Jan. 26, 2001
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California (6-10 overall, 2-4 Pac-10, T8th) looks for its second-straight sweep of the Washington schools when the Golden Bears battle Washington Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The Bears are coming off a 69-56 victory against Washington State Thursday night. A year ago, the Bears won four of their final six games of the year, which included sweeping the Washington schools at home - 51-49 (UW) and 65-59 (WSU). Overall, Cal has won three-straight games over the Huskies (11-6, 4-3 Pac-10, lost to Stanford Thursday, 76-68) and three of four over the Cougars.
The WSU win this week saw the Bears showcase a new defensive dimension - a season-high eight blocked shots. Senior forward Lauren Ashbaugh and junior center Ami Forney came up with three blocks each, which was a career high for Forney.
Cal is far ahead of last year's pace during the Pac-10 season. Through six conference games in 1999-00, Cal was 0-6 and 5-11 overall. The Pac-10 race is extremely close this year, with the Bears only 1 ˝ games out of fourth place and two games out of first, which is shared by Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State at 4-2.
Defense continues to be the Bears forte, as they rank fifth in the Pac-10 with a 66.0 ppg scoring defense. The WSU win was the fifth time this season that Cal held its opponent under 60 points.
Cal's shooting percentage has risen to 40.1 percent and 41.6 percent in Pac-10 games. In two of the last three games, the Bears have shot over 48 percent from the field.
Senior guard Courtney Johnson has been in a groove over the last four games, averaging 15.5 ppg, including leading the Bears with 18 points and 9 assists (tied career high) against WSU. The Antioch native leads Cal with 12.9 ppg. Senior guard Kenya Corley is also in double figures at 10.8 ppg.
Johnson also moved into third place on Cal's all-time steals chart at 239 following her three steals against WSU. Mazetta Garrett (1979-84) is the all-time leader with 295, and Cynthia Cooke (1982-85) is second at 250.