Last Home Game Before the New Year
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  12/19/2011

Dec. 19, 2011

Please Note: Construction on Zellerbach Hall will directly affecting ticket operations on December 20th vs Dartmouth. There will only be an eight foot clearance between the construction fences and ticket booth at Haas Pavilion, so fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid access-related delays.

Tuesday, Dec. 20: Dartmouth at California, 7 p.m.
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BERKELEY - The California Golden Bears (8-3) close out the non-conference portion of their schedule at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20 when they host the Dartmouth Big Green (2-7).

The Bears are 8-3 this season against non-Pac-12 opponents with their only three losses coming against ranked teams. The Bears losses were by a combined six points, falling to now-ranked No. 11 Rutgers 73-70 and to still-ranked No. 24 Texas, 61-60. The Bears nearly pulled off the upset over No. 12 Ohio State on Saturday. The Bears trailed by 14 points with five and a half minutes left in the game. Cal trailed by just two points with 20 seconds left in the game, and they had possession of the basketball. Cal got the ball in under the hoop, but never had a clean look at the basket. They threw up three shots in the final seconds, none of which fell in, with Ohio State holding on for the two-point victory.

The Bears are trying to win nine games against regular-season non-conference opponents for the fourth time in the last six years. The Bears went 9-1 in 2006-07 and 9-2 in both 2007-08 and 2008-09. Last year, Cal went 8-3 before jumping into Pac-10 action.

The Bears will be taking on Dartmouth. This is the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The Big Green have dropped their last five games including a 66-52 decision at Long Beach State on Dec. 16. Dartmouth has been on a very long two-game California road trip. They left Hanover, NH on Wednesday, Dec. 14 and will return on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

The Bears are hosting a Sacramento Monarchs reunion for the Dartmouth game. Big Green assistant coach Yolanda Griffith, a former Monarch, was a seven-time WNBA All-Star, and won the WNBA's MVP and Defensive Player awards in 1999. She was also the MVP of the WNBA finals in 2005 when the Monarchs won the title. In 2011, she was voted in by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. Monarchs fans, supporters, and former players are being invited to the game. Griffith will be giving a post-gmae "Chalk Talk" in the club room which is open to the public. Her talk should begin about twenty minutes after the game is over.

Cal, along with Gameday Merchandising and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. Berkeley Alumni Chapter, will be holding a "One Warm Coat" drive. The organizations will be collecting gently used warm coats to be donated to Alameda Family Services. There will be collection bins inside the front doors. Fans who donate a coat will receive a discount coupon good for merchandise in the Cal Team Store in Haas Pavilion.

Gen Brandon vs. Ohio State Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon broke her own Haas Pavilion rebounding record, pulling in 24 rebounds against Ohio State. Brandon originally set the home court mark in the 2010 first round WNIT game against UC Davis when she had 21 rebounds. Brandon's 24 rebounds was the ninth time a Cal player had 20 or more rebounds in a game. Junior center Talia Caldwell was the last to achieve that mark when she had 20 rebounds on Feb. 24, 2011 against Oregon.

The 24 rebounds ties for the second most in a single game by a Bear in program history, tying with the 24 Jill Weddick pulled down against Yale on Jan. 9, 1979. Colleen Galloway is the only player to have more than 24 rebounds in a game, having a 26-board game against Nevada on March 3, 1978.

Only one player, Kelli Riles of UNC Asheville, has had more than 24 rebounds in a game this season. Riles had 28 against South Carolina Upstate. Riles also had a 24-rebound performance against Winston-Salem. Erika Jones of UCF joins Brandon and Riles in the 24-rebound performance category with her two dozen against South Alabama.

Brandon also scored 24 points in the effort. Not surprising, her rebounding led to many of those points. Brandon had nine offensive rebounds. Five of those O-boards immediately proceeded a Brandon putback. Twice more, she was fouled while going for a putback after an O-board, with Brandon making three of those four free throw attempts. She was also fouled on one of the makes and hit the free throw afterward. In all, she scored 14 points off of her nine offensive rebounds.

Her 24 points and her 24 rebounds were both career highs. Her 24 points were just the second time this season a Cal player scored 20 points in a game. Reshanda Gray had the other 20-point performance (23 against UNLV).

Rebounding The Bears moved up to second in the country (and first in the Pac-12) in rebounding margin, averaging 18.2 more rebounds per game than their opponents. The Bears have outrebounded their opponent in every game this season. Maryland leads the nation with 20.6 more rebounds per game than their opponents.

The Bears have outrebounded their opponents by double digits in nine games this season, including all of their victories. In two of the losses, Cal outrebounded Rutgers by four and Texas by nine.

The Bears have three games this season where they have pulled in 60 or more rebounds as a team, including 61 last week against Santa Clara. The Bears had one game last season with more than 60 rebounds, the 64-board performance against Yale, which set the Haas Pavilion record, and tied the program record, for most rebounds in a game.

Brandon paces the Bears at 10.9 rebounds per game. Brandon came into the Ohio State game fifth in the Pac-12 and 48th among all NCAA Division I players. She is now 11th in the nation and second in the Pac-12.

Only one Cal player in the last 15 years has ended the season averaging nine or more rebounds per game, all-time rebounding leader Ashley Walker who accomplished the feat with 9.3 rpg in 2007-08. The last time that a player averaged more than 9.5 rebounds per game for an entire season was 1993-94 when Ingrid Dixon averaged a program-record 12.0 per game.

Bench Scoring The Cal bench has scored 353 of the Bears 794 points this season (44.4 percent). Last year, the Cal bench, over the course of the season, was responsible for scoring 419 points, 19.6 percent of Cal's total offensive output. The bench contributed 53 points against CSU Bakersfield in a game in which CSUB scored 56 total. The Bears bench has scored 40 or more points four times and has accounted for more than 50 percent of the points four times as well. The non-starters have been contributing 40.4 points per game in home contests this season. Cal's opponent's non-starters have scored 130 points this season (11.8 ppg average).

California Dreaming After flying 9,926 miles during the month of November, the Bears will not leave the state of California during the month of December. This is the ninth time since 1988 that Cal has played all of their December home games in the home state, but the eight games Cal is playing this month is the most of any of those California-stands. The Bears play five home games and three road games (at Saint Mary's, UCLA, and USC) during the month. Most of Cal's players will also remain in the state during the holiday season with 10 of Cal's 12 active roster having permanent residences in the state.

Points Per minute Though most basketball stats are compared with per game averages, several Bears have had some outstanding per minute averages in recent games. Reshanda Gray scored 23 points, playing just 17 minutes, or 1.35 points per minute, against UNLV. Earlier this season against Illinois, Gray scored 11 points in nine minutes (1.22). During the Rainbow Wahine Showdown, freshman forward Justine Hartman scored 37 points in 44 minutes (.84 points per minute).

On the defensive end, Gennifer Brandon pulled in 14 rebounds against CSU Bakersfield, in 15 minutes (.93 rebounds per minute). Brandon also had 12 points with 12 rebounds in her first 12 minutes against Ohio State.

Assists Brittany Boyd went into the Ohio State game ranked second in the Pac-12 and No. 43 among all NCAA I players in assists-per-game (5.0). Senior Janita Badon of Utah leads the conference with 5.25 per game. Boyd leads the Pac-12 in total assists with 49 (Badon has 42).

Boyd has six games this season with five or more assists including dishing six against Ohio State.

Only three times in the last 12 years has a Cal player averaged four assists per game for an entire season. Natasha Vital did it twice, with 4.0 as a freshman and 4.1 as a sophomore.

The Top-25 The Bears came close to cracking the top-25 last week. In the Associated Press poll, California was the top team receiving votes to not be ranked in the top-25, making them the equivalent of 26th in the country. The Bears were last ranked in the fourth week of the 2009-10 season, moving into the "receiving votes" category in the week five polls (Dec. 13/14, 2009). The Bears had been on a streak of 46 consecutive poll appearances in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, having been ranked in the top-25 every week and in preseason polls in the USA Today/ ESPN Coaches' Poll from Feb. 26, 2007 through Dec. 7, 2009 before falling out. In the AP poll, the streak began with the 2007-08 AP Preseason Poll and lasted through the Dec. 6, 2009 poll.

Who's Hot

*Afure Jemerigbe had back-to-back-to-back solid performances, averaging 10.3 ppg in her last three game

*Layshia Clarendon has scored 50 points in the last four games. She is 7-for-12 from three point range.

*Talia Caldwell has scored in double digits three of the last four games. She is averaging 10.0 ppg in the month of December, 2.0 ppg more than her season average

We Assist, You Assist California women's basketball has announced that Team Up For Youth and the Coaching Corps program will be the focus of this season's We Assist, You Assist campaign. Fans are encouraged to pledge money, from pennies to dollars, for each assist tallied by the Bears this season. Coaching Corps is a program that pairs trained volunteer coaches with kids in low-income communities so that all children have the powerful experiences of playing and learning, winning and losing, and through it all, discovering their best selves. Dedicated college students serve as volunteer coaches and role models for kids in after school programs in under served communities. Coaching Corps harnesses the energy and passion of young adults to help kids in low-income communities. The goal is to help kids do better in school, have higher self-esteem, stay away from drugs and alcohol, and create a healthy and active lifestyle that lasts their entire lives.

Donation forms can be downloaded from or picked up at any Bears home game this season.