California Plays Iowa Sunday in NCAA Tourney
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/14/2012

March 14, 2012

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BERKELEY - For the eighth time in program history, the California Golden Bear women's basketball team has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Bears, a No. 8 seed in the Raleigh Region, will face the No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes (19-11, 11-5 Big Ten), on Sunday, March 18 at 9:10 a.m. PT in first round action at the Joyce Center in Notre Dame, Indiana. The game will be carried live on ESPN2 and streamed online via ESPN3.

Note about Television Coverage: The Cal/Iowa game will be shown in its entirety on ESPN2 in the Bay Area and in the state of Iowa. In other markets across the country, ESPN2 will be doing "whip around" coverage. For the first two rounds, multiple games (a maximum of four) will begin within one telecast window on ESPN2. During those windows, the networks will "whip-around" to the best action from different games for viewers in most of the nation, with the exception of the home markets of the competing teams. The networks plan frequent switches and updates from other games as action dictates. ESPN3 - also available online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and additionally through ESPN on Xbox Live - will once again deliver all 63 games of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championships. ESPN3 is also accessible through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members.

The winner of the Cal/Iowa game will advance to play the winner of the game between the No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (30-3, 15-1 Big East) and the No. 16 Liberty Flames (24-8, 16-2 Big South) on Tuesday, March 20. The winner of Tuesday's game will advance to the Sweet-16, which will be held March 25-27 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.

This is California's first trip to the NCAA's since the 2009 team advanced to the Sweet-16. It is the seventh straight year that Cal has been in the post season. The Bears went to the WNIT in 2010 and 2011, winning the WNIT Championship in 2010 and getting eliminated by Colorado in the second round last season.

None of the current players have ever played in the NCAA Tournament, though four of them were key members of the 2010 WNIT Championship squad.

This is head coach Lindsay Gottlieb's second NCAA Tournament bid of her head coaching career. In her first season at Santa Barbara, the Gauchos earned the Big West's automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Tournament, where they faced the Stanford Cardinal in the first round.

Gottlieb is the second head coach to take a Cal team to the NCAA Tournament in her first season at the helm. Joanne Boyle's 2005-06 squad earned an at-large bid in Boyle's first season at Cal.

Cal comes into the tournament as a No. 8 seed. This is the second time in program history that the Bears have garnered an eight seed. The Bears were the eight in 2007 when they played Notre Dame in the first round of the tournament in Pittsburgh. It is the only time that the Bears and Irish have played one another, with Notre Dame advancing after a 62-59 victory.

The Irish's first round opponents, the Liberty Flames, defeated the High Point Panthers, 81-73, in the championship game of the Big South Tournament to earn the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Former Cal assistant coach Jennifer Hoover is the first-year head coach of the High Point Panthers.

The Bears will be facing the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round. The two teams have met twice, both times in regular-season tournament play at neutral sites. On December 8, 1982, the two teams met at the Dial Classic, played in Tempe, with the Bears earning a 89-66 victory. More recently, the Bears earned a 76-43 win on Nov. 29, 2008 at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Bears are 1-1 against Big Ten teams this season with a 80-56 victory over Illinois on Nov. 20 in Berkeley and a 77-75 loss to Ohio State on Dec. 17, also in Berkeley.

Iowa has not played a game since March 2 when they lost 80-68 in their first game in the Big Ten tournament, a quarterfinal match-up against the sixth-seeded No. 24 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Since March 2, the Bears have played four games, including battling No. 2 Stanford twice. The Bears have also won two games, their quarterfinal match-up against Colorado (68-59) and the semifinal victory over Washington State (64-49).

The Bears, At a Glance The Bears are led by junior guard Layshia Clarendon. Clarendon was named to the All-Pac-12 first team, averaging 12.6 ppg. After scoring 20 points in the conference final against Stanford, she was also named to the All-Pac-12 Tournament team.

Sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon showed no lingering signs of the stress fracture that kept her sidelined during the 2010-11 season. Brandon's 13-point, 15-rebound performance in the victory over Washington State that sent Cal to the conference championship game gave her enough rebounds to set Cal's single-season rebounding record. Brandon comes into the NCAA Tournament with 328 rebounds this season (9.9 per game), ranking her 26th among all NCAA Division I players.

The Bears freshman tandem of point guard Brittany Boyd and forward Reshanda Gray have created quite a one-two punch for the team all season. Gray is one of the favorite targets for Boyd feeds with the forward averaging 10.2 points per game and the point guard averaging 4.7 assists-per-game (46th in the NCAA). Both earned Pac-12 All-Freshman team honors. Boyd, who is also ranked nationally in steals-per-game (2.5, 76th), was also an honorable mention for the All-Pac-12 team and the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.

Pac-12 Tournament The Golden Bears advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament for the second time in the history of the program.

The Bears, by virtue of their No. 2 seed, earned a first-round bye. They faced Colorado, the No. 10 seed, in the quarterfinals. The Golden Bears opened the game on a 10-0 run. The Buffs came as close as five points, but trailed the entire game. Cal went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final minute of the game to cement the win and advance to the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. Layshia Clarendon scored a team-high 12 points, one of four players in double figures.

The Bears took on the surprise team of the tournament, the No. 11 seeded Washington State Cougars in the semifinals. The Bears broke open a 26-26 halftime deadlock by shooting 57.7 percent in the second half while holding the 11-seed Cougars to a 17-for-63 (27.0 percent) overall shooting performance. The Bears also manhandled WSU on the boards, outrebounding them by 34.

The Bears faced the top-seeded Stanford Cardinal in the finals. The Bears and Cardinals had closed out the regular season playing one another just six days before with Stanford winning that game 86-61. The Bears never recovered from an early 17-4 deficit, eventually falling by 15 points to the Cardinal. Brittany Boyd made three three-pointers as part of Cal's last first-half run, narrowing the gap to just four points, 21-17 at the midway point of the half, but the Bears would never get any closer. Layshia Clarendon had her third 20-point game of the season.

Pac-12 All-Tournament Team The Bears had two players earn All-Tournament Team honors. Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd flirted with a triple-double in the semifinals against Washington State, with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. She followed that performance by scoring 13 points in the final against Stanford.

Junior guard Layshia Clarendon scored twenty points against Stanford. She averaged 13.3 ppg in the three games in Los Angeles.

All Pac-12 Junior guard Layshia Clarendon earned the first All-Conference honors of her career when she was named to the 15-member 2011-12 All-Pac-12 Conference first team. Clarendon was an honorable mention for the 2010-11 season. She leads the team at 12.7 points per game and is moving up the Bears career scoring list after scoring the 1,000th point of her career on January 28, 2012.

Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd and redshirt forward Gennifer Brandon both earned honorable mentions. Brandon is one of the top rebounders in the nation, averaging 9.9 rebounds per game and is poised to set the Cal record for most rebounds in a single season.

Pac-12 All-Freshman Team Brittany Boyd and forward Reshanda Gray were named to the five-member Pac-12 All-Freshman team. Boyd is averaging 10.0 points per game. She has already earned a spot in the Cal record book, tying the mark for the most steals in a single game (10). She is also on the top-10 list for assists in a single season and should finish the year with one of the ten-best seasons in terms of steals. Forward Reshanda Gray led the team in scoring for much of the season and currently ranks second with a 10.3 ppg average. Gray is also averaging 5.8 rebounds per game and has been a key element in leading the Bears to a second place finish in the Pac-12 conference.

Cal has had at least one player earn Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honors each of the last two seasons and has had six players earn the honor with five more honorable mentions since 2005-06.

Pac-12 All-Defensive Team For the first time in the five years the award has existed, the Bears did not have a player named to the five-player All-Defensive team. Cal did have a pair of honorable mentions: Gennifer Brandon and junior guard Eliza Pierre. Pierre was named to the All-Defensive team as a freshman and again as a sophomore. Ashley Walker earned All-Defensive honors in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

All-Pac-12 Media Team On March 5, the first set of post-season awards were announced with the unveiling of the Pac-12 Media Awards. Layshia Clarendon and Gennifer Brandon were both named to the All-Conference team. Reshanda Gray and Brittany Boyd earned All-Freshman team honors.

24 Wins The Bears have now won 24 or more games in a single season four times in the history of the program. The last time Cal won 24 games in a season was the 2009-10 WNIT Championship year. Cal's top win total were the back-to-back 27-win campaigns in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

13 in the Pac-12 The Bears had 13 conference wins, trailing only the record-setting 15-3 seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09) for most conference wins in a season in the program history.

Second Place The Bears' 64-43 victory over Colorado guaranteed a Pac-12 second-place finish for the Bears. It is just the third time since joining the Pac-10 in its inaugural season (1985-86) that the Bears have finished in second place and it is only the second time that Cal has finished with sole possession of second.

Before joining the Pac-10/12, the Bears twice finished first in the NorCal Conference with 10-2 marks in 1980-81 and 1981-82. The Bears also had a second-place NorPac finish with another 12-2 conference mark in 1982-83.

Rebounding Margin The Bears have only been outrebounded by an opponent once this season with Stanford winning the Battle of the Boards during the first Battle of the Bay, 51-47.

After leading the nation at one point this season in rebounding margin, Cal has dropped to third, averaging 13.2 more rebounds per game than their opponents. Liberty continues to lead the nation with a 16.4 per game average.

The Bears have outrebounded their opponents by double digits in 18 games this season and have seven games with a 20-or-more rebound differential including besting CSU Bakersfield by 36 (60-24) and the 63-26 (37) differential against Oregon in the first meeting of the season. The Bears pulled in 34 more rebounds than Washington State in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal game (59-25).

Rebounding The Bears are on pace to have the best rebounding year in program history. The team enters the NCAA Tournament with 1,516 rebounds, 42 shy of the top single-season total (1,558 in 1980-81). The Bears currently have the highest per-game average in program history of 45.9 per game.

The Bears pulled in 59 rebounds in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal game against Washington State. It was the eighth time this season the Bears have had 50 or more rebounds in a game. The Bears have hit the 60-rebound mark three times this season including a 63-board game at home against Oregon, one shy of the single-game record.

O-Boards The Bears had a season-high 30 offensive rebounds against UCLA in Los Angeles.

The Bears have two players with triple digit offensive rebounds this season. Junior center Talia Caldwell leads the Bears with 116, one more than redshirt sophomore Gennifer Brandon (115). Caldwell has more offensive rebounds than she does defensive rebounds (108). P>Gennifer Brandon has had three games this season where she nearly had a double double on points and offensive rebounds alone with 9 O-boards against Santa Clara (13 points), Ohio State (24 points), and at home against Oregon (17 points).

Second Chances The Bears are taking advantage of those offensive rebounds, averaging 15.6 second-chance points per game. Opponents are averaging 9.0 second chance points per game.

Low Down on Down Low In Cal's Jan. 19 game at home against Washington, the Golden Bears scored more points in the paint (52) than Huskies did across the entire floor (47). Of the Bears 29 field goals, 26 came inside the paint. They had two three-pointers and one jumper outside the lane.

The Bears had a similar shot chart in the Dec. 29 game at UCLA where the Bears scored all 24 points in the first half against UCLA in the paint and only hit three jumpers outside the paint in the entire game.

The Bears have outscored opponents 1200-826 in the paint this season (11.4 ppg) and have only had an opponent outscore them in the paint six times this season, twice by Stanford.

Depth The Cal bench has scored 783 points this season, which is almost double last year's season-long total (419 points). The non-starters are contributing a average of 23.7 ppg this season with Cal's opponent's non-starters averaging 13.2 points per game.

Against Dartmouth, Cal's non-starters scored 39 points in a game in which the Big Green scored a total of 39 points.

The Bears have nine players averaging more than ten minutes per game.

Before moving to the starting lineup, Reshanda Gray was averaging 10.0 ppg and 5.1 rpg coming off the bench. Gennifer Brandon, since moving into the sixth-man slot, is contributing 8.3 ppg and 7.4 rpg.

Single Season Rebounding Record Gennifer Brandon became Cal's single-season rebounding leader with her 15 rebounds against Washington State in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. She passed Ashley Walker who, as a junior, pulled in 317 in 2007-08. Brandon has 319 rebounds so far this season.

There have only been three players in Cal program history to have 300 or more rebounds in a single season. In addition to Walker, Colleen Galloway (312, 1977-78) and Jill Weddick (300, 1978-79) have also accomplished the feat.

Brandon is currently ranked 26th in the nation, averaging 9.9 rebounds per game.

Career Points Layshia Clarendon became the 22nd member of the California Golden Bear 1,000 Point Club on her first field goal attempt of the game at Stanford. Clarendon hit a jumper 20 seconds into the game to give her 1,001 career points. By the end of the contest, she had scored 17 points to give her 1,016 in her career, and move her up to No. 21 on the career scoring list.

700-Club Junior center Talia Caldwell comes into the game with 733 career rebounds. During the Pac-12 Tournament, she moved into the conference's top-50 in career rebounding. She is one of just 52 players in the history of the conference to have 700 or more career rebounds. The junior currently ranks 47th on the list, passing former Cal player Trisha Stafford (1989-92) with 721 boards.

Clarendon Down the Stretch As the Bears were heading down the stretch, trying to clinch second-place in the Pac-12, Layshia Clarendon was coming up huge. In the four games leading up to the Bears guaranteeing themselves a second place finish (Oregon and Oregon State on the road and Colorado and Utah at home), Clarendon averaged 19.7 ppg. She had two of her three 20-point performances of the season during those crucial games. Her third 20-point game of the year: in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game against Stanford.

Flirting with a Triple Double

Brittany Boyd was one assist shy of a triple double against WSU, with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. No player in Cal history has ever had a triple double. It was Boyd's second career double double, but the first with points and rebounds. Her first career double double was a 10-steal, 19-point game at Arizona State.

Her 10 rebounds was a career high. She had two nine-rebound performances earlier this season.

Boyd's Record Book Aspirations Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd first earned a place in the Cal record book when she tied the single-game steal record with 10 at Arizona State (2/4).

Boyd has also moved into the top-10 lists for two single-season accomplishments. Boyd currently has 156 assists, ranking ninth. Boyd is tied for sixth in steals with 82 so far this season.

Boyd is averaging 4.7 assists-per-game, the second-best mark in the Pac-12 (46th in the NCAA) and 2.5 steals (third in the Pac-12, 76th in the NCAA).

Boyd earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and the Pac-12 Media All-Freshman team. She was also an honorable mention for All-Pac-12 team and Pac-12 All-Defensive team honors.

Rookie Report: Reshanda Freshman forward Reshanda Gray's 10.2 ppg average is third best among Pac-12 freshmen. She is the most efficient-shooting rookie in the conference with a 52.4 field goal percentage, which ranks fourth overall.

Gray is also one of the most efficient scorers on the team, averaging those 10.3 ppg while only playing 19.5 minutes per games. Gray's most dynamic performance came against UNLV when she scored 23 points in 17 minutes. In the second game of her collegiate career (against Sacramento State), she scored 15 points in 16 minutes on the court. She also has a 16 point- 18 minute game (Hawai'i) and a 15 point - 17 minute game (at home vs. Oregon State).

Playing Good Teams Tough The Bears started the year now 1-4 this season against ranked teams but the Bears four losses against top-25 teams were by a combined nine points (lost by three to No. 16 Rutgers, one to No. 24 Texas, two to No. 12 Ohio State, and three to No. 4 Stanford.). Cal defeated No. 22 Virginia, 59-50, a nine point margin of victory.

The Bears only losses to schools outside the top-25 this season came against UCLA and USC. Only USC and Stanford have managed to top the Bears by double digits.

The Bears are the only team to force overtime against the Cardinal this season. The game this season was Stanford's narrowest margin of victory and one of only four games for the Cardinal that was decided by less than ten points, including the nine-point game yesterday against Arizona State. Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd scored a career-high 19 points against Stanford back in January.

Down But Not Out The Bears trailed the Stanford Cardinal by 14, 61-47, with 8:17 remaining in the game. Layshia Clarendon tied the game, 69-69, on a pair of free throws with 27 seconds remaining in the game, capping a 22-8 run. It was not the first time that the Bears erased, or nearly erased, a large deficit this season.

The Bears trailed by as many as 12 points to Colorado. The Bears closed out that game on a 17-0 run and won 68-55.

Cal set the precedent in the season-opener at Rutgers. Trailing by 12, 65-53 with 4:40 left in the game, the Bears pulled to within two, 72-70, with 38 seconds remaining. The Bears eventually fell 73-70.

Against Ohio State, Cal was down by 14, 72-58, with 5:21 left in the game. The Bears pulled to within two, 77-75, with 42 seconds remaining. The Bears took three shot attempts in the final two seconds to try to tie, but couldn't get the ball into the hoop.

Cal managed to erase a 16-point deficit in the first half of the USC game. Cal trailed 26-10 with 9:30 left in the first half. The Bears took the lead, 33-32, with 18:14 left in the game. USC went on a run of their own to finish with a 74-54 victory in that game.

Raining Threes The Bears made 15 three-pointers on the Oregon trip. The Bears had 16 made-threes in the five games leading up to that trip. Cal had a season-high 10 three-pointers at Oregon, surpassing the eight they hit at Saint Mary's. Cal had the best three-point-shooting game of the season against Oregon State, making five on eight attempts (62.5 percent), which also eclipsed the shooting at the Saint Mary's game (8-for-15, 53.3 percent).

Foo For Three Sophomore guard Afure Jemerigbe was a perfect 4-for-4 at Oregon State. In the last seven games, she has gone 7-for-9 (77.7 percent) from three- point range.

Late Bloomers Layshia Clarendon scored 17 points against Stanford on Jan. 28. She had just four points at halftime in that game. She scored 13 in the second half and two in overtime.

Against Washington State (1/22), Clarendon scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half.

In the 63-56 victory at Utah (1/14), both Gennifer Brandon and Reshanda Gray scored all of their points in the second half. Brandon scored 15 points in 17 minutes on the floor after halftime. Gray scored 11 in 13 minutes. The Bears also doubled their productivity in the second half, scoring twice as many points (42 vs. 21 first half points) and almost doubling their shooting percentage (29.4 percent in the first half and 59.1 in the second half).

Gray again had a solid second half in the victory over UCLA (2/9), scoring 13 of her 17 points in the second half.

Against Washington (1/19), Talia Caldwell scored 14 of her 18 points in the second half. Boyd scored 10 of her 14 points after the break.

Free Throws The Bears, who have often struggled at the free throw line this season, have hit clutch free throws in the tournament, including going 6-for-6 in the final minute of the victory over Colorado. Gray went 8-for-10 (80.0 percent) from the stripe in the first two games of the tournament with Boyd nearly matching that mark with an 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) performance.

After a 3-for-9 free throw performance at Arizona State, Boyd made 30 of her next 36 attempts (over nine games), raising her free throw shooting percentage from 51.6 percent to 60.5 percent. She went 0-for-2 against Stanford in the final to slip back below 60.0 (59.5).

Run Bears Run In Cal's home game against Utah, Cal broke open a game that was tied at the half by going on a 17-0 run to start the second half. It was the second time this season the Bears went on a 17-0 run. Cal closed out the meeting in Boulder against Colorado on a 17-0 tear. The Utes failed to score for the first 8:03 of the second half. At Colorado, the Buffaloes did not score a single point for the final 7:10 of the game.

Under-50 The Bears kept both Utah (46) and Colorado (43) under the 50-point scoring mark in the home games at the end of February. The Bears also held Washington State to 59 points in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals. In three of the Bears last six games, opponents have failed to score 50 points. In four of the last six games, they haven't hit 60 points.

"No Seniors" Day The Bears did not have the traditional "Senior Day" on their final home game. For the first time since 1974, the Bears do not have a single senior to honor. 1974, the official first season of the program, also had no seniors on their squad. Every year since 1975, the Bears have had at least one senior on the roster.

Pac-12 Player of the Week Layshia Clarendon was named the Bank of the West Pac-12 Player of the Week for the first time in her career after the Bears finished their season sweep of the Oregon schools. Clarendon sunk five threes en route to a season-high 27 points in the 83-71 win over Oregon. She was 10-for-18 from the floor, eight of those attempts coming from three-point range. She also grabbed four boards and handed out five assists. In the 75-68 win over Oregon State, Clarendon made key free throws down the stretch, holding off a late surge from the Beavers, and was 9-for-13 from the charity stripe for the game, tallying 22 points.

It was Clarendon's first-career Pac-12 Player of the Week honor and Cal's 38th all-time.

Clarendon was the second Cal player this season to earn the honor. Gennifer Brandon was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Dec. 19 after scoring 24 points with 24 rebounds against Ohio State.

Gen Brandon vs Ohio State Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon broke her own Haas Pavilion rebounding record, pulling in 24 rebounds against Ohio State. Brandon originally set the home court mark in the 2010 first round WNIT game against UC Davis when she had 21 rebounds. Brandon's 24 rebounds was the ninth time a Cal player had 20 or more rebounds in a game. Junior center Talia Caldwell was the last to achieve that mark when she had 20 rebounds on Feb. 24, 2011 against Oregon.

The 24 rebounds ties for the second most in a single game by a Bear in program history, tying with the 24 Jill Weddick pulled down against Yale on Jan. 9, 1979. Colleen Galloway is the only player to have more than 24 rebounds in a game, having a 26-board game against Nevada on March 3, 1978.

Only one player, Kelli Riles of UNC Asheville, has had more than 24 rebounds in a game this season. Riles had 28 against South Carolina Upstate.

Brandon also scored 24 points in the effort. Not surprising, her rebounding led to many of those points. Brandon had nine offensive rebounds. Five of those O-boards immediately proceeded a Brandon putback. Twice more, she was fouled while going for a putback after an O-board, with Brandon making three of those four free throw attempts. She was also fouled on one of the makes and hit the free throw afterward. In all, she scored 14 points off of her nine offensive rebounds.

Her 24 points and her 24 rebounds were both career highs.

Past Honors The Bears have seven former McDonald's High School All-Americans [Gennifer Brandon (2009), Eliza Pierre (2009), Tierra Rogers (2009), Afure Jemerigbe (2010), Lindsay Sherbert (2010), Reshanda Gray (2011), Justine Hartman (2011)], four WBCA high school All-Americans [Layshia Clarendon (2009), Afure Jemerigbe (2010), Lindsay Sherbert (2010), Justine Hartman (2011)], and five players with National Team playing experience [Layshia Clarendon (2009, USA U-19), Avigiel Cohen (2006-09, Israel), Reshanda Gray (2010, USA U-18), Justine Hartman (2009, USA U-16), Afure Jemerigbe (2011, Nigeria)] on the current roster.

Team Captains Talia Caldwell, Layshia Clarendon, and Eliza Pierre are the team captains this season.