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California topples Saint Mary's in season opener

Nov 13, 2006 - 3:18 AM BERKELEY, California (Ticker) -- Alexis Gray-Lawson scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead No. 21 California to a 71-56 victory over Saint Mary's in the season opener for both schools.

Ashley Walker scored 15 points while Lauren Greif and Krista Foster added 11 apiece for the Golden Bears, who built a 42-30 halftime lead and held on thereafter.

Trailing by three with eight minutes left in the opening half, California reeled off a 20-3 run to go ahead, 38-24. Greif scored eight points during the outburst.

The Golden Bears were without injured star Devenai Hampton but still delivered a strong defensive performance, limiting the Gaels to 40 percent (23-of-57) shooting while forcing 29 turnovers.

Monica Mertle scored 14 points while Maija Lahde added 13 for Saint Mary's, who attempted just 13 free throws to California's 37.

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