WBB: 'Dores Fall at No. 13 Cal, 67-59

Dec. 2, 2007

norton300433cal.jpg(AP Photo/George Nikitin)

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Box Score | Quotes

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) – The No. 18 Vanderbilt women’s basketball team fell victim to its second road loss of the season Sunday afternoon, falling to No. 13 Cal, 67-59, in the championship game of the Contra Costa Times Classic at Haas Pavilion.

Playing in its second game within 24 hours after defeating Saint Mary’s on Saturday night, the Commodores (7-2), led by Merideth Marsh’s 12 points, struggled offensively, shooting a season-low 33 percent from the field for the day.

Vanderbilt began the game 3-for-16 and missed six of its first seven 3-point tries, falling behind quickly after Cal came out strong on both ends.

Vanderbilt standout Christina Wirth, who was named to the all-tournament team in addition to junior guard Jennifer Risper, missed her first four shots and didn’t score until her three-pointer 4:01 before the half broke a scoring drought of 4 minutes, 39 seconds by the Commodores, and she finished eight below her average with seven on 2-for-11 shooting.

“I think we came out hesitating,” Wirth said. “I don’t think anybody knows why. Part of it was our shots weren’t falling. It’s hard. We had a big win against Duke and really did celebrate it and forget about it so we could focus on this weekend. I think we should have done a better job getting up for a game like this against a ranked team.”

The Golden Bears ended the half on a 12-2 scoring run over the final 2:36 to extend its lead to 36-19 as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

In the second half, the Commodores staged a fierce comeback and cut Cal’s lead to only six after sophomore Lauren Lueders’ three-pointer with 35 seconds left, but the Bears were able to convert on a couple of free throws to secure the victory.

Cal’s Rama N’diaye, who had 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in the title game, was named tournament MVP.

With the win, Cal (7-1) earned its first win over a ranked team since the Bears defeated No. 8/9 Stanford, 72-57, Feb. 4, 2007. The Golden Bears also extended its home non-conference winning streak to 28 games.

Vanderbilt will return home to prepare for Thursday’s 7 p.m. home matchup with Western Kentucky.