Nov. 27, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Off to a 4-1 start, including three wins over 2007 NCAA Tournament teams, No. 12/13 California returns to Berkeley for a three-game home stand. The Golden Bears face Loyola Marymount (4-2) Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 11:30 a.m. at Haas Pavilion. Cal cruised to a 74-55 win over TCU and suffered its first loss of the season at then-No. 13/12 Baylor (69-56) after holding a seven-point halftime lead.
Cal then hosts the fourth-annual Contra Costa Times Classic Friday-Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 2. Friday, Cal faces Saint Mary's (5-2) at 7 p.m., Saturday, the Gaels meet No. 23/18 Vanderbilt (5-1) at 4 p.m., and Sunday, Cal entertains Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.
Admission is free to everyone for all four women's basketball games at Haas Pavilion this week. Cal brings a 25-game home non-conference winning streak into this week's games and has won the first three Contra Costa Times Classics and the last Oakland Tribune Classic in 2003.
Cal, whose lineup features only nine healthy players, has relied upon defense and rebounding this season. The Bears surrender only 59.2 ppg (fourth in the Pac-10) and boast a +6.2 rebounding margin (3rd in the Pac-10). The Bears are fifth in the conference in scoring (66.0 ppg) and are first in field goal percentage (45.5%).
Junior forward/center Ashley Walker leads the Pac-10 in scoring (21.2 ppg) and rebounding (12.8 rpg). After topping the conference with 12 double-doubles a year ago, Walker ranks first in that category again with four this year. She has had to play an even bigger role for the Bears, as junior forward/center Devanei Hampton - the 2006-07 Pac-10 Player of the Year - misses four to six weeks after having knee surgery Nov. 9.
Walker, Hampton and redshirt sophomore guard Alexis Gray-Lawson all earned preseason All-America recognition. Gray-Lawson is second on the team in scoring at 11.2 ppg and paces the Bears in three-point percentage (52.9%, 5th Pac-10) and three-pointers made (9, 1.80 pg, T7th Pac-10).
Sophomore guards Natasha Vital and Lauren Greif, Pac-10 All-Freshman honorees last season, also start for the Bears. Greif is fourth on the team in scoring (8.4 ppg) and is a leading three-point threat (46.7%, 6th Pac-10). Vital contributes 7.0 ppg and leads the Bears in assists at 3.2 apg.
Sophomore center Rama N'diaye completes Cal's starting lineup, averaging 8.8 ppg and 8.4 rpg (5th Pac-10).
Freshman guard/forward Kelsey Adrian (6.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg), senior forward Krista Foster (1.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg) and junior forward Shantrell Sneed (2.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg) have been the Bears' main contributors off the bench.