Nov. 27, 2011
Sunday, Nov. 27: No. 22 Virginia at California, 5:00 p.m. PT
Live Audio Streaming: CalBears.com; Gametracker: Hawaiiathletics.com
HONOLULU- The California Golden Bears (3-2), with first year head coach Lindsay Gottlieb, will take on the No. 22 Virginia Cavaliers (5-1), coached by first year head coach Joanne Boyle, at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.
Boyle left Cal in April after six seasons at the helm of the program to take the head coaching job in Virginia. Current Cal head coach Gottlieb spent six years working with Boyle (three at Richmond and three at Cal). Nine of Cal's 13 players were on Boyle-coached teams and all but Justine Hartmanwere recruited and signed by Boyle.
"I know the talk is going to be about Cal playing Virginia and the players we have playing Coach Boyle," said Gottlieb. "But I think this team is committed to being a great team. We are going to make it about that and about us versus about any particular match-up."
The Bears opened the tournament with a 69-54 victory over Hawaii, the lowest scoring game of the season so far for Cal. It was also the first time this season that the bench contributed less than 40 points, only accounting for 30, and the first time the Cal bench has not accounted for more than 50% of the scoring (43.4 percent). The Bench scored 29 points against Texas, once point shy of 50 percent.
Freshman forward Reshanda Graycontinued her streak of games in double digits. She has scored 10 or more points in each of the first five games of her collegiate career. Against Hawaii, she had a season high with 16 points, She shoot 70 percent from the field (7-for-10), which is actually below her season percentage of 72.4 (21-of-29). Against Texas, Gray had a season-low 10 points, going 6-for-7 from the free throw line.
The Bears get their third chance in six games to knock off a top-25 ranked team. With losses to No. 18 Rutgers (73-70) and No. 24 Texas (61-60), the Bears are 0-2 so far this season in games against teams ranked in the top-25, falling by a combined four points in those two games.
Gottlieb is looking for her first career coaching victory over a top-25 team. She was 0-3 against top-25 ranked schools while at UCSB. Her Gauchos upset an unranked but receiving votes Gonzaga squad, 59-47, in her first season there.
The Cavaliers lead the all-time series, 2-1, the one loss coming in the second round NCAA Tournament game in 2009, a 99-73 victory that sent the Boyle-coached Bears to the first Sweet-16 appearance in program history.
Below: Cal head coach Lindsay Gottlieb, Virginia head coach Joanne Boyle, and Texas head coach Gail Goestenkors at the Thanksgiving banquet to kick off the tournament. Boyle coached at Duke with Goestenkors then hired Gottlieb at Richmond when she got her first head coaching job. Gottlieb took over the Cal program after Boyle accepted the head coaching job at Virginia.