Dec. 29, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
No. 18/19 California continues a four-game homestand against Arizona Saturday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears (9-3, 1-2 Pac-10) are coming off a 74-58 setback against No. 10 Arizona State Dec. 28 after leading by as many as six points in the first and second halves. The Wildcats (6-8, 0-2) lost to No. 14 Stanford, 85-58.
Tomorrow is the first of five Kids' Days at Cal women's basketball games this season. Every Saturday during the Pac-10 season is devoted to pre and in-game activities for kids. For $25, two adults and three kids will be admitted to games and additional youth tickets can be purchased for $1 each.
Cal continues to search for its new identity after starting point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, the 2005-06 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, tore her ACL in the 73-65 win at Kansas Dec. 10. Freshman Natasha Vital has assumed the point guard starting reins and has averaged 7.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 3.3 apg over the last three contests. Against the Sun Devils, she posted career highs of six rebounds and five assists.
Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker has stepped up her game to a new level this season after being named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman squad in 2005-06. The Modesto product is averaging career highs of 19.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg and 1.8 bpg. Walker has registered double-figure points in all 12 games this season and in 13 consecutive games dating back to a then-career-high 21-point effort against St. John's in the NCAA Tournament.
Walker's post partner, sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton, has contributed double-figure points over the last five games, including a career-high 27-point outing in the Pac-10 opener at UCLA. The Oakland native is second on the team in scoring 13.3 ppg. She was one of 50 athletes named to the Naismith Trophy preseason watch list.
Senior guard Keanna Levy (Waterloo, Iowa) and freshman guard Lauren Greif (Portland, Ore.) round out the Bears' starting lineup. Levy is averaging a career-high 7.6 ppg and 3.8 rpg in her first season as a starter after seeing limited action as a reserve her first three campaigns. Greif averages a team-high 35.9 minutes per game and also leads the club in assists (33), steals (23) and three-pointers made (20).
Cal added some backcourt depth earlier this week with the addition of walk-ons Julia Numair and Natalie Nurnberg. Numair, a 5-7 senior from San Leandro, played for the Bears as a senior in 2003-04, while Nurnberg, a 5-7 freshman, is a member of Cal's field hockey team. She earned all-conference honors at Leigh High School in San Jose.