Bears End Losing Streak





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After their ninth straight loss came in a lethargic effort against Washington State, players on the Cal women's basketball team did not spend their day off sulking in their hotel rooms.

Instead, the Bears rode horses.

Before the team practiced Friday, Redmond, Wash. native Lauren Ashbaugh invited her teammates to her family's home to ride the six horses that the family owns.

Apparently the riding did Cal some good, because the Bears came out and galloped right over Washington in Seattle Saturday, 72-59, to earn their first Pac-10 win of the season.

Cal (1-6, 6-11 in the Pac-10) tied a team record for rebounds in a game with 64. Twenty-three of those were grabbed by center Shavaki Jackson, who also scored 18 points.

"This is the team that was dormant for most of the season," Bears coach Marianne Stanley said. "Everybody was fired up, and played with a lot of emotion."

Ashbaugh, who played the game in front of friends and family, had her second double-double in as many games, notching 18 points to go along with 10 boards. She also hit both shots she took from behind the arc.

"It's wonderful any time I can win at Washington," Ashbaugh said. "My freshman year I missed a free throw that could have iced (the game). I came out and I figured I had nothing to lose."

Defensively, the Bears did a good job shutting down the Huskies' go-to players, Megan Franza and Loree Payne. They held Franza and Payne, who are ranked 1-2 in the Pac-10 in scoring with 19.0 and 17.8 points per game, respectively, to a combined total of 26 points.

"They rely on (Franza and Payne) so much, that when we shut them down they didn't really have an answer," Stanley said.

The Bears controlled the game from the opening tip, racing out to a 13-3 advantage over Washington (6-14, 2-6), which upset Stanford on Thursday.

In a frantic first half, Cal seemed to do everything right - except put the ball in the basket. The team shot 33.3 percent from the floor, and went 9:25 without making a field goal. But the Bears were able were able to control the boards, grabbing 33 rebounds - 17 of which came on the offensive glass - compared to only 18 total rebounds for the Huskies.

"I don't look at Dennis Rodman as a role model," Stanley said. "But the one thing you see in his game is the attitude of ‘that rebound is mine.' That is the kind of hunger and desire we need to play with, and I thought we played with tonight."

Cal did not take care of the ball well in the first half - it committed 15 turnovers - but it got the ball back almost at will. Guard Courtney Johnson had seven steals before the break and finished with a career-tying eight. Johnson leads the Pac-10 in that category and was averaging almost three per game going into the matchup with Washington.

Johnson also helped set the tone for the Bears in the second half. The junior guard banked in an eight-foot jumper as the buzzer sounded to put Cal up, 35-28, at the break.

The team came out of the locker room and did what it did not do in the first half - it took care of the ball and made shots. The Bears committed just six turnovers and made 41.7 percent of their shots.

"I think we did a lot of things well," Stanley said. "The biggest difference tonight was that our kids came to play. They didn't do that in the Washington State game."

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