Dec. 6, 2011
Thursday, Dec. 8: California at Saint Mary's, 7 p.m.
Live Video Streaming: SMCGaels.com (premium paid streaming);
Live Audio Streaming: CalBears.com; Gametracker: SMCGaels.com
Saturday, Dec. 10: Santa Clara at California, 2 p.m.
Live Audio/Video Streaming: CalBears.com; Gametracker: CalBears.com
BERKELEY - The California Golden Bears (6-2) will take on a pair of Bay Area WCC schools, first traveling to Moraga for a Thursday, Dec. 8 game at Saint Mary's (5-3) at 7 p.m. The Bears close out the week on Saturday, Dec. 10 hosting Santa Clara (6-2) at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.
The Bears will travel 14 miles to take on the Gaels on Thursday night (7 p.m. tip). Though Cal and Saint Mary's have played one another six of the last seven seasons, this is the Bears' first trip over the mountain since the 2002-03 season. The Bears fell 71-64 Dec. 21, 2002, which is also the last time the Gaels topped the Bears. Cal has won six straight meetings and lead the series 15-5, but Cal has not won in Moraga since a 91-80 victory on Nov. 29, 1994.
Over the past six years, the Bears have dominated California schools who are not members of the Pac-12. In 20 games since 2005-06, including this season's 85-61 victory over Sacramento State, the Bears have only lost once to an out-of-conference team from the Golden State, the 68-66 stunning loss to San Jose State during the 2009-10 season. The Bears 19 victories over California schools include two wins in the NCAA Tournament (San Diego, 2008; Fresno State, 2009) and a WNIT overtime win (UC Davis, 2010).
The Bears are taking on a pair of West Coast Conference schools this week. Cal has won nine straight games against WCC schools, with their last lost to a team from that conference being the 2002 loss at Saint Mary's.
Cal brings a three-game win streak into Thursday's games, having outscored the opponents by an average of 20.3 ppg during that span. Even more impressive, Cal has outrebounded opponents by an average of 24.3 per game during that span. This is Cal's second streak of three W's of the season as they rebounded from the Rutgers loss with three wins in a row.
A pair of victories would give Cal its first five-game win streak since the 2009-10 season where the Bears rattled off six straight victories at the end of the year to win the WNIT championship. The Bears also had two separate five-game win streaks during the regular season, both coming within the Pac-12 portion of the season. Cal's longest win streaks last season were two separate three-gamers, with the first including a sweep through the Cal Classic. The Bears dropped their first game after the tournament, a loss at Texas A&M.
DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina Cal Classic The Bears have now won their home tournament seven of the last nine years and 18 times overall after playing in the championship game 29 consecutive times in a tourney that began in the 1978-79 season. Cal also had a player named MVP for the seventh time in nine years after freshman forward Reshanda Gray earned the honors. Gray had her first career double double (13 points, 10 rebounds) against CSU Bakersfield and then scored 23 points in 17 minutes against UNLV to earn the MVP award. Brittany Boyd earned her second All-Tournament honor of the season, averaging 5.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 8.0 assists in the two games.
The Bears had almost twice as many rebounds (110) as their opponents (56) in the two games.
Rebound Margin The Bears have outrebounded their opponent in every game this season. Cal is currently third in the country in rebounding margin, pulling in 17.9 more rebounds per game than their opponents.
Redshirt sophomore Gennifer Brandon paces the Bears at 9.8 rebounds per game. Brandon is fifth in the Pac-12 and currently ranks 40th among all NCAA Division I players. Brandon has pulled in double digit rebounds in four games this season including a season-best 15 at Rutgers.
The Elusive Triple Double Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd flirted with a triple double in the UNLV game with seven points, nine assists, and nine rebounds. The Bears have never had a player hit a triple double, though they have had several come close. Jackie Lear in 1995 scored 19 points with eight rebounds and 11 assists. Eliza Sokolowska in 1995 had a 15-8-11 game against Washington State. Milicia Vukadinovic had a 20-9-5 and a 30-7-7 performances during the 1991-92 season, but no player has yet to finish with double digits in all three categories.
Bench Scoring The Cal bench has scored 293 of the Bears 579 points this season (50.6 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 bench has contributed more than 40% of Cal's total offense in every game except the Virginia game where the non-starters scored 23 of Cal's 59 points (38.9 percent).
Perfect from the Stripe Freshman Brittany Boyd was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line against Illinois. It was the best free throw shooting performance by a Bear since DeNesha Stallworth went 10-for-10 from the line in the 2010 WNIT game at Oregon (March 25). Junior guard Layshia Clarendon went 6-for-6 from the free throw line against UNLV.
Double Digits Freshman Reshanda Gray began her career with five consecutive games scoring in double digits, a streak that was snapped when she was limited to just one point in the Virginia contest, in which she appeared for only eight minutes. DeNesha Stallworth began her career in 2009 with seven consecutive double-digit scoring efforts. Ashley Walker had five double-digit games to start her Cal career in 2005.
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). Freshman guard Erika Johnson scored five points with four rebounds in eight minutes against CSU Bakersfield.
On the defensive end, Gennifer Brandon pulled in 14 rebounds against CSU Bakersfield, in 15 minutes (.93 rebounds per minute).
Assists Brittany Boyd is second in the Pac-12 and No. 50 among all NCAA I players in assists-per-game (4.88). Senior Janita Badon of Utah leads the conference with 5.17 per game. 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 Bears as a team are averaging 16.13 per game. Last season, the Bears averaged 11.9 assists per game. The last time the team averaged more than 16 assists per game was the 1994-95 season (16.8).
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 CalBears.com or picked up at any Bears home game this season.
Triple Threat Exclusive Chalk Talk and Reception The Triple Threat Club is an organization for fans of Cal Women's Basketball that gives members exclusive opportunities to be a fan of the program, a friend of the program, and to be part of the program. As fans, the Triple Threat Club will have a strong presence at games and special events, with a focus on increasing attendance and the program's fan base. As friends, the Triple Threat Club will act as ambassadors for the program in the community.
Triple Threat members have exclusive access to Pre-game Chalk Talks and Post-game Receptions, including a special event after the Santa Clara game.
CLICK HERE to download a Triple Threat membership application. Contact the women's basketball office for more details.