Jan. 6, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California (11-4, 3-2, 4th) looks to earn a weekend split when the Golden Bears visit Oregon State (6-5, 0-3, 9th) Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net at 3 p.m. Cal is coming off its worst loss of the year - a 70-41 decision at Oregon Jan. 5 - while OSU fell to Stanford, 80-60.
Despite the loss, the Bears have still equaled the 1992-93 team for the program's best record in the last 14 seasons. Prior to 1992-93, the Bears best start to a season came in 1983-84 (13-2 through 15 games). At 3-2 in the Pac-10 in 2005-06, Cal also has matched the 1992-93 Bears for the best Pac-10 mark through five games in the last 14 seasons.
In 2005-06, Cal's top four scorers are local freshmen. Center Devanei Hampton (Oakland) paces Cal in scoring at 15.1 ppg, which is ninth in the Pac-10 and No. 1 among all Pac-10 freshmen. Point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson (Oakland) is second on the team at 12.9 ppg, followed by forward/center Ashley Walker (Modesto, 12.8 ppg) and guard Jené Morris (San Francisco, 7.4 ppg). Those four plus senior Reneé Wright (Antelope, Calif., 6.9 ppg) comprise Cal's current starting lineup.
Hampton was named the Pac-10's Player of the Week for Dec. 26-Jan. 1 after averaging 20.5 ppg and 12.0 rpg in the UCLA and USC wins. She had 20 points and a career-high 18 boards against the Bruins. She led the Bears with 15 points at Oregon but was only 5-of-19 from the floor. Walker notched her second straight double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds vs. the Ducks.
Redshirt junior guard Sarah Pool, sophomore forward Krista Foster and freshman forward Shantrell Sneed provide sparks off the Bears bench. Cal began the week as the conference leader in scoring defense at 54.4 ppg, but the Bears dropped to second (55.5) after allowing Oregon 70 points (only the second time this season an opponent has scored at least 70 points against Cal). The Bears are 10-1 when holding opponents to 58 or fewer points this season. Walker paces the conference in blocked shots at 2.0 per game, and Morris is second in steals at 3.0 per outing.
Rebounding is a strength for Cal this season after the Bears were last in the Pac-10 in that category a year ago (34.9 ppg). This season, Cal is fifth at 39.5 rpg and has outrebounded its opponents in 12 of 15 games.