Feb. 3, 2009
Friday, Feb. 6, 7:00 p.m.: No. 3 Cal at Washington, Seattle,(Radio: KALX 90.7-FM, TV: none)
Sunday, Feb. 8, 2:00 p.m.: No. 3 Cal at Washington State, Pullman, Wash., (Radio: KALX 90.7-FM, TV: none)
After a tumultuous week for teams in the top-10, the California Golden Bears (18-2, 9-0 Pac-10) moved back to No. 3 in both national polls, a position they held for two weeks earlier this season. The No. 3 ranking ties the best-ever showing by the Bears in the polls. Losses by the teams that held the No. 3-6 spots in the poll last week cleared the way for the Bears to move up four spots in the AP poll and two in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. The Bears, who have not lost a game since Dec. 13, when they fell to No. 2 Oklahoma, look to win their 11th straight game Friday, Feb. 6, when they take on the Washington Huskies (5-14, 1-8 Pac-10) in Seattle. The Bears current 10-game winning streak ties the program's most consecutive victories mark. It is the sixth longest current streak among Division I teams. Among Division I teams, UConn leads with an 18-game winning streak.
The Bears have already set a new standard by winning nine straight Pac-10 games, their longest stretch of consecutive conference wins and best conference start in program history. Cal has led wire-to-wire in just three Pac-10 games season, with Washington, Washington State and Arizona never holding a lead against the Bears. UCLA held the largest lead over the Bears, an 11-2 advantage, in a game that Cal won 64-48. Five of Cal's nine Pac-10 games this season have been decided by five or fewer points.
The team's 18 wins this season are already more victories than the Bears posted in the entire season in 23 of the 35 seasons of Cal women's basketball. Their nine Pac-10 victories are already more than they posted in 15 of the 22 seasons they have been playing in the Pac-10.
This week, the Bears start their second trip through the Pac-10 schedule, starting the second half of conference play against the Washington schools. On Friday, the Bears take on the Washington Huskies, a team that managed just nine first-half points against the Bears in their first meeting this season. The Huskies have lost eight straight games after defeating Washington State in their Pac-10 opener on Jan. 3. The Bears then travel across the state, taking on the Washington State Cougars (9-11, 2-7 Pac-10) Sunday at 2 p.m. in Pullman. Cal won the first meeting of the season 68-45. Washington State is 2-2 on the home court against Pac-10 opponents this season.
1,000 REBOUND WATCH Senior forward Ashley Walker has a legitimate shot at reaching the 1,000th career rebound milestone on the Bears current road trip. Walker comes into the week with 982 career rebounds, 18 shy of the benchmark. She is averaging 7.9 per game. There have been eight players in Pac-10 history to reach the 1,000 rebound mark. There has only been one player in Cal history, Colleen Galloway (1978-81, 1029), to have over 1,000 rebounds. Walker is 48 rebounds shy of passing Galloway as Cal's all-time leading rebounder.
PAC-10 LEADERS Ashley Walker continues to leads the Pac-10 in scoring average. Her 20.5 ppg paces the conference and ranks her 14th among all DI players. Dawn Evans of James Madison leads the nation at 24.9 ppg. Arizona's Ify Ibekwe is the only other Pac-10 leader to be ranked in the top-100 this week, coming in at No. 91 with 15.7 ppg. Walker is third in the Pac-10 and 14th in the country in field goal shooting percentage (56.6 percent).
Junior guard Natasha Vital's 46.8 percent three-point shooting efficiency continues to lead the Pac-10. She has hit 29 treys in 62 attempts this season.
Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is third in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.72 ratio. Gray-Lawson ranks No. 40 in the nation in this stat.
Senior center Devanei Hampton is averaging 8.1 rebounds per game in Pac-10 games this season, third best among all conference players.
DEFENSE After allowing USC to score 71 points last weekend, Cal's opponent scoring average rose slightly to 53.7 points per game. The fewest points allowed among Pac-10 teams this season and currently ranks No. 14 in the country. Cal has kept opponents scores below 40 points twice this season, the first in the opener when they only allowed Albany to score 39 points, and again when Washington only managed 34.
Both Washington and Oregon set new records for fewest points scored in a half when playing Cal this season. Cal held UW to just 9 first half points. Oregon scored just 10 in their first 20 minutes of play.
The Bears are 16-0 when holding their opponents to 55 or fewer points. They have held their opponents to 50 points or less in seven of the last ten games. Pac-10 opponents are averaging just 52.6 points against the Bears.
The Bears are holding opponents to a 28.3 three-point efficiency (103-of-364), second best in the Pac-10 behind Oregon State. The Bears have held opponents to two or fewer made-threes in a game four times this season, including Washington State's 1-for-19 performance and UCLA's 2-for-9 showing last week.
DEV Devanei Hampton had her first double-double of the season with 12 rebounds and 11 points against UCLA. She followed it up with a 17 point, 11 rebound performance against USC, including the game-winning offense rebound and put back. In the last four games, Hampton is averaging 10.0n points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game.
DEV AS A STARTER The Bears are 10-0 since Hampton has returned to the starting lineup. She is averaging 8.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game since returning to the starting lineup. In Hampton's first nine games of the season, she averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds.
VITAL POINTS Natasha Vital has scored in double digits each of her last four games. Since going scoreless in the Stanford game, Vital has scored 59 points against the Oregon and Southern California schools (14.75 ppg). Ashley Walker is the only Bear to have more points over that same span.
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MORE NOTES ON WALKER
** Walker has scored in double digits in all but three games this season.
** Walker has hit 10 or more field goals in a game four times this season.
** Walker has shot 50.0 percent or better in all but four games this season. She has a career-best 57.5 field-goal percentage this season, third-best in the Pac-10 and ranking her No. 14 in the country.
** Walker has 32 career games scoring 20 or more points. This season, she has topped 20 points 13 times and has done so six times already in Pac-10 play.
** Walker was a nominee for WBCA Player of the Month in December, a month in which she averaged 22.6 points per game and shot 61.4 percent from the floor.
** Walker was a nominee for WBCA Player of the Month in January, a month in which she averaged 18.1 points per game with 7.4 rebounds per game.
** Walker has started every game since her freshman year and has scored in every game since her freshman year. The closest she ever came to being shut put was in the Pac-10 finals last season against Stanford when she scored her first, and only, basket with 6:20 remaining in the game.
** Walker's name was added for the ninth and 10th times in the Cal record book in cumulative career stat categories when she became No. 10 in career steals with 159 and No. 10 in games played with 114.
** Walker has been named a John R Wooden Award midseason top-20 candidate.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME SCORING: WALKER No. 16 Ashley Walker's name will also be written into the Pac-10 history books. Walker moved into the top-20 in career scoring in the Pac-10 in the Stanford game. Walker passed Noelle Quinn of UCLA (1990-92) to move into 16th place on the list in the Oregon game. She needs 8 points to pass another former UCLA player, Rehema Stephens (1990-92, 1,887 pts.), to move up to No. 15 on the list. Walker became the 39th player to score 1,500 points as a member of the Pac-10.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME REBOUNDERS: NO. 10 Ashley Walker Walker passed another milestone in the Washington State game. Not only did her 10 rebounds give her career double-double No. 38, it also moved her into the top-10 in the Pac-10's history in rebounding. Walker's 937 career rebounds inched her past Maylana Martin of UCLA (1997-00, 935) to rank tenth in career rebounds for Pac-10 women's basketball players. Walker entered the season ranked No. 21. She needs 15 rebounds to move up to No. 9 on the career list, passing Staphanie Kasperski of Oregon (1987-90, 996).
CAL'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST: NO. 2 Ashley Walker Ashley Walker moved past Jennifer Bennett (1984-87, 1,766 points) and into second place on the all-time scoring list in the Washington State game. Walker's spin move on a basket coming with precisely 15 minutes remaining in the game. Walker entered the season with 1,470 career points, 30 points shy of becoming just the seventh player in Cal history to score 1,500 points. She scored her 1500th career point in the first half of the Nevada game. Walker entered the season ranked seventh on the Cal all-time scoring leaders list.
COUNTDOWN TO 2,000 Ashley Walker needs 120 points to become the second player in the history of Cal and the 11th player in Pac-10 history to score 2,000 career points. Walker is averaging over 20 points a game. There are 9 regular season games remaining in addition to any Pac-10 and further post-season, giving Walker a legitimate shot at the milestone.
COUNTDOWN TO 1,500 Devanei Hampton scored the 1400th point of her career against UCLA. Hampton is 75 points shy of joining Walker in the 1500 point club.
CAREER ASSISTS Natasha Vital moved into the top-10 in career assists with her four dishes against SJSU, passing Sherrise Smith (1996-99, 292) to officially enter the Bear record book. Vital tallied career assist No. 300 against Saint Mary's on a feed to Devanei Hampton in the paint with four minutes left in the first half. Vital moved up to ninth in the Washington game. She is 8 assists shy of eighth place in the record book.
GRAY-LAWSON'S 1000 POINT MEMBERSHIP Alexis Gray-Lawson became the 20th member of Cal's 1,000 point club on Nov. 29 in the third game of the Paradise Jam Tournament against Iowa, with 1:26 left in the first half on a runner through the lane. Gray-Lawson needs 40 points to move into the top-10 on the career-scoring list.
WALKER NAMED WOODEN AWARD MIDSEASON TOP-20 Ashley Walker has made the first cut in determining the winner of the John R Wooden Award, an award that has been presented since 1976 to the nation's best player. Walker was among the 30 preseason candidates for the award. She was named as one of the twenty midseason contenders in a list released on Jan. 29.
THIS WEEK'S PAC-10 OPPONENTS
SCOUTING WASHINGTON (5-14, 1-8 Pac-10) The Washington Huskies have lost their last eight games, its longest such streak in program history, eclipsing the previous streak of six games during the 1999-2000 season. Still a bright spot for the Huskies is the play of junior guard/forward Sami Whitcomb who has six-straight double-figure scoring games and a team-high 12 overall. Whitcomb scored a career-high 29 points against Arizona State. Junior guard Christina Rozier has made the most of her starting opportunities as of late. Rozier, who had 12 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals against Arizona, has recorded the first three double-figure scoring games of her career in the last five outings. She has been the team leader in assists a team-high seven times. Freshman Kristi Kingma returned from sitting out games due to an ankle injury to score 14 points against ASU.
EARLIER THIS SEASON: No. 9 Cal 62, Washington 34, Jan. 11, 2009 Ashley Walker scored 14 of her 20 points in the first half and pulled down 10 rebounds. The Huskies committed 18 turnovers, were outrebounded 45-26. Washington went 7:30 between its first and second field goals in the opening half and trailed 32-9 at the break. It was the lowest scoring first half in school history. The 34 points tied the fewest points allowed by a Cal team in a Pac-10 game.
ALL-TIME SERIES The Washington Huskies stunned the Bears last season with a 74-66 victory in Seattle to close out the 2007-08 regular season. The defeat dropped the Bears from a possible tie for first place in the Pac-10 to their second place finish. Washington leads the all-time series 40-12, with a mark of 35-10 in Washington's favor while competing in the Pac-10. Cal has won three of the last five meetings.
Washington's Probable Starters (2008-09 per-game averages) No. Name Ht. Yr. Hometown PPG RPG G 21 Christina Rozier 5-8 Jr. Miami, FL 5.1 2.9 G 10 Kristi Kingma 5-10 Fr. Mill Creek, WA 9.8 2.6 G 32 Sami Whitcomb 5-10 Jr. Ventura, CA 12.5 3.9 F 30 Lydia Young 5-11 Jr. Detroit, MI 3.3 3.9 C 0 Laura McLellan 6-2 Jr. Campbell, CA 9.2 4.0
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE (9-11, 2-7 Pac-10) Washington State is proving to be a tough team to play in Pullman, with the Cougars posting a 2-2 record at home in Pac-10 games and a 5-3 overall mark at Friel Court. Last week, Washington State topped Arizona 68-58. Finding their stride in the second half, WSU outscored UA 43-24 in the frame. Freshman Jazmine Perkins had the first double double of her career with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
EARLIER THIS SEASON: No. 9 Cal 68, Washington State 45, Jan. 8, 2009 Ashley Walker had 25 points and 10 rebounds to Ca to a 68-45 win. Walker had her 38th double-double and moved into second place on the Bears' career scoring list with 1,774 points. She scored Cal's final 10 points in the first half and finished 11-for-18 from the floor while leading the Bears to their fourth consecutive win. Cal never trailed and led by as much as 25 in beating Washington State for the eighth straight time. The Bears also allowed just one three-point basket in the game, with WSU going 1-for-19 from long range. Their 5.3 percent three-point efficiency was the lowest by a Cal opponent this season.
ALL-TIME SERIES Cal has won the last eight meetings between the two teams. Last year's home contest against Washington State saw a final score of 99-44, with five different Cal players scoring double-digit points. The game was also the largest margin of victory for a Cal team in a Pac-10 game (44 points) and set a record for most points scored by a Cal team playing at Haas Pavilion. Cal leads the all-time series 32-19.
Washington State's Probable Starters (2008-09 per-game averages) No. Name Ht. Yr. Hometown PPG RPG G 2 April Cook 5-8 Fr. Carson, CA 12.9 2.6 G 11 Jazmine Perkins 5-10 Fr. Berkeley, CA 14.4 5.0 G 13 Katie Appleton 5-8 Sr. Big Bear Lake, CA 10.1 4.2 C 14 Jessica Oestreicher 6-8 Fr. Shasta Lake, CA 3.3 1.5 F 31 Heather Molzen 6-3 Sr.