Jan. 9, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
After wrapping up a four-game homestand, No. 22 California (11-4, 2-3 Pac-10, 6th) plays at Washington State (5-11, 1-5, 10th) Thursday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. in Pullman and at Washington (12-5, 5-1, 2nd) Saturday, Jan. 13, at 1:30 p.m. in Seattle. Both games can be heard live on KALX Radio (90.7 FM), while Saturday's game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net, with Jim Watson (play-by-play) and Mary Murphy (color) handling the broadcasting duties.
Cal, which is 3-3 in its last six games since losing Alexis Gray-Lawson (the 2005-06 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year) for the season with an ACL injury, looks to regroup after a 69-44 loss to No. 12 Stanford Jan. 6.
The Bears are ranked No. 22 this week in the AP and coaches' polls and have been ranked as high as No. 15 by the Associated Press this season. Cal ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring (69.6 ppg) and scoring defense (60.4 ppg).
In Gray-Lawson's absence, Cal features nine healthy scholarship players and two walk-ons (Julia Numair and Natalie Nurnberg) who joined the Bears after Christmas.
Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker continues to assemble an All-American worthy season. Walker leads Cal in scoring (18.0 ppg, 4th Pac-10), rebounding (9.0 rpg, t2nd), field goal percentage (54.8%, 5th), free throw percentage (78.9%, 10th) and blocked shots (1.7 bpg, 4th).
Walker and sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton combine to form one of the most dominant post tandems in the country. Hampton, who has posted double-digit points in seven of her last eight games, is second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.9 rpg).
The Bears start three guards who have gained a lot of experience this season. Senior Keanna Levy averaged 1.9 ppg in 8.3 mpg through her first three seasons and is averaging 7.5 ppg in 30.0 mpg as a starter this season. Freshman Lauren Greif has been a steady influence for the Bears as a starter in all 15 games. Greif is fourth on the team in scoring at 9.0 ppg and leads the Bears in steals (25), three-point percentage (43.9, 5th Pac-10) and three-pointers made per game (1.93 pg, 29 total, 3rd Pac-10).
Freshman forward/center Rama N'diaye has excelled as Cal's first player off the bench. N'diaye averages 6.1 ppg and 3.0 rpg and has recorded double-figure points in three of the last five games.
Junior forward Krista Foster averages 4.1 ppg and brings energy and hustle to the three and four spots for the Bears.