitations and was back in the Bears lineup against Oregon and hit two big shots early, including a 3-pointer, to help spark a 19-2 run that gave Cal a 15-point lead that was never challenged.Vital finished with nine points and six assists.The Bears built a 28-point lead midway through the second half and were up 78-38 with 3:30 left to play.The Ducks wore pink uniforms as part of the annual Pink Zone initiative by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association to raise awareness for breast cancer. The Bears donned pink T-shirts before the game but wore their traditional blue-and-white uniforms with pink shoelaces during the game.
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