Dec. 4, 2000
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California (2-4) stays local this week, as the Golden Bears travel to San Francisco (3-1) at 5:15 p.m. Friday and hosts Santa Clara (3-2) Sunday at 2 p.m. The two games against WCC teams can be seen live on FOX Sports Net Bay Area. The Bears look to rebound from a poor-shooting effort in a 57-51 loss to Florida International in the championship game of the Oakland Tribune Classic Sunday.
Both games this week have a sentimental flair for first-year Cal head coach Caren Horstmeyer. Horstmeyer was an assistant at USF in 1987-88 and spent the last 12 seasons as head coach at Santa Clara, in addition to playing her college ball at SCU.
Senior guard Courtney Johnson paces Cal in scoring (13.0 ppg, 12th Pac-10) and steals (3.3 spg, 2nd Pac-10). Johnson matched her career-high of eight steals in Cal's 75-63 victory over Cal State Northridge. She ranks fourth on Cal's career chart for steals with 217.
Johnson and junior center Ami Forney were named to the Oakland Tribune Classic all-tournament team. The selection was Johnson's second in her collegiate career. Forney has been one of Cal's most consistent players this year, ranking second on the team with career-bests in scoring (10.2 ppg), rebounding (7.8 rpg) and steals (2.0 spg). She stands third in the league in rebounding, tied for sixth for steals and 19th for scoring. Cal looks to get more players consistently involved in the offense so that it can score at least 70 points each game, as it is 2-0 when it hits that plateau.
The Bears are probably three weeks away from having the services of freshman forward Kiki Williams, who has been out with two stress fractures in her tibia. Junior guard Janet Franey is day-to-day, as she continues to recover from a stress fracture in her foot. She has been practicing with the team on a limited basis. Sophomore forward Amber White suffered a sprained ankle in the second half against FIU and is expected to miss this weekend's games.
HEAD COACH CAREN HORSTMEYER (Santa Clara, 1984)
Caren Horstmeyer begins her first season as head coach at California after posting a 221-124 record in 12 seasons at her alma mater Santa Clara. The winningest coach in West Coast Conference history, Horstmeyer guided the Broncos to six postseason appearances, including four NCAA Tournament selections and the 1991 WNIT championship, along with six WCC regular season titles and two WCC Tournament crowns. In the 1990s, Horstmeyer led SCU to four-consecutive WCC regular season titles from 1991-94, and her teams only once finished lower than third in league play. While at SCU, Horstmeyer coached 33 All-West Coast Conference selections, four WCC Players of the Year, one Kodak All-American, one WCC Defender of the Year and one WCC Freshman of the Year. She also has been recognized for her coaching abilities, earning NCAA District VIII Coach of the Year in 1999 and WCC Coach of the Year in 1991 and '93. Caren and her husband, Bill, welcomed into the world their first child, Arend, July 22, 2000. Horstmeyer is assisted by Sue Phillips-Chargin, Shaunice Warr and Camille Burkes.
SAN FRANCISCO SCOUTING REPORT
A Look at San Francisco (3-1 overall, 0-0 WCC) San Francisco is off to a 3-1 start with the Dons three wins being by an average of 45.7 ppg. The Dons are coming off an 80-37 victory over UMASS Dec. 1. USF, which averages 86.8 ppg, is led by Melanie Turner's 15.3 ppg. Shooting and rebounding are the Dons fortes - 50.0 FG%, 47.1 3FG% and 46.2 rpg.
Cal-USF Series History
Cal leads the all-time series which dates back to 1976-77, 24-8. The Bears have won the last three contests, including a thrilling two-point win, 60-58, last year on a basket by Kenya Corley with 2.9 ticks on the clock. The Bears are 10-5 lifetime at USF, including most recently a 62-61 decision in 1997-98.
USF Head Coach Mary Hile-Nepfel (USF, 1981)
Hile-Nepfel is in her 14th year as head coach at USF, with the first 13 being as co-head coach with her husband Bill, who now has a job in athletic administration with USF. Her USF and career record are 199-168, as she shoots for her 200th career win vs. Cal Friday.
San Francisco's Probable Starters
POS NO NAME HT YR PTS REB F 11 Molly Shanley 6-1 Jr. 9.5 4.3 F 24 Cortney Keegan 5-9 Sr. 7.8 2.8 C 32 Kim Whisler 6-4 Sr. 11.5 7.3 G 22 Lindsey Huff 5-6 Jr. 10.0 3.3 5.3 apg G 31 Melanie Turner 5-10 Jr. 15.3 5.0
SANTA CLARA SCOUTING REPORT
A Look at Santa Clara (3-2 overall, 0-0 WCC) Santa Clara takes a 3-2 record into this Sunday's game against Cal. The Broncos are coming off a 62-54 defeat to No. 12 Oregon Dec. 2, their second of six-consecutive road games. Annie Garrison leads the club with 13.6 ppg and 9.4 rpg. Defense has helped carry SCU, as the Broncos allow opponents only 62.8 ppg.
Cal-Santa Clara Series History
Cal leads the all-time series, which dates back to the Bears inaugural 1973-74 campaign, 24-6. The Broncos, however, claimed the last meeting in Santa Clara, 68-64, in 1999-00. Courtney Johnson led Cal with a then-career best 22 points despite suffering a concussion during the game.
SCU Head Coach Chris Denker (Oregon, 1990)
After spending seven seasons as an assistant coach to Cal's Caren Horstmeyer, Denker is in his first season as a collegiate head coach. The Broncos advanced to three NCAA Tournaments with Denker as an assistant.
Santa Clara Probable Starters
POS NO NAME HT YR PTS REB F 52 Kendra Rhea 6-0 So. 9.2 4.0 C 14 Annie Garrison 6-3 Sr. 13.6 9.4 G 3 Becky Ashbaugh 5-5 Jr. 7.4 2.6 7.4 apg G 11 Caroline Gruening5-7 Jr. 12.4 3.2 G 25 Kristin Franklin5-10 Sr. 2.2 2.0GOLDEN BEAR NOTES
HORSTMEYER HAS CLOSE TIES TO NEXT 2 OPPONENTS
Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer carries a little extra emotion with her this week as she prepares to lead her Bears against USF and Santa Clara. The first-year Cal coach was an assistant at USF during the 1987-88 season and spent the last 12 years at the helm of Santa Clara's program before taking the Cal job. She also played for the Broncos before starting her coaching career. She often refers to her decision to leave SCU as one of the most difficult decisions she has ever had to make given her numerous ties to the university, but she says that she gained Bear pride quickly.
BEARS LOOK FOR CONSISTENCY FROM OFFENSE
Cal's offensive production had been on the rise prior to its 57-51 loss to Florida International Sunday. The Bears previously posted its two highest point totals of the year with consecutive victories over South Alabama (70-59) and Cal State Northridge (75-63). Senior guard Courtney Johnson leads her team with 13.0 ppg, followed by junior center Ami Forney with 10.2 ppg and senior forward Lauren Ashbaugh with 9.8 ppg. Four different players have led Cal in scoring in its six games this season. Both Forney and Johnson have held top scoring honors in two games each (one shared for Johnson). Forney also has led Cal in rebounding in five of six games, with her offensive rebounding (3.2 pg) being critical to Cal's offense.
CAL'S DEFENSE IMPROVES OVER LAST FOUR YEARS
While Cal has struggled offensively at times over the last four years, the Bears scoring defense has seen improvement each season. Last year, Cal held opponents to 64.6 ppg, which ranked third in the Pac-10 and was the best by a Cal team since 1977-78. The Bears are on track to top that mark this season, giving up only 64.2 ppg. That mark only ranks seventh in the Pac-10 because the conference as a whole has been strong defensively during the non-conference season.
Year Cal's Scoring Defense 1996-97 72.3 1997-98 70.9 1998-99 67.7 1999-00 64.6FORNEY, JOHNSON AMONG PAC-10 LEADERS
Individually, Cal has faired better among the Pac-10 statistical leaders than they have as a team so far this season. Through games played on Dec. 3, junior forward Ami Forney stands second in the league in rebounding at 7.8 rpg, and senior guard Courtney Johnson ranks second in steals at 3.3 spg after leading the conference a year ago at 3.2 spg. Arizona's Veranda James leads the league in rebounding at 11.0 rpg, and Oregon State's Felicia Ragland tops the conference steals chart at 3.60 spg.
CATEGORIES CAL RANKS IN TOP HALF OF THE PAC-10
Team 3-Point Field Goal Percentage 4th 32.5 Rebounding Offense 5th 37.2 Turnover Margin 5th +2.33 Offensive Rebounds 3rd 15.83 Steals T3rd 10.33ASHBAUGH, FORNEY GIVE CAL INSIDE PRESENCE
One key for Cal's success this year lies in the consistent play of post players Lauren Ashbaugh and Ami Forney. So far this season, each athlete has found ways to contribute in each game and has seen their scoring and rebounding averages increase from 1999-00. Ashbaugh is third on the team in scoring at 9.8 ppg (up from 8.5 ppg as a junior) and second in rebounding at 7.0 rpg (up from 6.1 ppg as a junior). The Redmond, Wash., native tallied her fifth career double-double (11 points 10 rebounds) vs. No. 7 Rutgers. Forney also has shown improvement, providing 10.2 ppg (up from 6.6 ppg) and a team-best 7.8 rpg (up from 5.1 rpg) this year. The Newark native has led Cal in rebounding in five of six games, including posting her second career double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds) vs. Fairfield.
DEERING FINDS WAY INTO CAL LINEUP
Freshman walk-on Jen Deering has stepped up her production in practice and earned herself game time for the first time this season in the Oakland Tribune Classic. The forward/center, who also pitches on the Cal softball team, posted four points, four rebounds and two steals in 14 minutes in her debut in Cal's win over CS Northridge and played five minutes against FIU (1 point, 2 rebounds) the next day.
BEARS SIGN FOUR PLAYERS IN FALL SIGNING PERIOD
Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer announced the signing of four outstanding prep basketball players Nov. 15, including three of the top 20 seniors in Northern California. Leigh Gregory (6-0 forward), Kristin Iwanaga (5-6 guard), Alisa Lewis (6-0 forward) and Jackie Lord (5-8 guard) have all signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at Cal beginning with the 2001-02 season.
BEARS RUNNER-UP AT OAKLAND TRIBUNE CLASSIC
Cal earned its 21st-consecutive home opening win with a 75-63 decision over Cal State Northridge in the opening round of the Oakland Tribune Classic Saturday. Courtney Johnson led Cal with 21 points, 7 assists and 8 steals, which tied her career high and set a new Oakland Tribune Classic record. After the Matadors gained a 57-56 lead, Cal pulled ahead of the Matadors by four, 61-57, with 5:27 remaining in the game with, not surprisingly, Johnson right in the thick of things, contributing a steal, a layup and an assist in a 43-second stretch. In the title game against Florida International Sunday, Cal led the Panthers in almost every category with the exception of the final score, 57-51, and shooting percentage 45.0 (FIU) to 30.0 (Cal). The Bears held their last lead at 31-30 with 12:11 to play. Two three-pointers over the next three minutes helped FIU pull away for good. Ami Forney led Cal with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Tournament MVP Gergana Slavtcheva led FIU with 18 points. Forney and Johnson were both named to the all-tournament team for Cal.