Feb. 26, 2001
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California (11-13, 7-7 Pac-10) looks to bounce back from being swept by the Washington schools as the Golden Bears return home this week for their final Pac-10 homestand. Thursday, Cal faces UCLA (4-21, 3-11, 10th Pac-10) at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday it entertains USC (9-15, 4-10, 9th Pac-10) at 1 p.m. Youth 17 and under wearing blue and gold will be admitted free to the USC game.
After winning five-straight Pac-10 games for the first times since the 1986-87 season, the Bears lost to Washington, 78-71, and Washington State, 74-59. The Bears, which are in fifth in the Pac-10, can still put themselves into contention for a bid to the NIT if they can win three of the final four regular season games.
The Bears usually stellar defense cost them last week. For only the second time all season, they gave up 70 or more points in back-to-back games. Even still, Cal ranks fourth in the Pac-10 for scoring defense at 65.8 ppg, fifth for FG percentage defense and third for steals at 9.88 spg.
Senior guards Courtney Johnson and Kenya Corley have been the Bears leaders during the second half of the Pac-10 slate. Johnson, who is only four points shy of the 1000-point plateau, leads Cal and ranks eighth in the Pac-10 at 14.3 ppg this year. She also leads the Pac-10 in steals at 3.25 per game and has moved up to fourth all-time in conference history (275). At her current pace, she will graduate with 288 steals, seven short of the Bears all-time leader Mazetta Garrett (1979-84) and in second place in Pac-10 history behind USC's Tammy Story's (1989-92) 309.
Meanwhile, Corley also has put up career numbers this season, standing 11th in the conference at 13.3 ppg. She saw a string of seven-consecutive double-figure scoring games come to an end against Washington State.
Junior center Ami Forney leads Cal's post players with 10.0 ppg and 7.6 rpg (fourth Pac-10).