Nov. 26, 2010
The California Golden Bears (3-1) will host the Colliers International Classic Saturday and Sunday. The Bears open the tournament by taking on the Cal State Fullerton Titans (3-2) Saturday at 12 p.m. Tulane vs. Portland State follows at 2:30 p.m. All youth 12th grade and younger are free and adults can purchase $3 GA tickets with a canned food donation.
The action will wrap up on Sunday. Cal will play at 2:30 against either Tulane or Portland State. Fullerton will host either Tualne or Portland State at 12 p.m.
All four teams in the Colliers International Classic will play three games this week. Cal defeated Yale, 64-41, at Haas on Tuesday night. Also on Tuesday, Portland State (2-1) defeated Lewis & Clark College, 74-47, and Tulane (4-0) took down LSU, 54-52, on the road in Baton Rogue. Cal State Fullerton (3-2) plays at San Diego on Wednesday before heading up to the Bay.
DeNesha Stallworth has had a strong start to the season. The sophomore forward is averaging 14.8 points per game, sixth-best among Pac-10 players, and 10.3 rebounds per game, ranking third. Stallworth, with 10 or more rebounds in each of her first four games, has had four double doubles to start the season.
Sophomore guard Layshia Clarendon has also gotten off to a hot start. Averaging 14.3 points per game, Clarendon is currently ninth among Pac-10 players in scoring average.
Sophomore forward Talia Caldwell, coming off a career-night against Yale, has moved into the Pac-10 rebounding lead. Caldwell's 10.8 rebounds per game matches Ify Ibekwe of Arizona for the top mark in the Conference.
Sophomore guard Eliza Pierre, who averaged 3.0 points per game last season, is averaging 9.7 ppg. Pierre scored double digit points against Rutgers (10) and New Mexico (12 - a career-high). She had double digit rebounds against Saint Mary's (10 - a career high).
Two of Cal's three freshmen guards have already made significant contributions. Lindsay Sherbert started the first four games, averaging 7.0 points. Sherbert pulled in 14 rebounds against New Mexico, ten of them coming in the first half. Afure Jemerigbe, who came off the bench in the first three games, had nine points in each of her first two appearances as a Bear. The third freshman, Mikayla Lyles, is averaging 15.7 minutes per game in the three that she has played in. She scored six points in her debut against Saint Mary's and had five points with six rebounds against Yale.
Double Doubles DeNesha Stallworth has four double doubles in the first four games of the season. It was the first time in her Cal career she has posted double doubles in back-to-back games. The last time a Cal player had a double double in three straight games was Devanei Hampton in the 2007-08 season who posted double digit points and double digit rebounds in four consecutive games this season (2/9, 2/14/ 2/16, 2/23). Hampton twice had strings of four consecutive double doubles but never had five in a row. Ashley Walker, in her freshman season of 2005-06, had six consecutive games with double doubles (1/1, 1/5, 1/7, 1/14, 1/19, 1/22). Neither player's streak began a season.
Long Range The Bears hit 11 three-pointers in the Saint Mary's game. It was the most three-pointers made by a Cal team in a game since the Bears connected for 12 on Dec. 9, 2009 against San Jose State. Cal only had two games last season, the San Jose State game and a home contest against Arizona, in which they reached double-digits in made-threes. Cal averaged 20.0 shots from beyond the arc per game in their first three contests. Last season, the Bears averaged 15.1 three-point attempts per game with Alexis Gray-Lawson accounting for over a third of those (5.1 per game). The Bears dialed it back a bit against Yale, taking just seven long-range shots.
Defense Opponents are shooting just 33.0 percent against the Bears this season, the lowest opponent field goal percentage among Pac-10 teams. Cal also leads the Pac-10 in three-point defense with opponents making just 23.8 percent of their long range shots.
Steals Eliza Pierre had eight steals against New Mexico, bringing her season total to 18. Pierre currently leads the Pac-10 with her 4.5 steals-per-game average. Last season, Pierre averaged 1.91 per game.
AssistsThe Bears dished 21 assists against Saint Mary's, the most by the team since the Dec. 6, 2008 game against Princeton in which the Bears had 23. Cal's single-game season-high last year was 20 in the WNIT opener against Davis.
Career Highs Eliza Pierre rewrote her personal record book against New Mexico. She logged a new career high in points (12), steals (8), and minutes (43). She had a career-high 10 rebounds in the Saint Mary's game. Layshia Clarendon, who had a career-high 9 assists against Saint Mary's, was another of several players to have a career-high minutes (45) in the double OT contest. Talia Caldwell set new personal standards for points (17) and rebounds (16) against Yale.
Collier's International Classic Format The winner of each opening round game (Cal State Fullerton vs. Cal, Sat. Nov. 27, 12:00 pm; Tulane vs. Portland State, Sat. Nov. 27, 2:30 pm) will advance to the championship game. With the Fullerton Titans set to play at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday and Cal set to play at 2:30 p.m., the outcome of Saturday's opener will determine whether Sunday's early game or late game will be the championship. The awards ceremony will take place after the conclusion of the second game.
Colliers International Classic History This is the third year that Colliers International has been the title sponsor for Cal's annual home tournament. From 2004-07, it was called the Contra Costa Times Classic. The tournament, which first began in 1978, has also been known as the Golden Bear Classic and the Oakland Tribune Classic. The Bears have won their tournament five of the last seven years and 16 times overall. The Bears have been in the championship game 27 consecutive years. There have only been three times the Bears have not played in the title game, the last time coming during the 1981 season when the Bears finished fourth in what was then an eight team format.
Cal has fallen in the championship game each of the last two seasons, but both times were taken out by top-25 teams. In 2008, Cal fell to No. 22 TCU. Last year, the Bears narrowly missed upsetting No. 7 Texas A&M.
While this season's field does not have any top-25 teams (though Tulane was receiving votes in the AP Poll), it does have two squads who played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Both the Tulane Green Wave and the Portland State Vikings were tourney teams last season. The Vikings went for the first time in school history after winning the Big Sky Conference's automatic berth. The Green Wave earned Conference USA's automatic bid after going 26-6 in the regular season. Both teams fell in the round of 64.
MVP At the conclusion of the tournament, a Collier International Classic MVP will be named as well as an All-Tournament team. A Cal player has been named the MVP five of the last seven years and 15 Bears have earned the honor since the award was first presented in 1979. Senior forward Rama N'diaye earned the MVP award in 2007. N'diaye had 16 points with 18 rebounds in the opening round game against Saint Mary's. She had 16 points with 8 boards in Cal's 67-59 victory over Vanderbilt in the finale.
Last season, DeNesha Stallworth was named to the All-Tournament team along with Alexis Gray-Lawson. Stallworth scored 14 points in the opener and 19 in the championship game, going 8-for-11 from the field. Stallworth also pulled in 16 rebounds in the tournament. second game.