Jan. 16, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Coming off of its first-ever road sweep of WSU and Washington and first Pac-10 road sweep since the 2000-01 season, No. 21/22 California (13-4, 4-3, T4th) hosts Oregon State (7-8, 2-4, T7th) Thursday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., and Oregon (10-6, 2-4, T7th) Saturday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. Saturday is Bring a Kid to the Game Day (buy one adult ticket, get one free youth ticket.)
Cal, which has been ranked every week this season, is off to its best start since the 1992-93 team also opened the year 13-4. Prior to last weekend, 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 5-3 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, who have only nine healthy scholarship players, typically use a seven-player rotation since Gray-Lawson's injury.
Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker continues to post All-American caliber numbers. Walker led Cal with 20 points - her fifth game with 20 or more this season - in the victory over Washington State Jan. 11. The Modesto, Calif., native leads Cal in scoring (17.8 ppg, 3rd Pac-10) and rebounding (8.8, 1st Pac-10). As a team, Cal tops the Pac-10 in rebounding margin at +5.9.
Sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton teams with Walker to form one of the most dangerous post combinations in the nation. Hampton is second on the Bears in scoring (13.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg) after recording her second double-double (14 points, season-high 13 rebounds) of 2006-07 vs. the Cougars and notching 25 points and eight boards at UW, earning her Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.
Freshman Natasha Vital assumed the starting point guard duties for Cal following the injury to Gray-Lawson. Vital averages 4.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg and leads the team with 49 assists (2.9 apg). Freshman guard Lauren Greif, who hails from Portland, Ore., has started all 17 games for Cal and contributes well-rounded numbers (8.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.6 apg). Greif is also the Bears' top three-point threat, converting 39.2 percent.
Senior guard Keanna Levy rounds out Cal's starting lineup. Levy averages 7.1 ppg and 3.9 rpg in her first season as a starter.
Freshman forward/center Rama N'diaye is Cal's top performer off the bench, tallying 6.4 ppg and 3.1 rpg.