California Takes on Undefeated No. 12 Ohio State
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  12/13/2011

Dec. 13, 2011

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Saturday, Dec. 17: No. 12 Ohio State at California, 2 p.m.
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BERKELEY - The California Golden Bears (8-2) are looking for their second win over a top-25 ranked school this season when they host the No. 12 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0) at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Haas Pavilion.

Toys For Tots Fans who bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Ohio State game can purchase a $3 general admission ticket. The toys will be donated to the Toys For Tots program.

Saturday's game will also be Cal Alumnae Day with players from past Golden Bear teams being honored at halftime. The annual Ugly Sweater contest will also be held, so wear your wackiest holiday sweater for your chance to win great Cal Prizes. There will also be a post-game autograph session with all of the Cal players available to sign autographs for 15 minutes shortly after the conclusion of the game.

One Warm Coat The California Department of Athletics along with Gameday Merchandising and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Berkeley Alumni Chapter are holding a is a "One Warm Coat" drive. The organizations will be collecting gently used warm coats for those in need. These coats will be donated to Alameda Family Services.

Fans are asked to bring coats to the front lobby of Haas Pavilion (Entry 3) before the Ohio State and Dartmouth games. Fans who donate a coat will receive a discount coupon good for merchandise in the Cal Team Store in Haas Pavilion.

Golden Bear Notes

The Bears are 8-2 this season with their only two losses of the year coming against ranked teams. The Bears two losses were by a combined four points, falling to now-ranked No. 11 Rutgers 73-70 and to still-ranked No. 24 Texas, 61-60. They defeated then-ranked No. 22 Virginia, 59-50, the first win over a ranked team for the Bears since the 2009 NCAA tournament victory over Virginia, who was ranked No. 23 at the time of that loss. Three of Cal's first five games this season were played against top-25 ranked teams.

Cal's last victory over a ranked opponent in a game played at Haas Pavilion was the thrilling 57-54 win over No. 9/8 Stanford on January 18, 2009. The Bears also defeated No. 3/2 Rutgers, 66-52, at Haas that same season (11/21/08).

The Bears are riding a five-game win streak, the first time the Bears have won five in a row since the 2009-10 season when the Bears rattled off six straight victories at the end of the year to win the WNIT championship. The Bears also had two separate five-game win streaks during the 2009-10 regular season, both coming within the Pac-12 portion of the season. Cal's longest win streaks last season were two separate three-gamers.

During the current win streak, Cal is outscoring opponents by an average of 17.6 points per game and outrebounding teams by 22.8 rpg. Junior guard Layshia Clarendon has been lighting it up from outside the arc, making nearly 50 percent of her three-point attempts (9-for-19). Clarendon has also been money from the free throw line, making 15 of 17 from the stripe.

Junior guard Eliza Pierre has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.8 during the win streak (19 assists to five turnovers). Pierre has raised her season assist-to-turnover ratio to 1.59 with her efforts in the last five games. Pierre, the shortest player on the team at 5-7, also has three blocks in the last five games, the same number as three of the four post players and one more than the fourth.

Cal is also a perfect 5-0 at home this season. Cal won the first six home games of the 2011-12 season before dropping the Pac-12 opener against Stanford on Jan. 2.

Rebounding The Bears are ranked third in the country in rebounding margin, averaging 18.4 more rebounds per game than their opponents. The Bears have outrebounded their opponent in every game this season.

The Bears have outrebounded their opponents by double digits in eight games this season, all of their victories. In the two losses, Cal outrebounded Rutgers by four and Texas by nine.

The Bears have three games this season where they have pulled in 60 or more rebounds as a team, including 61 last week against Santa Clara. The Bears had one game last season with more than 60 rebounds, the 64-board performance against Yale, which set the Haas Pavilion record, and tied the program record, for most rebounds in a game.

Redshirt sophomore Gennifer Brandon paces the Bears at 9.6 rebounds per game. Brandon is fifth in the Pac-12 and currently ranks 48th among all NCAA Division I players. Brandon has pulled in double digit rebounds in five games this season including a season-best 15 at Rutgers. Brandon had nine offensive rebounds against Santa Clara.

Only one Cal player in the last 15 years has ended the season averaging nine or more rebounds per game, all-time rebounding leader Ashley Walker who accomplished the feat with 9.3 rpg in 2007-08. The last time that a player averaged more than 9.5 rebounds per game for an entire season was 1993-94 when Ingrid Dixon averaged a program-record 12.0 per game.

In the Lead The Bears have held the lead at the half in all 10 games this season. In the last nine games, Cal has only trailed for a combined total of 2:54. The Bears trailed for 20:19 of the season opener against Rutgers. Out of 400 minutes of basketball this season, the Bears have trailed for a total of 23 minutes and three seconds, meaning the Bears have only been playing from behind five percent of the time.

Bench Scoring The Cal bench has scored 344 of the Bears 719 points this season (47.8 percent). Last year, the Cal bench, over the course of the season, was responsible for scoring 419 points, 19.6 percent of Cal's total offensive output. The bench contributed 53 points against CSU Bakersfield in a game in which CSUB scored 56 total. The Bears bench has scored 40 or more points four times and has accounted for more than 50 percent of the points four times as well. The non-starters have been contributing 40.4 points per game in home contests this season. Cal's opponent's non-starters have scored 114 points this season (11.4 ppg average).

California Dreaming After flying 9,926 miles during the month of November, the Bears will not leave the state of California during the month of December. This is the ninth time since 1988 that Cal has played all of their December home games in the home state, but the eight games Cal is playing this month is the most of any of those California-stands. The Bears play five home games and three road games (at Saint Mary's, UCLA, and USC) during the month. Most of Cal's players will also remain in the state during the holiday season with 10 of Cal's 12 active roster having permanent residences in the state.

Points Per Minute Though most basketball stats are compared with per game averages, several Bears have had some outstanding per minute averages in recent games. Reshanda Gray scored 23 points, playing just 17 minutes, or 1.35 points per minute, against UNLV. Earlier this season against Illinois, Gray scored 11 points in nine minutes (1.22). During the Rainbow Wahine Showdown, freshman forward Justine Hartman scored 37 points in 44 minutes (.84 points per minute).

On the defensive end, Gennifer Brandon pulled in 14 rebounds against CSU Bakersfield, in 15 minutes (.93 rebounds per minute).

Assists Brittany Boyd is second in the Pac-12 and No. 43 among all NCAA I players in assists-per-game (4.9). Senior Janita Badon of Utah leads the conference with 5.25 per game. Boyd leads the Pac-12 in total assists with 49 (Badon has 42).

Boyd has five games this season with five or more assists.

Only three times in the last 12 years has a Cal player averaged four assists per game for an entire season. Natasha Vital did it twice, with 4.0 as a freshman and 4.1 as a sophomore.

The Top-25 The Bears came close to cracking the top-25 this week. In the Associated Press poll, California was the top team receiving votes to not be ranked in the top-25, making them the equivalent of 26th in the country. The Bears were last ranked in the fourth week of the 2009-10 season, moving into the "receiving votes" category in the week five polls (Dec. 13/14, 2009). The Bears had been on a streak of 46 consecutive poll appearances in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, having been ranked in the top-25 every week and in preseason polls in the USA Today/ ESPN Coaches' Poll from Feb. 26, 2007 through Dec. 7, 2009 before falling out. In the AP poll, the streak began with the 2007-08 AP Preseason Poll and lasted through the Dec. 6, 2009 poll.

Who's Hot
*Eliza Pierre averaged 6.5 ppg last week, almost double her season average. Pierre also had nine assists (with just two turnovers) in the two games last week
*Gennifer Brandon had 13 points and 11 rebounds (including nine O-boards) in just 16 minutes against Santa Clara
*Afure Jemerigbe had back-to-back solid performances, averaging 10.0 ppg last week, going 3-for-7 from three point range
*Layshia Clarendon has scored 40 points in the last three games. She is 6-for-11 from three point range and has only missed one free throw (10-of-11) in that same span. Clarendon also has seven rebounds, seven steals, and seven assists.

Tough games for the Pac-12 Cal is one of four Pac-12 teams taking on top-ranked talent this week. UCLA will host No. 6 Tennessee. USC hits the road for a match-up against defending national champion and 10th-ranked Texas A&M, and Arizona State plays at No. 23 DePaul.

Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio State is off to its best season start under head coach Jim Foster at 9-0. OSU also started 8-0 in 2009-10 before losing at Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Ohio State has won 19 of its last 20 games dating to last season, losing only to No. 1 seed Tennessee in the NCAA Dayton Regional. The Buckeyes have two national player of the year candidates on their team. Junior Tayler Hill and senior Samantha Prahalis both rank in the top-five in the Big Ten in scoring at 21.3 and 18.5 ppg, respectively (as of Dec. 12). Hill is tops in the Big Ten and ranks 11th nationally. Prahalis leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally in assists with 7.0 per game.

Ohio State has only played one game away from home this season, a 69-63 victory over then-ranked No. 18 Oklahoma.

The Bears have never defeated the Buckeyes, with Ohio State holding a 3-0 series advantage. The first meeting between the two was in Berkeley in 1997-98 when OSU won, 85-72, in a game played at Kaiser Arena in Oakland. The other two wins were in Columbus. Ohio State has played in Haas Pavilion, however, as they played there in 2009 in the NCAA Regional against Stanford.

The last time the two teams met was two seasons ago when Eliza Pierre, Layshia Clarendon, and Talia Caldwell were freshmen. The Bears fell, 83-71, in the finals of the Buckeye Classic, Ohio State's home Thanksgiving weekend tournament. Ohio State was the No. 3 team in the country at the time of that game with a 7-0 record.

Zero Waste Game When a modernized and seismically improved California Memorial Stadium reopens with its fully renovated west side in September 2012, one of the building's goals will be to aim for zero waste. The effort is collaboration between Cal Athletics and Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, along with corporate sponsor Recology.

To help jumpstart the initiative, three zero-waste games will be held in Haas Pavilion this year, including the Saturday, Dec. 17 game against Ohio State. You will see bins for recycling and composting located throughout Haas, instead of trash receptacles, with the slogan "Blue & Gold Makes Green". In addition, Cal Athletics' concessions, catering and merchandising partners will modify their menus and packaging to help reach the zero-waste goal.

The Cal program is part of the campus' overall commitment to be responsible stewards of resources and demonstrate leadership in sustainable business practices. The plan is also in line with the University's sustainability policy and the City of Berkeley's goal of achieving zero waste by the year 2020, eliminating all materials send to landfills.

Monarchs Reunion On Tuesday, Dec. 20, the Cal game against Dartmouth will feature a Sacramento Monarchs Reunion in conjunction with the Yolanda Griffith's Northern California return. Griffith, who is now an assistant with Dartmouth, was a seven-time WNBA All-Star, and won the WNBA's MVP and Defensive Player awards in 1999. She was also the MVP of the WNBA finals in 2005 when the Monarchs won the title. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. Monarchs fans, supporters, and former players are being invited to the game.

We Assist, You Assist California women's basketball has announced that Team Up For Youth and the Coaching Corps program will be the focus of this season's We Assist, You Assist campaign. Fans are encouraged to pledge money, from pennies to dollars, for each assist tallied by the Bears this season. Coaching Corps is a program that pairs trained volunteer coaches with kids in low-income communities so that all children have the powerful experiences of playing and learning, winning and losing, and through it all, discovering their best selves. Dedicated college students serve as volunteer coaches and role models for kids in after school programs in under served communities. Coaching Corps harnesses the energy and passion of young adults to help kids in low-income communities. The goal is to help kids do better in school, have higher self-esteem, stay away from drugs and alcohol, and create a healthy and active lifestyle that lasts their entire lives.

Donation forms can be downloaded or picked up at any Bears home game this season.