March 8, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A Look at the Golden Bears
On the heels of posting its school-record 25th victory, No. 2-seeded California (25-5, 15-3 Pac-10, 2nd place) faces No. 3-seeded Arizona State (21-9, 14-4 Pac-10, 3rd place) in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals Sunday, March 9, at noon at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.
The Golden Bears advanced to the semifinals for the second straight season with a 67-60 triumph over No. 7-seeded Oregon in the quarterfinals. Arizona State advanced with an 83-64 victory over No. 6-seeded Washington.
Cal received a balanced scoring effort in the win over Oregon, with junior posts Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker leading the way with 15 points each. Sophomore guard Natasha Vital contributed 14 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.
With its four three-pointers against Oregon, Cal tied the 1995-96 Bears for the school record of 135 three-pointers that season.
Cal lost to ASU, 60-53, in the 2007 Pac-10 Semis with Devanei Hampton leading the way with 21 points and eight rebounds. Hampton has led or tied for team-high scoring honors in all four Pac-10 Tournament games during her Bears' career.
With a victory over Arizona State, Cal looks to advance to the Pac-10 Tournament final for the first time in school history. The winner of the Pac-10 tournament final earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 64-team NCAA Tournament field will be announced Monday, March 17, at 4 p.m. PT
The Bears have surpassed the 1983-84 Bears (24-8) for the most victories in school history.
This year's Cal team leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense at 53.8 ppg, which is on pace to break the previous Pac-10 record of 54.7 ppg, established by Arizona State in 2004-05. Rebounding has also been critical to Cal's success this season, as the Bears are 23-2 when outrebounding its opponent in 2007-08.
Walker and Hampton, members of the 2007-08 All-Pac-10 first team, lead Cal in scoring at 15.6 ppg and 13.7 rpg. Walker is first in the Pac-10 in rebounding at 9.3 rpg. Gray-Lawson, a second-team All-Pac-10 pick, is third on the team in scoring at 12.0 ppg and has posted double-figure points in three straight games.
Sophomore guard Natasha Vital, an honorable mention All-Pac-10 and honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection, averages 7.8 pprg, 3.3 rpg and 4.2 apg. Sophomore guard Lauren Greif, Gray-Lawson, Vital and freshman guard/forward Kelsey Adrian have helped Cal lead the Pac-10 in three-point percentage (35.1%).