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February 14, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Game thread: California at Washington

HUSKIES LOSE: Jackson made it seem as if Gray-Lawson was some sort of superwoman on the court, stopping everything on defense and hitting wicked shots to help Cal win 75-68 in overtime. The Cal fifth-year senior was impressive, finishing with 35 points, but Washington gave Cal 31 free throw attempts and couldn’t control the ball in extra play, accounting for four turnovers. That’s not going to win games. UW is on a four-game losing streak and heads to play the Los Angeles schools next week. Cal, which has won eight of its past 10 games, said it’s going to observe Gray-Lawson this week, hoping the right ankle sprain isn’t anything serious. The Bears described themselves as a rollercoaster this season and sometimes in games. They were at times against UW, but the freshman still looked good.
DAZED: Huskies aren’t sure what to do in overtime. The thought would be the same thing that got you there, but the deliberate passes, aggressive rebounds and good shot selections aren’t there. Cal’s defense has intensified, but Gray-Lawson isn’t hitting like she was earlier in the game, so there’s an opening if UW can pull it together. Score is tied at 68 with 1:39 remaining. Washington has two shot clock violations in OT.
OT!: Whitcomb does it again. She hit a three-pointer as Gray-Lawson rushed her late to defend with 00.2 remaining to tie the game at 66 points apiece. UW is headed into its third overtime game of the season. The Dawgs are 1-1 so far in such games. They’re playing without Rogers, though, who fouled out in regulation.
GRAY-LAWSON RETURNS: The sharpshooter was re-taped on the bench and is back in the game, shooting 9-of-15 from the field for an impressive 27 points. Bears lead 59-57 with 1:50 on the clock.
GRAY-LAWSON HURT: Gray-Lawson knocked into Washington sophomore Charmaine Barlow, making the shot. But afterward she started limping and then crumbled to the court holding her right leg. She’s being tended to now. It’s a great game because of her fierce shooting, UW leads 56-55 with 4:41 on the court.
ANOTHER PUSH: It was orchestrated. So much, Cal almost got the steal. But UW broke the press with good passes, the final being a smooth dump inside to Williams by McLellan to make the score 48-47 Bears. Then McLellan got a rebound, which Kingma converted into a jumper at the 7:33 mark and Washington is ahead 49-48 with 7:24 on the clock.
FOUL TROUBLE: Well, Rogers was shooting well and playing good defense — until she got tagged with her fourth foul. She’s taking a seat and Cal is up 46-44 with 8:43 remaining in the second half.
HALFTIME: Gray-Lawson was missed as the Huskies limited the Bears to take a 30-25 lead into the break with the shooter on the bench. Gray-Lawson had a game-leading 14 points. UW was led by Morton’s nine points — 7-for-8 shooting from the FT line. Washington is shooting better overall at 41.7 percent and the rebounding is solid, getting slightly edged 16-15 with Cal.
DAWGS ROLLING: With Gray-Lawson on the bench with three fouls, the Dawgs are taking advantage. They’ve built a 26-22 lead with 3:08 remaining before halftime off a jumper from Rogers and four points from Morton. Argens also blocked Natasha Vital’s driving layup to stop the Bears.
FIRST LEAD: Morton gave the Huskies their first lead off two free throws. Washington is figuring out Cal’s press and shooting 40 percent from the field. The score is 20-19 with 6:00 left before halftime.
HUSKY LEGEND: UW honored Lisa Oriard during a timeout in the opening half as a “Husky Legend.” Oriard scored 1,151 points for the Dawgs during her time as a letter-winner from 1984-1988. Oriard took the court with her partner and two young children. Cal leads 16-15 with 7:28 remaining. UPDATE: Oriard, a former June Daugherty assistant at Boise State, was interesting to chat with at halftime. Turns out she was a wreck about coming out on the court with her family. Her wife, Lisa, was able to attend when Rhonda Smith was honored and because Smith took the court with her husband and kids, Oriard’s wife insisted she do the same. “I was worried about how we would be perceived, but she told me, ‘We’re your family!” Oriard said. “But I didn’t want them to say her name because that’s embarrassing.” Oriard wasn’t an out lesbian while playing or coaching because of stigmas. She’s a supporter of coach Tia Jackson, especially since Jackson has brought the alumni back into the program. There’s an alumni game in March and if Oriard, who currently works in management for Costco, can get her back right, she’s playing. “I miss playing so much. If I can score two-points, I’ll be happy,” Oriard said.
SHOWING FIGHT: Washington started out down 0-6, but has used its scrappy defense to inch back into the game. Highlights were Whitcomb’s baseline sweep for a reverse layin and C Laura McLellan’s turnaround jumper to make the score 13-11 Cal. UW had a chance to tie off a steal from Mollie Williams, but she missed the ensuing midrange shot. After a timeout, Kingma tied the game at 13 with a jumper. There’s 10:24 on the clock.
SPOTTED: Washington coach Lorenzo Romar and wife are watching the game at Hec Ed. UPDATE: Romar was joined by his players. AD Scott Woodward is seated courtside.
MO READY: Watching SG Sara Mosiman is amazing. Seriously. She had surgery in December to have a rod placed in her right shin and she’s back on the court. Mosiman isn’t the player she was pre-surgery, yet. But the jumper she hit in the paint with 17:12 remaining in the opening half is a sign she’s getting closer. Huskies have been swiped twice, however, and trail 8-2 with 15:45 on the clock. In the last meeting, UW had 30 turnovers in the second half of a 60-43 loss.
Looks of pink dot the Edmundson Pavilion stands. Washington asked fans to sport the color in sport of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Pink Zone initiative. The movement is to help raise breast cancer awareness.
People wore pink hats, sweater vests, and ties in support. The team has pink-accented jerseys, also a good look for the Valentine’s Day matchup against California.
There’s no love lost between these teams. The Bears always seem to head to Hec Ed in need of something and sometimes the Huskies can stop them in their tracks.
Sunday, Cal enters having won seven of its past nine games and needs the win to stay in the hunt as one of the Pac-10’s top teams. With UCLA defeating USC on Saturday, there’s room for Cal to make a move.
That Cal is making noise at all shows the talent in its freshman class. The Bears start four and all are a treat to see (which you can on FSN). Keeping them together is senior G Alexis Gray-Lawson, who needs just 15 points to move into third on Cal’s all-time scoring list, passing Jennifer Bennett. Playing from 1984-87, Bennett tallied 1,766 points.
Speaking of shooting, here’s hoping Washington has aim like cupid and can score Sunday afternoon. In a 22-point loss to No. 2 Stanford on Friday, the Huskies shot 12.9 percent in the opening half, nullifying their hustle on defense.
Another slow start will doom the Huskies against the Bears, which get stronger as the game progresses. Well, let’s get to it with your starting lineups:
BEARS
F Layshia Clarendon
F Gennifer Brandon
C DeNesha Stallworth
G Eliza Pierre
G Alexis Gray-Lawson
HUSKIES
F Sami Whitcomb
F Mackenzie Argens
C Regina Rogers
G Sarah Morton
G Kristi Kingma
Tonight’s officials are Marianne Karp, Gator Parrish, and Darla Foutz.

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