Feb. 16, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
No. 22/22 California, which is in pursuit of its 20th win, looks for a split in the state of Oregon this week when the Golden Bears (19-7, 9-6, T3rd) visit Oregon State (8-16, 3-12, 9th) Saturday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. at Gill Coliseum.
With a victory over the Beavers, Cal will reach the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 1991-92 Bears recorded a 20-9 record. It would also mark the fourth time in Cal head coach Joanne Boyle's five-year career that she would have directed a team to at least 20 wins (three times at Richmond).
Despite losing to Oregon, 62-42, Feb. 15, Cal is still tied for the second-best start in school history through 26 games with the 1991-92 and 1981-82 teams. The 1983-84 Bears were 21-5 at this point in the season, on their way to a school-record 24 wins.
Cal is on track to set at least three school records this season - scoring defense (59.2 ppg), FG percentage defense (36.6%) and scoring margin (+8.3).
Sophomore center Devanei Hampton is likely the toughest player to stop right now in the Pac-10. Over the last six contests, Hampton is averaging 23.0 ppg and 11.2 rpg. Hampton led Cal at Oregon, matching her career high of 27 points and hauling in 13 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. The Oakland product is making a claim for Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, as she is second in the conference in scoring (18.5 ppg) in league games and first in rebounding (8.7 rpg).
Sophomore forward Ashley Walker leads the Bears in scoring (17.0 ppg, 4th Pac-10) and in rebounding (8.5 rpg, 2nd Pac-10) but looks to bounce back from a four-point, three-rebound effort against the Ducks.
Senior guard Keanna Levy and freshmen guards Lauren Greif and Natasha Vital round out Cal's starting lineup. The trio has had its breakout moments this season but is looking for a consistent effort in the home stretch of the season. Vital has had the tough job of starting the last 17 games at point guard after sophomore Alexis Gray-Lawson - the 2005-06 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year - suffered a season-ending ACL injury. Vital has responded by leading the team in assists (3.5 apg) and contributing 6.2 ppg and 2.8 rpg.