Feb. 17, 2012
Saturday, Feb. 18: California at Oregon State, 2 p.m.
Live Audio Streaming: CalBears.com; Gametracker: CalBears.com
Live Streaming Video: OSUBeavers.com
BERKELEY - The California Golden Bears (19-7, 10-4 Pac-12) continue the quest to become the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 tournament, facing one of the teams tied for third place, the Oregon State Beavers (17-8, 8-6 Pac-12) on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. in Corvallis.
Despite last week's 76-75 overtime loss to USC, the Bears still remain alone in second place in the Pac-12 standings with a two-game lead over Oregon State and Arizona State, and a 2.5 game lead over USC, UCLA. The top four teams in the conference earn first-round byes in the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament.
After starting Pac-12 play 0-2, the Bears turned things around with their home series against the Oregon schools, defeating Oregon State 73-56 and Oregon 90-67. Those were the first two games of a six-game win streak. Overall, the Bears are 10-2 since New Year's Day, with both losses coming in overtime by a combined four points. Cal has yet to lose a game in regulation in the 2012 calendar year.
The Bears "bigs" had big games against the Oregon schools the first time around. Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon scored 28 points with 27 rebounds in the two games. Junior center Talia Caldwell scored 26 points with 22 boards. Freshman forward Reshanda Gray also scored 26 with 12 boards.
So far on the current road trip, it is a guard who has taken center stage with junior Layshia Clarendon scoring 27 points against Oregon, the second-highest single game total of her career and the highest single-game total this season for a Bear player. Clarendon, who hit five three-pointers in the game, was one point shy of matching her season high in the first half, scoring 17 points before the break.
The Bears hit a season-high 10 three pointer, shooting 50.0 from three-point range. It was their second-best long-range shooting performance of the season, having gone 8-for-15 against Saint Mary's. After shooting 21.7 percent (5-for-23) from three-point range on the Arizona trip, the Bears improved to 7-for-18 (38.8 percent) at home against the LA schools. In the first meeting of the year against Oregon State, the Bears shot 50.0 percent from three-point range, making five of their 10 attempts.
The Bears have won the last 11 games against OSU and 15 of the last 16 meetings. Oregon State does lead the all-time series, 33-28.
Saturday will be the Bears third "Pink" game, part of the month-long WBCA "Play 4Kay" promotion to raise money and awareness for the Kay Yow Foundation, a breast cancer charity. Cal's home pink game will be Saturday, Feb. 25.
* Reshanda Gray has been in the starting lineup each of the last five games, averaging 14.4 points and 10.0 rebounds with two double doubles.
* Lindsay Sherbert had three made-threes against USC and five overall last week. Sherbert has made at least one three-point basket in each of the last seven games. She leads the team with 32 made this season and a 34.8 percent efficiency. In her last four games, she has gone 9-for-20 from long range, making 45.0 percent of her attempts.
* After averaging 5.0 ppg in her previous four games, Gennifer Brandon exploded for 22 points against USC (making 10 field goals), also grabbing 17 rebounds. Her 17 rebounds were only the third-most by a Cal player in a game this season. The top two performances: Brandon with 24 against Ohio State and Brandon with 19 against Oregon the first time around.
* Layshia Clarendon scored 27 points at Oregon State, the highest single-game total by a Bear so far this season. The previous best was Brandon's 24 points against Ohio State.
* Brittany Boyd has had eight assists in two of her last three games.
Happy New Year The Bears have not lost in regulation during the 2012 calendar year.
The Big 2-0 The Bears come into the game on the brink of their fifth 20-win season in the last six years. The Bears have only had nine 20-win seasons in the history of the program and only two coaches have guided teams to 20 or more wins in a season. Gooch Foster did it four times (80-81, 81-82, 86-87, 91-92) and Joanne Boyle had four consecutive 20-win seasons from 2006-10.
Gottlieb has two 20-win seasons on her resume already. She was the first-ever coach at UCSB to guide her team to 20 wins in her first season, finishing with a 22-10 overall record. That team won both the Big West regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Former Teammates Sophomore guard Afure Jemerigbe will face one of her teammates from St. Mary's High school, Ali Gibson, Saturday when the Bears take on the Oregon State Beavers. The two Stockton natives won't be the only match-up of former teammates. A pair of Bishop O'Dowd alums will also be facing each other. Cal's sophomore guard Mikayla Lyles will play against OSU sophomore Alexis Bostick.
Rebounding Queen The Battle for the Pac-12 rebounding lead is heating up. Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon is averaging 10.65 rebounds per game and has moved up to second in the Pac-12 behind Nnemakdi Ogumike, who is averaging 10.69 rebounds per game. Brandon has the most overall rebounds (277) of any player in the conference. Nnemakdi has 246 over 23 games, giving her a higher average as she has played three fewer games than Brandon. In third place is Chiney Ogumike who also has 246 rebounds, which is 10.25 rpg over her 24 contests.
Brandon currently ranks 15th in the nation in rebounding.
Rebounding Margin The Bears are second in the nation, averaging 14.7 more rebounds per game than their opponents. Liberty is back into the national lead with a 15.6 per game average.
The Bears have outrebounded their opponents by double digits in 18 games this season and have six games with a 20-or-more rebound differential including besting CSU Bakersfield by 36 (60-24) and the 63-26 (37) differential against Oregon.
The Bears outrebounded their opponents in every game this season except the Stanford game. Last season, Cal had 23 games in which they outrebounded their opponents and finished the year averaging 5.6 more rebounds per game.
Career Points Layshia Clarendon became the 22nd member of the California Golden Bear 1,000 Point Club on her first field goal attempt of the game at Stanford. Clarendon hit a jumper 20 seconds into the game to give her 1,001 career points. By the end of the contest, she had scored 17 points to give her 1,016 in her career, and move her up to No. 21 on the career scoring list. With her 27 points at Oregon, Clarendon moved up two places on the list and now ranks 16th with 1,096 points.
She needs seven points to move into sole possession of 15th place by passing Heli Toikka (1,102 points, 1983-86).
Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament The Pac-12 Tournament will in some ways have a similar structure to last years' tourney. The first round games will be played at the Galen Center on March 7-8 with the semifinals and finals being played at the Staples Center on March 9-10. The games at Galen will be streamed live on YouTube. The games at Staples will be aired on FSN/CSN Bay Area. The difference is that with a 12-team conference, instead of the top-two seeds getting byes to the semifinals, this season the top four seeds will get a first-round bye, automatically advancing to the quarterfinals (March 9 at Galen). Ticket packages are available now on CalBears.com.
Play 4Kay Cal's home game on Saturday, Feb. 25 against Colorado will be the annual "Pink Game". All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game. There will also be auctions and other opportunities for fans to make a financial contribution to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, the official charity of the initiative. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women's cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved and unifying people for a common cause. Kay Yow, the fund's namesake, was the head coach of the NC State Wolfpack women's basketball team from 1975 to 2009. A member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, she had more than 700 career wins. She also coached the U.S. women's basketball team to an Olympic gold medal in 1988 despite having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. She passed away on January 24, 2009, after facing her third bout with the disease.
Cal Kids Day The Saturday, Feb. 25 game against Colorado is another Cal Kids Day. All kids 12th grade and under can purchase $1 general admission tickets for all Pac-12 weekend home games this season. Fans are encouraged to come early for the pre-game FunZone outside on the plaza (weather permitting) that includes poster making, face painting, bounce houses and basketball games. The fun zone will be open from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m.
Women's Basketball Growth Charts, featuring a life-szie picture of junior center Talia Caldwell, will be given out to all youth in attendance (while supplies last).
The Saturday, March 4 game against Stanford will be the final Cal Kids Day of the season.