Jan. 29, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Washington State women's basketball team made some history, and did it in emphatic fashion, as the Cougars came from behind to defeat the California Golden Bears 64-59 in Pacific-10 Conference play, Thursday at Haas Pavilion.
"Any win right now is good for the Washington State Cougars but to comeback, fight and battle back like we did...character was shown there," WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said.
"These kids fought hard," Murrell added. "They did not give up. A lot of teams would have thrown in the towel. I am proud of them."
Down by as much as 12 in the second half, WSU (5-14, 1-9 Pac-10) used a 15-0 second-half run to secure its fifth win of the season. The come from behind win marked the Cougars' first Pac-10 road win since Feb. 15, 2001, when WSU defeated Oregon 77-76, a span of 27 Pac-10 road games.
In addition, the 12-point deficit the Cougars overcame marked the seventh greatest comeback in school history. WSU was down 42-30 with 15:10 remaining in the game. Coincidentally, one of the previous 12-point comebacks was at California, Feb. 22, 1997. The Cougars rallied to capture an 83-70 win that day.
Bianca McCall led WSU with 16 points to record her ninth game in double figures this season and the 30th of her career. McCall also led both teams with eight rebounds. Charmaine Jones (10 points) and Lindsey Egeland (10 points) also hit double figures in points for WSU.
"Bianca put together two parts of the game tonight on defense and offense," Murrell said. "That's what we needed from her and she did it."
WSU jumped out to a 9-5 lead as Egeland and Candace Fields accounted for the Cougars' entire point total in the run. WSU made five of its first eight shots in the game's opening five minutes.
With WSU up 11-7, consecutive buckets by Leigh Gregory sparked a 7-0 Cal run. LaTasha O'Keith's trey at the 11:36 mark capped the run and gave the Bears a 14-11 lead.
The Cougars endured a 10-minute stretch (15:07 mark through the 5:07 mark) without a field goal in the first half. During that period, Cal outscored WSU 14-4 to take a 21-15 advantage. The Bears held their six-point lead at 34-28 going into the halftime break.
Cal began the second half with an 8-2 run to extend its lead to 42-30 with 15:10 remaining. WSU responded, however, and used a 14-2 run of its own to force a tie at 44 with 10:05 left.
The Bears regained the lead at 51-44 with another 7-0 run but WSU once again met the challenge and blitzed Cal with a 15-0 run to take a 59-51 lead. Cal would get no closer than four the rest of the way.
WSU returns to action Saturday, Jan. 31 at No. 8 Stanford. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.