Nov. 28, 2009
The No. 15/22 California Golden Bears (3-1) earned a spot in the championship game of the Buckeye Classic where they will face the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0). This is the second time in eight days that the Bears will be facing an opponent in the top-10. It will also be the second time in eight days that a Cal game will be broadcast on TV. The Cal-Ohio State match up will be carried live on the Big Ten Network, a channel that is available through some satellite television packages. CLICK HERE for more information about locating the Big Ten Network.
Cal earned their place in the championship with a 78-47 victory over the Southern Jaguars in the opener. The game was a tale of two halves with Cal struggling to find their rhythm in the early going. The Bears made just five first-half buckets, but had 21 freethrow shots in the period. In the second half, the Bears shot a blistering 62.1 percent from the field, scoring 54 points in that 20 minute span.
Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth is averaging 13.8 points per game, having scored in double-figures each of the first four games of her career.
While the rest of the team has struggled from beyond the arc, Stallworth has connected on three of her four long-range attempts. Only two players on the team have more three-pointers than Stallworth. Senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson leads the team with five treys. Gray-Lawson, who is shooting 33.3 percent from three-point range this season, needs four more treys to become the Cal career-leader in that stat category.
Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon is the defensive leader with a team-high 9.5 rebounds per game. She has pulled in at least eight boards in each game this season. After starting the first three games of the season, Brandon came off the bench against Southern and had the biggest game of he young career, notching her first career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Her 13 boards were the most by a Cal player in a single game so far this season. It is the second double-double of the season by a Cal player with Gray-Lawson having scored 12 points with 11 rebounds against No. 9/8 Baylor.
Freshman guard Eliza Pierre had six steals against Southern. Four of them came midway through the first half when Pierre stole the ball on four straight Jaguar possessions. She is now tied for the team lead with 11 steals.
Freshman forward Talia Caldwell, in her first start of the season, shot 75 percent from the field, scoring nine points with seven rebounds.