Jan. 9, 2009
Buy Cal Women's Basketball Tickets
Sunday, Jan. 11, 12:30 p.m.: Washington at Cal, Berkeley, Calif. (Radio: KALX 90.7 fm, TV: Sunday, FSN)
For the second straight season, the California Golden Bears have started the season with a 3-0 mark in Pac-10 play. The Bears earned a 56-46 victory at Arizona Jan. 2, followed by a 54-53 thriller at Arizona State Jan. 4 and then added a 68-45 victory over Washington State to put them atop the conference standings. Since joining the Pac-10, the Bears have only started 3-0 or better two times- last season when they won six straight to begin conference play and in 1991-92 when they began with a 4-0 record. Overall, the Bears have started conference play 3-0 or better eight times, with their best start coming in 1981-82 when they went 8-0 to begin their NorCal Conference play. It is also the first time that both the men's and women's basketball teams have started Pac-10 play with identical 3-0 marks.
The Bears improved to 3-0 with their 68-45 victory over the Washington State Cougars. It was the sixth time this season, and the second time already in Pac-10 play, that the Bears have held their opponent to under 50 points in a game. The Bears also allowed just one three-point basket in the game, with WSU going 1-for-19 from long range. Their 5.3 percent three-point efficiency was the lowest by a Cal opponent this season. In the season opener, Cal allowed Albany just two makes on 15 attempts, holding them to 13.3 shooting from long range.
Sunday's opponent, the Washington Huskies, stunned the Bears last season with a 74-66 victory in Seattle to close out the 2007-08 regular season. The defeat dropped the Bears from a possible tie for first place in the Pac-10 to their second place finish. Washington comes into this Sunday's game coming a record-setting 77-point loss to Stanford, the largest point differential ever in a women's Pac-10 basketball game.
In this week's AP and USA Today/ ESPN coaches polls, Cal remained at No. 13. and No. 9. for the third straight week. Cal has been listed in the top-10 in at least one of the two national polls in 20 of the last 21 rankings. After the loss to No. 5/6 Oklahoma, the Bears fell out of the top-10 in the Associated Press poll, tumbling to No. 12, but managed to stay in the top-10 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll, coming in at No. 9. The Bears spent two weeks (weeks 2-3) with a program-best No. 3 ranking, but fell to No. 9/7 after being handed their first loss of the season Sunday, Dec. 7 by No. 22 TCU, 82-73.
CAL'S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST: NO. 2 Ashley Walker Senior forward Ashley Walker moved past Jennifer Bennett (1984-87, 1,766 points) and into second place on the all-time scoring list Thursday night in the Washington State game. Walker's spin move on a basket coming with precisely 15 minutes remaining in the game. Walker entered the season with 1,470 career points, 30 points shy of becoming just the seventh player in Cal history to score 1,500 points. She scored her 1500th career point in the first half of the Nevada game. Walker entered the season ranked seventh on the Cal all-time scoring leaders list.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME REBOUNDERS: NO. 10 Ashley Walker Walker passed another milestone last night. Not only did her ten rebounds give her career double-double no. 38, it also moved her into the top-10 in the Pac-10's history in rebounding. Walker's 937 career rebounds inched her past Maylana Martin of UCLA (1997-00, 935) to rank tenth in career rebounds for Pac-10 women's basketball players. Walker entered the season ranked No. 21. There have been seven players in Pac-10 history to reach the 1,000 rebound mark. There has only been one player in Cal history, Colleen Galloway (1978-81, 1029), to have over 1,000 rebounds. Walker needs 63 rebounds to reach the 1,000 mark and 93 to pass Galloway as Cal's all-time leading rebounder.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME SCORING: WALKER 23 POINTS FROM TOP-20 Ashley Walker's name will also be written into the Pac-10 history books. Walker needs 23 points to make it into the Pac-10's top-20 all-time scoring list. Walker became the 39th player to score 1,500 points as a member of the Pac-10. She currently ranks No. 21 on the all-time scoring list. She needs 24 points to pass UCLA's Nikki Blue (2003-06, 1797) and take sole possession of 20th place (23 points to tie, 24 to be ranked No. 20 solo).
LEADING THE PAC-10 Ashley Walker continues to leads the Pac-10 in scoring average. Her 21.7 ppg paces the conference and ranks her seventh among all DI players. Dawn Evans of James Madison leads the nation at 25.1 ppg. Ify Ibekwe of Arizona is the only other Pac-10 player ranked in the top-100 in the nation in scoring, coming in at No. 98 with 15.9 points per game.
Junior guard Natasha Vital's impressive 48.9 percent three-point shooting efficiency has her leading the Pac-10. She has hit 22 treys in 45 attempts this season. Natasha Vital's 3-for-3 performance from three-point against Arizona State moved her back to the top of the Pac-10 leader board in three-point efficiency after briefly falling to second in the Pac-10. Vital has four games in which she has hit three or more treys in a contest. She was 2-for-5 against Washington State.
ASSISTS Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is averaging 4.4 assists per game, second best in the Pac-10. Gray-Lawson's assist-to-turnover ratio dipped slightly after the Arizona State game, but she rebounded against Washington State, dishing four assist with just one turnover. She is still second in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 2.0. Gray-Lawson was ranked as high as No. 5 among all NCAA Division I women's basketball players this season in national stats rankings report in that category. She remains in the top-30, ranking at No. 28.
DEFENSE Cal continues to rank in the top-25 teams in scoring defense. The Bears have held opponents to under 50 points six times this season, including allowing just 46 points at Arizona and 45 points to WSU. The Bears allow an average of just 53.2 points per game. They lead the Pac-10 and are 15th among all NCAA Division I teams in fewest points allowed per game.
The Bears are 12-0 when holding their opponents to under 60 points and 0-2 when the opposition scores 60-plus.
MORE NOTES ON WALKER
--Walker has just two games this season when she has not scored in double digits.
--Walker has hit 10 or more field goals in two of her last three games and has accomplished that four times this season.
-- Walker has shot 50.0 or better in all but three games this season. She has a career-best 57.8 field goal percentage this season, fourth-best in the Pac-10.
--Walker has 28 career games scoring 20 or more points. This season, she has topped 20 points nine times and has done so twice already in Pac-10 play.
--Walker was a nominee for WBCA Player of the Month in December, a month in which she averaged 22.6 points per game, shooting 61.4% from the floor.
DEV BECOMING DEV The Saint Mary's game was the first time in the 2008-09 season that senior forward Devanei Hampton was announced in the starting line-up for the Bears. Hampton played 23 minutes on the court against the Gaels, scoring a season-high 13 points with a season-high seven rebounds. Hampton missed the first games of the season recovering from off-season knee surgery. Hampton missed eight games to start the 2007-08 season coming back from knee surgery. When she finally came back last season, it took her five games before she posted her first double-digit scoring effort. This season, it took her just four games, with Hampton scoring 10 against Princeton. The 13 against Saint Mary's was her second double-digit effort of the season. Hampton averaged 15.3 points per game in her Cal career entering the 2008-09 season. Hampton averaged 35 minutes per game in the two Pac-10 games this season.
BOYLE NAMED WBCA RISING STAR The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced its winners for the 2009 WBCA Superlatives, with California Golden Bears head coach Joanne Boyle earning the Rising Star award. Nominations for the WBCA Superlatives were submitted through an online survey form. The top vote-getters for each category were then voted on through a balloting process, with the top vote-getter for each category being named the winner.
The complete list of superlatives: Most Inspirational: Kay Yow (N.C. State) Most Likely to get a Technical Foul: Geno Auriemma (Connecticut) Best Pep Band: Tennessee Rising Star: Joanne Boyle (California, Berkeley) Best Coaching Combo: Geno Auriemma/Chris Dailey (Connecticut) Most Entertaining on the Sideline: Geno Auriemma (Connecticut) Most Intense on the Court but Laidback off the Court:Pat Summitt (Tenn.) Best Tradition: Tennessee Best WBCA Pink Zone Event: N.C. State Best Away Locker Room: Arizona State
SKIP THE LINES Fans planning on coming to the game Sunday, Jan. 18 against Stanford are strongly encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance. Lines for day-of-game ticket purchases are expected to be very long. To avoid the hassle, tickets can be purchased online at CalBears.com, over the phone at (800) GO-BEARS, or in person at the Cal Athletic Ticket Office, located at 2223 Fulton Street on the first floor, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All youth 12th grade and under can purchase special $1 tickets for the game.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON (5-7, 1-1 Pac-10) The Washington Huskies won their Pac-10 opener against Washington State, 71-58, extending their winning streak over the Cougars to 27 games. Junior forward/center Laura McLellan leads the squad with 11.6 points per game and a 50.5 field-goal shooting percentage. She is also pulling down 4.2 rebounds per game. McLellan has seven double-figure scoring games including a career-high 22-point scoring effort against Northern Colorado. Junior guard/forward Sami Whitcomb is averaging 10.4 points and has a team-high 23 steals. Freshman guard/forward Kristi Kingma, who is coming off a career-high matching 14-point scoring effort against Kansas State, is UW's third leading scorer with 9.0 ppg and is second in steals (18).
The Huskies fell 112-35 on Thursday at Stanford in a game that was the largest margin of victory in Pac-10 history. Stanford jumped out to a 31-4 lead and started the game 10-for-12 with five 3-pointers in the opening 8 1/2 minutes, while Washington began the game by missing its first seven shots before Heidi McNeill's basket at 16:02. The Huskies were 3-for-18 at one point and trailed 62-15 at halftime. The Huskies already suffered a 109-51 loss at top-ranked Connecticut back on Dec. 18.
The Huskies are in the midst of a tough stretch in their schedule. Beginning Dec. 18 versus No. 1 UConn, Washington has or will face five teams either ranked or receiving votes in a seven-game span. In addition to UConn, UW then faced Florida State (which received votes) on Dec. 19 and #22/18 Kansas State on Dec. 30. Following UW's game with WSU on Saturday, the Huskies hit the road again to face a pair of ranked Pac-10 foes in #11/8 Stanford (Jan. 8) and #13/9 California (Jan. 11). UW is 0-2 against ranked teams this year (UConn, Kansas State), but defeated the Seminoles, 62-60, in the Caribbean Classic.
This year's squad returns seven players and one starter from last year's team that finished the season with a 13-18 record and placed sixth in the Pac-10 with an 8-10 league mark. Welcomed to the fold are eight newcomers including five freshmen, two junior college transfers.
The Washington Huskies stunned the Bears last season with a 74-66 victory in Seattle to close out the 2007-08 regular season. The defeat dropped the Bears from a possible tie for first place in the Pac-10 to their second place finish. Washington leads the all-time series 40-11.
Washington's Probable Starters (2008-09 per-game averages)
G 21 Christina Rozier 5-8 Jr. Miami, FL 4.3 ppg/ 1.7 rpg
G 10 Kristi Kingma 5-10 Fr. Mill Creek, WA 9.0 ppg/ 3.4 rpg
G 32 Sami Whitcomb 5-10 Jr. Ventura, CA 10.4 ppg/ 3.9 rpg
F 30 Lydia Young 5-11 Jr. Detroit, MI 4.0 ppg/ 4.8 rpg
C 0 Laura McLellan 6-2 Jr. Campbell, CA 11.6 ppg/ 4.2 rpg
Tickets for this game for youth are just $1. Click on the link below for more info.