Jan. 19, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
After winning three straight games and five of its last six, No. 21/22 California (14-4, 5-3, T3rd) hosts Oregon (10-7, 2-7, T7th) Saturday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Saturday is Come to College Day/Bring a Kid to the Game Day (buy one adult ticket, get one free youth ticket.) There will pre-game activities for children beginning at 1 p.m. outside of Haas Pavilion.
The last time Cal swept Oregon State and Oregon was in Berkeley during the 2000-01 season. Cal head coach Joanne Boyle looks to win her 100th career game vs. the Ducks.
Cal, which has been ranked every week this season, is off to its best start since the 1991-92 team also opened the year at 14-4. Last year, the Bears were 13-5 (5-3 Pac-10) at this point in the season. Prior to last weekend's first-ever road sweep of WSU and Washington, the last time the Bears won two games on a Pac-10 road trip was in 2000-01 when they beat USC and UCLA.
Cal is 6-3 since sophomore guard Alexis Gray-Lawson tore her ACL and meniscus against Kansas Dec. 10. Gray-Lawson, the 2005-06 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, had successful surgery to repair both ligaments Jan. 10.
The Bears are coming off a 63-57 win over Oregon State Jan. 18. Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker led the way with 23 points and sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton added her third double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Cal played only six players and started three freshmen and two sophomores, as senior guard Keanna Levy (7.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg) was sidelined with a concussion.
Cal, which ranks third in the Pac-10 in scoring defense at a school-record pace of 58.9 ppg, is now 10-0 when holding opponents under 60 points this season.
Walker and Hampton combine to form one of the best post combinations in the nation. Walker leads Cal in scoring (18.1 ppg, 3rd Pac-10) and rebounding (8.7, T1st Pac-10). Hampton, who earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors Jan. 15, is second on the Bears in both scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg) and has recorded double-digit points in 10 of her last 11 games.
Freshman Natasha Vital assumed the starting point guard duties for Cal following the injury to Gray-Lawson. Vital averages 5.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg and leads the team in assists at 3.1 apg. Freshman guard Lauren Greif, who hails from Portland, Ore., has started all 18 games, averages 8.4 ppg and is third on the team in rebounding at 5.8 rpg. Greif is also the Bears' top three-point threat, converting 39.0 percent (7th Pac-10). Vital and Greif both played all 40 minutes against Oregon State.
Freshman forward/center Rama N'diaye (6.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg) earned her third start of the season vs. the Beavers and registered a career-high six assists.