March 5, 2001
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California (12-14, 8-8 Pac-10) faces a must-win situation in each of its final two games of the season in order to finish the year .500 and be eligible for a WNIT selection. The Golden Bears first put their postseason hopes on the line at Arizona State (19-9, 11-5, 2nd) Thursday at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. PT), before they close out the regular season at Arizona (18-10, 8-8, T5th) Saturday at 2 p.m. (1 p.m. PT). The Bears have one more win than they posted last year (11-17, 6-12).
The Bears are looking to finish in the top half of the conference (currently tied for fifth) and earn their first postseason berth since the 1992-93 season, which saw them finish with a 19-10 record, tied for fourth in the Pac-10 at 10-8 and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
After winning five straight Pac-10 games, Cal has lost three of its last four games. The one win was an 83-59 blowout of UCLA last Thursday in Berkeley, giving the Bears their first ever season sweep of the Trojans. In the Trojan victory, senior guard Courtney Johnson also became the 16th player in Cal women's basketball history to reach the 1000-point plateau.
Other milestones Cal will look back upon this year for regardless of how this week's games turn out include:
- defeated Stanford 82-73 at Maples Pavilion, marking its first win over the Cardinal since 1993 and first at Maples since 1986.
- defeated No. 23 Oregon, 68-57, at Haas Pavilion, marking its first win over the Ducks since 1993.
- five-game Pac-10 winning streak was its longest since the 1986-87.
- win over Oregon was Cal's first ranked win since defeating No. 9 Colorado State, 12/21/98, 80-75, to win the Oakland Tribune Classic.
Despite some rocky play from Cal's defense over the last couple of weeks, the Bears offense continues to be on the rise as they are averaging a five-year high of 65.0 ppg. Johnson leads Cal and ranks seventh in the Pac-10 at 14.7 ppg, and her senior backcourt mate Kenya Corley stands 10th in the conference at 13.4 ppg. Also in double figures for Cal is junior center Ami Forney at 10.3 ppg. All three players are averaging career bests.