Jan. 20, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Coming off a 66-64 victory over No. 13 Arizona State, California (13-5, 5-3 Pac-10, T4th) looks to win its ninth straight home game when it faces Arizona (6-12, 2-6, 8th) Sunday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. The game can be seen live nationally on Fox Sports Net. Jim Watson will handle play-by-play duties, while Mary Murphy has the color assignment.
Cal led the entire game vs. Arizona State to grab its first win over a team ranked in the AP Top 25 since the Bears defeated No. 9 Colorado State, 80-75, Dec. 21, 1998. No. 22 Oregon lost to Cal, 61-57, Dec. 27, 2003. It was the last time the Bears beat a team ranked in the coaches' poll.
All four Cal freshmen starters scored in double figures against ASU, with guard Alexis Gray-Lawson leading the way with 23 points. Forward/center Ashley Walker notched her fifth consecutive double-double of the season (10 points, 10 rebounds), and center Devanei Hampton recorded her fourth double-double (17 points, 14 rebounds). Guard Jené Morris added 11 points.
At 13-5, Cal has equaled the 1992-93 team for the best start in program history in the last 14 seasons. The Bears' 5-3 mark in the Pac-10 also matches the 1992-93 team for the program's best conference opening during the same span.
The Bears' nine-game home winning streak is the school's longest since the 1991-92 squad posted nine straight home wins to start the season. With 10-regular season games to play, Cal already has 13 victories, which is the most since the 1992-93 Bears went 19-10. Last year, the Bears were 11-18.
Defense has been a trademark of head coach Joanne Boyle's first Cal team. The Bears are second in the Pac-10 in scoring defense at 57.4 ppg and are 11-1 when holding opponents under 58 points. The school record for scoring defense of 63.2 ppg was set in 2001-02.
Cal is eighth in the Pac-1 in scoring at 65.0 ppg but is averaging 70.7 ppg over the last three contests. Cutting down on turnovers (20.3 per game, ninth Pac-10) and shooting better from the foul line (63.8, 10th Pac-10) are keys for the Bears.
Hampton (15.6 ppg, seventh Pac-10) and Gray-Lawson (14.6 ppg, ninth Pac-10) are both among the conference's leading scorers. Walker is also in double-figures in scoring at 12.8 ppg and tops her team in rebounding (7.7 rpg, second Pac-10) and blocked shots (1.78 per game, first Pac-10). Walker leads the Pac-10 in rebounding in conference games at 10.1 rpg.
Morris is fourth on the team in scoring at 8.4 ppg but has amassed three straight double-figure scoring games. Morris ranks third in the league in steals per game at 2.88.
Forward Reneé Wright, Cal's only senior, rounds out the starting lineup. Wright contributes 6.9 ppg and 6.7 rpg. Redshirt junior guard Sarah Pool and sophomore forward Krista Foster are usually the first two players off Cal's bench.