Feb. 7, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California (15-8, 7-6, 6th) concludes a three-game homestand against No. 14 Stanford (16-5, 11-2, 1st) Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Saturday is NCAA Take a Kid to the Game Day. With each paid adult general admission ticket, one youth will be admitted free.
The Cardinal claimed the inaugural meeting this season, 87-75, Jan. 14, with freshman guard Alexis Gray-Lawson leading the Bears with a career-high 30 points, and Candice Wiggins pacing the Cardinal with 33 points. Cal played the game without head coach Joanne Boyle, who returned to North Carolina to attend to a family illness, and its leading scorer, Devanei Hampton, who served a one-game suspension.
The Golden Bears are coming off a 49-39 win over Oregon, guaranteeing Cal its first winning regular-season record since 1992-93. That year, Cal posted a 19-10 overall record and earned its last postseason berth, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. According to the latest RPI rankings by the NCAA Feb. 2, Cal is ranked No. 52, which may be a strong indicator that the Bears are on track for one of 65 NCAA Tournament bids. Cal recorded an 11-18 record last season.
After holding the Ducks to a Pac-10-low 39 points this season, Cal moved into second place in the conference in scoring defense at 59.7 ppg, and Oregon remained in first at 57.1 ppg. The Bears are in second in the conference in field goal percentage defense (37.0).
The Bears' four freshman starters direct the team's offense, led by Hampton at 15.8 ppg, which is seventh in the Pac-10 and first among all conference freshmen, and Gray-Lawson is eighth at 15.0 ppg. Walker, who has posted a conference-high eight double-doubles in 2005-06, is third on the team in scoring at 13.1 ppg and stands second in the Pac-10 in rebounding at 8.1. Morris is fourth on the team at 8.6 ppg and has tallied double figures in six of her last eight games. Cal's five freshmen account for 77.6 percent of the team's scoring this year.
Forward Reneé Wright, the team's only senior, rounds out the starting lineup and averages 6.8 ppg and 6.7 rpg. Four of Cal's five starters average at least 30 minutes per game, with Gray-Lawson holding top honors at 35.96 (third in the Pac-10).