LOS ANGELES -- Cal guard Natasha Vital knows the game plan: Go inside to the post players. When their shots aren't falling, step up.
Vital did just that Sunday, scoring 18 points, including two free throws in overtime, to lead the No. 10 Golden Bears to a 73-70 victory over UCLA.
Former Davis High standout Ashley Walker had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Cal. It was her conference-leading ninth double-double this season.
"I get my shots in the flow of the offense," Vital said. "I'm looking for my post players first. ... I was feeling it."
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With Cal's post players Walker and reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year Devanei Hampton shooting a combined 12-for-30 from the field, the Bears sure needed sophomore Vital to step up. She scored 12 of her 18 points in the first half, but each of her points in the second half and overtime were perhaps more important.
Her steal and subsequent coast-to-coast layup gave Cal (13-2, 4-0) a 50-45 lead with 12:47 remaining in the second half.
Then, after Cal failed to score a field goal for the next 5:14, and the Bruins took their first lead, Vital made an outside shot to keep Cal close, 57-55.
Hampton had 16 points and eight rebounds -- well below her 23-point, 12-rebound average against UCLA (7-8, 2-2). She also stole the ball with 23 seconds to play and fed Vital, who was fouled and went to the line with Cal leading 71-70.
Point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson scored Cal's first three points of overtime and finished with 14.