Cal Can't Cut Down Card

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It was like watching a whole new team.

The Cal women's basketball squad was on top of its game on both ends of the court Friday night, and it looked like the Bears were going to give Stanford a run for its money.

But Cal's run sputtered to a halt in the second half, leaving the court wide open for the Cardinal to dominate.

The Bears dropped an 81-56 decision to Stanford after giving the Cardinal a game during the first half at Haas Pavilion. The loss extended Cal's losing streak to four and put Stanford ahead in the all-time series, 32-15.

"It's been typical that we've played well for a good portion of the game," Bears coach Marianne Stanley said. "But then, either because of mental lapses or the other team getting their shooters in position to knock down a couple of shots, it just makes it difficult to play catch-up."

Shavaki Jackson, who experienced foul trouble earlier in the season, continued to make a huge impact for Cal (7-15, 2-10 in the Pac-10). The center's nine points and seven rebounds kept the Bears in contention, and they headed into halftime with a 40-32 deficit. Jackson ended the contest with a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds.

"Shavaki stepped up and displayed her promise as a go-to player at post for us," Stanley said. "I thought she put forth real good effort."

In order for Cal to remain competitive against Stanford (16-6, 9-3) in the second half, the team needed to top its first-half 35.9 shooting percentage and continue to outrebound the Card - the Bears posted 20 boards to Stanford's 18 in the first period.

But Cal couldn't get the second half started off on the right foot.

Following a turnover by guard Becky Staubes, the Cardinal launched into a 14-0 run that left the Bears completely out of breath.

"We decided at half time to switch the screens which would allow us to get out to shooters quicker," Stanley said. "I don't know how you can employ that strategy and get out to shooters slower and give up three straight threes - that run that they put together just was the difference of the game."

Not only did Cal's shooting percentage drop to 25.9 percent, but the Bears gave Stanford almost sole ownership of the glass, grabbing 13 boards to the Card's 27. Stanford didn't help Cal by going 14-of-31 in the second half and ending the game shooting almost 50 percent.

The depth of the Card's bench also made itself felt - all of Stanford's players scored at least one point. Milena Flores led her team with 15 points and was followed closely by Jamie Carey, who went 4-of-7 from behind the arc and notched 14 points.

After struggling to stay healthy, the Bears got a boost as center Ami Forney and guard Courtney Johnson both returned for Cal. Both players were better physically, but Johnson and Forney's games were not up to par.

Forney, who was sidelined for the past nine games with a stress fracture in her left foot, only managed to grab two rebounds and score four points.

"I know that she would have liked to play better," Stanley said. "But what I think you saw was some effects of not being out there competitively in quite a while."

Back in her starting point guard position, Johnson also had a subpar performance. The guard, who leads the Bears with 12.1 points per game, only managed to earn eight points while committing four turnovers.

Sitting in second-to-last place in the Pac-10 with no hope of a tournament bid, Cal has little left to do but try to salvage the last few games of their season.

"We can't change what's happened already," Stanley said. "But, we need to be mentally ready to come out and play hard these next six games."


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