Game #1 No. 9 California (0-0) vs. Long Beach State (0-0) Haas Pavilion • Berkeley, Calif. Friday, Nov. 8 • 6 p.m. PT Series Record: LBSU leads, 5-10 Last: Cal 82, LBSU 56 (Dec. 11, 2010 in Berkeley) TV/Web: CalBears.com Live Stream
BERKELEY – The No. 9 California Golden Bears open the 2013-14 season Friday, Nov. 9, against Long Beach State in the first game of a doubleheader with the men’s team. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m., and fans of both the Cal men and women are encouraged to come to both games as the Golden Bear teams open up their seasons.
Under the direction of third-year head coach Lindsay Gottlieb, Cal will look to build off the momentum from last year’s NCAA Final Four run. The Bears were picked to finish second in the conference by the Pac-12 coaches and media after a 32-4 season that led to the first Pac-12 regular season title in program history.
Long Beach State returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s 16-16 campaign that ended with a trip to the postseason WNIT. The 49ers were picked to finish fourth in the Big West preseason poll and return preseason All-Conference selection Alex Sanchez (10.6ppg, 4.6rpg).
Fans who present their football game ticket for Saturday’s game against USC will receive a $1 general admission ticket that will be good for both games of the doubleheader. Those without a USC football ticket can purchase a $5 general admission ticket good for both games.
A CALIFORNIA WIN WOULD: * Move the Golden Bears to 25-16 all-time in season openers * Move Lindsay Gottlieb to 2-1 in season openers at California, including two straight * Give the Bears five straight victories in the series against the 49ers * Move California to 32-27 all-time against the Big West conference * Improve Cal’s regular-season winning streak to 16 games dating to last season (Jan.13-pres.)
GAME RECAP: Four players hit double figures and every Golden Bear scored as No. 9 California won its lone exhibition game of the year with a 91-62 victory against Vanguard. Brittany Boyd, Reshanda Gray and Courtney Range all scored 17 points, and Afure Jemerigbe added 14 to pace California against the preseason top-ranked team in the NAIA. Boyd flirted with a double-double with nine rebounds, five assists and four steals to go along with her 17 points. Gray opened the game by scoring 12 of California’s first 16 points. The junior added nine rebounds, one block and two steals to her tally while Range, a freshman from Manteca, also added nine rebounds, one block and one steal to her 17 points. California took a 48-29 rebounding advantage in the game despite being without the services of senior Gennifer Brandon, who remains sidelined after offseason surgery. The Bears were particularly potent on the offensive boards with 20 thanks to six each by Gray and Range.
CONSENSUS TOP 10: California will enter 2013-14 as a consensus top-10 program after earning preseason rankings of No. 9 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Sports Coaches’ polls. The Golden Bears also picked up No. 3 and No. 11 rankings in the preview editions of Lindy’s and Sporting News magazines, respectively. The marks match the highest preseason rankings in program history - the 2008-09 team was also picked No. 9 overall. That team, led by Alexis Gray-Lawson, went on to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 with a 27-8 final record.
NO. 2 IN THE PAC-12: The Bears were selected to finish second in the Pac-12 Coaches’ and Media Polls after winning a share of the conference title with a 17-1 record last year. The Bears received one first-place vote (out of 12) in the coaches’ poll and two first-place votes (out of 14) in the media poll. Stanford was the preseason favorite in both polls to win the league.
BRANDON NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE: Senior forward Gennifer Brandon has been selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award for women’s basketball, presented annually to a senior student-athlete who excels both on and off the field. Candidates are chosen based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. From the list of 30 candidates, 10 finalists will be selected midway through the regular season and placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. The winner will be announced at the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Nashville.
FIRST GAME BURST: The Golden Bears are 24-16 all-time in season openers, including 1-1 under coach Lindsay Gottlieb after her Golden Bears defeated Lehigh 80-48 last season. California is a remarkable 20-3 in season openers that double as home openers, including a 9-1 mark since Harmon Gym was rebuilt into the current Haas Pavilion in 1999.
FRESH NEW FACES: The Bears brought in a recruiting class ranked in the top 20 with the additions of freshmen Hind Ben Abdelkader, Mercedes Jefflo, Courtney Range and KC Waters. Cal also welcomes two transfers who will be eligible this season after sitting out in 2012-13. Junior guard Brittany Shine (Sacramento, Calif.) from the University of Florida will be eligible immediately while junior forward Kyra Dunn will become eligible at the end of the current semester.
BOYD AND BRANDON EARN PRESEASON NATIONAL HONORS: California’s Gennifer Brandon and Brittany Boyd have found themselves to be the beneficiaries of numerous preseason national accolades by different organizations.
WADE TROPHY (WBCA): Brandon and Boyd are two of 25 players named to the State Farm Wade Watch List. The Wade Trophy is presented to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA Division I women’s basketball player each year. The Bears are one of five schools in the country with multiple selections on the list.
WOODEN AWARD (LOS ANGELES ATHLETIC CLUB): Brandon and Boyd are also two of 30 players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 List. The Bears are one of six schools in the country with multiple selections on the list.
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE (PAC-12): Brandon and Boyd were named to the Coaches’ and the Media’s Preseason All-Pac-12 teams. Cal was the only team with two selections on the media’s five-member list.
GRAY WINS GOLD: Junior Reshanda Gray won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia over the summer. The USA finished the tournament with a perfect 6-0 record, and Gray averaged led the United States by shooting at an .846 (11-of-13) clip throughout the tournament. She was also 2-of-3 from the free throw line over the week. It is the second gold medal for Gray while competing for the United States. She previously won gold at the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Colorado Springs, Colo.
BEARS IN CHINA: California took a preseason trip to China in August and visited Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The Bears played three games and used the cultural experience to grow as a team in the offseason.
THIS IS CAL BASKETBALL: ThisIsCalBasketball.com has officially launched for the new season! Visit today for an in-depth multimedia experience into California Women’s Basketball.In its third year, ThisIsCalBasketball.com allows fans unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the program as well as enhanced multi-media presentations. This site will work with CalBears.com as well as the team YouTube/Vimeo, Facebook, and Twitter pages to help Cal fans become part of the Cal Basketball family.