Jan. 1, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. -
Fri., Jan. 4
Cal (11-2, 2-0) at USC (8-5, 1-1)
Galen Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: KALX 90.7 FM, TV: None
Sun., Jan. 6
Cal (11-2, 2-0) at UCLA (6-7, 1-1)
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: KALX 90.7 FM, TV: Fox Sports Net
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
After cracking the top 10 in the Associated Press and USA Today-ESPN polls for the first time in its history, No. 10/10 California rings in 2008 with its first Pac-10 road trip to Southern California. The Golden Bears (11-2, 2-0 Pac-10, T1st) play at USC (8-5, 1-1 Pac-10, T5th) Friday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. PT and at UCLA (6-7, 1-1 Pac-10, T5th) Sunday, Jan. 6, at 12:30 p.m. The game against the Bruins can be seen live on Fox Sports Net.
Cal continued to distinguish itself as one of the best defensive teams in the country during the opening weekend of Pac-10 play, beating Washington, 66-40, and Washington State, 99-44. The Bears are riding a three-game winning streak and four of their last five opponents have tallied fewer than 45 points. At school-record paces of 53.3 ppg, and 34.5 percent, Cal leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.
The Bears are thriving on the offensive end of the court, as well. The WSU game set two Cal school records - largest margin of victory (55) in a Pac-10 game and most points in Haas Pavilion by the Cal women's basketball team. The Bears rank third in the Pac-10 in scoring at 69.8 ppg, signifying the program's best average since the 1995-96 team posted 71.8 ppg and is about two points per game ahead of last season (67.9 ppg).
Junior forward/center Ashley Walker leads Cal in scoring (17.1 ppg, 3rd Pac-10), rebounding (10.2 ppg, 1st Pac-10), blocks (1.85 bpg, 2nd Pac-10), free throw percentage (.795, T3rd Pac-10) and double-doubles (seven, 1st Pac-10). Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is second on the team in scoring (13.0 ppg, T7th Pac-10) and leads the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.500, 27-54).
Junior forward/center Devanei Hampton continues to work her way back to 100 percent after missing nine games following knee surgery Nov. 9. In the four games Hampton has played in, she is averaging 10.0 ppg and 4.8 rpg. She became the 19th 1000-point scorer in Cal history with her 13-point effort off the bench against Washington State. Sophomore 6-5 center Rama N'diaye has started the last 12 games for Cal (9.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg).
It's getting harder for opponents to double and triple team Cal's National Player of the Year candidates in Walker and Hampton with the Bears' outside game doing so well. Cal made 10-of-16 three-pointers against the Cougars - their most treys this season - and Gray-Lawson led the way with a game-high 19 points. Sophomore guard Lauren Greif contributed a season-high 17 points and versatile freshman guard/forward Kelsey Adrian also had 12 points off the bench vs. WSU. Sophomore guard Natasha Vital is doing an excellent job distributing the ball, ranking first on the team and sixth in the Pac-10 in assists at 3.8 apg.