Jan. 22, 2010
The California Golden Bears (9-8, 3-3 Pac-10) close out their trip to the Willamette Valley on Saturday, Jan. 23 when they take on the Oregon State Beavers (9-6, 1-4 Pac-10) in Corvallis. The game tips off at 7:00 p.m.
Cal is riding a three-game win streak after their 72-62 victory at Oregon Thursday night.
Cal used their fifth different starting lineup of the season against the Ducks with Oregon native Brenna Heater getting her first career start. The lineup was the second different mix to feature four freshmen in the starting lineup. Every single eligible Cal player but junior guard Rachelle Federico has now started at least one game this season.
Senior Alexis Gray-Lawson continues her offensive tear. Gray-Lawson scored 19 points against the Ducks, pushing her season average up to a career-high 16.1 points per game. Gray-Lawson has only one Pac-10 game this season where she has scored fewer than 19 points.
Freshman guard Eliza Pierre had her third five-steal performance of the season against Oregon. Pierre is averaging 3.0 steals per game against Pac-10 opponents and 2.5 assists per game in Conference play. She also pulled in a career-high nine rebounds against Oregon.
Freshman center Talia Caldwell, in her first game coming off the bench since Nov. 22, responded with a 13-rebound game, matching the season-high for any Cal player this year. Gennifer Brandon, who has had seven rebounds in each of her two last games, was the first Bear to pull in 13 rebounds this season, doing so against Southern. The Southern game was the first time Brandon was not a member of the starting lineup.
Senior guard Natasha Vital had her fifth double-digit point game of the season, scoring 11 against the Ducks. Vital has lifted her season average back up over seven points a game, 7.1. She averaged a carer-high 8.6 points per game last season. For her career, Vital averages 7.8
The Bears have two players with ties to Oregon. Senior guard Lauren Greif hails from Portland, Ore. where she was the all-time leading scorer at Lincoln High (1.961 pts). Freshman center Brenna Heater grew up in Southern Oregon, playing for Ashland High where she was a three-time second team All-State honoree.
GRAY-LAWSON IN THE RECORD BOOKS Alexis Gray-Lawson passed a very familiar name while moving up the career scoring list. Gray-Lawson's 29 points against Washington State gave her 1,594, moving her into sixth place on Cal's all-time career scoring list. The name she just passed: her teammate of four seasons, Devanei Hampton who closed out her career with 1,588 points.
Gray-Lawson's 19 points against Oregon moved her past Teresa Palmisano (1988-91) and into the top-five among Cal's all-time leading scorers.
Gray-Lawson is already the Cal career leader in made three-pointers (178). She has hit at least one three-point bucket in all but two games this season.
She is currently fifth on the Cal career games played list, but should end the season having played more games in the blue and gold than any other women's basketball player in program history.
She needs one more steal to enter the career top-10 list in that category as well.
STEALSEliza Pierre leads the Bears with 42 steals this season. Pierre already has more steals this season than Cal's team leader did at the end of the season in both 2002-03 (Nihan Ananz, 36) and 2004-05 (Sarah Pool, 36). Pierre is averaging 2.3 steals per game. If she continues at that pace, she will be just the second Cal player since 2001 to average more than two steals per game over the course of a season. Pierre has two six-steal games this season and has had at least one steal in all but three games this season.
REBOUNDING Cal has outrebounded their opponents in each of the last four games, averaging +13.6 in the rebounding column per game over that span.
PLAYING TIME Every single Cal player (except Rama N'diaye who has yet to play a game this season) is averaging double-digits in playing time this season.
OFF THE BENCH Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon scored 12 points coming off the bench against Washington State. It was the sixth time this season that Brandon scored in double-digits. Five of those double-digit scoring performances have come in games in which Brandon did not start. The Cal bench is averaging 19.2 points per game this season. They scored 26 against Washington State. The bench's best showing of the season was the 39 points the non-starters sored against Southern in the Ohio State Buckeye Classic Tournament over Thanksgiving.
LIVE STREAMING AUDIO The California Golden Bear's Women's Basketball team will be streaming live action for their entire 2009-10 season as part of the Cal ISP Sports Network online through CalBears.com. The Cal ISP Sports Network will be providing the audio broadcasts for all games will be available free on the internet for fans to listen via the CalBears.com website. Bay Area broadcasting veteran Dave Lewis has been hired to call the play-by-play for the game broadcasts. U.C. Berkeley's student radio station, KALX-FM, which has carried women's basketball games for the past 27 years, will continue to broadcast most home games and select road games this season.
A LOOK AT OREGON STATE
The Oregon State Beavers (9-7, 1-5 Pac-10) are off to a slow start in Conference play, having dropped their last five games since opening with a victory against Washington State in Corvallis. Oregon State, a post-season WNIT participant in 2008-09, leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense, allowing just 54.7 points per game.
Oregon State is again led this season by junior Talisa Rhea who is averaging 20.8 points per game, ranking third in the Pac-10 in scoring. Rhea is averaging 2.2 made three-pointers per game. As a team, Oregon State is only averaging 3.0 made threes per game, with the rest of the team combining to add less than one made-trey per contest.
Last season at Gill Coliseum, Natasha Vital scored 14 of Cal's final 20 points to hold off a late charge by the Beavers and secure a 77-72 victory. Vital had 18 total points in the game. Alexis Gray-Lawson scored 19. Cal had an easier time in the second meeting of the season, cruising to a 62-40 victory at home. Gray-Lawson scored 11 points in that game, going 5-for-7 from the field.
Cal leads the all-time series, 29-28. Cal has won the last six matchups including a 67-61 double-overtime game in Corvallis, Feb. 17, 2007. The last victory for the Beavers was a 63-55 win in Berkeley Feb. 2, 2006. The last time the Beavers successfully defended the home court was a 68-37 victory Jan. 11, 2003. Joanne Boyle has never lost at Oregon State.