Jan. 21, 2002
After winning its first Pac-10 game of the season against Washington State last Saturday, the California women's basketball team looks to get on a hot streak with its next four games taking place in the Bay Area. The stretch begins Thursday with a home game against Arizona State (15-5, 6-3) at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The Bears then host Arizona (9-9, 5-4) Saturday at the same time.
Cal opened Pac-10 play back in December with losses to Arizona (66-61) and Arizona State (63-49). The Wildcats hold the longest league winning streak over the Bears at 13. This Thursday's game pits the Pac-10's two stingiest defenses: Arizona State leads the league, giving up just 58.8 ppg, while Cal is second at 60.6 ppg.
The only Pac-10 team Cal hasn't played yet is No. 3 Stanford because the two teams square off twice next week.
The 62-50 win over WSU showcased Cal's traditionally strong defense after back-to-back poor defensive efforts (80 points to OSU and 85 to Washington).
The leader of Cal's defense is junior Amber White, who is capable of guarding all five positions at 6-0. She leads Cal in steals with 31 (1.8 pg, Pac-10 T8th). Overall, five Bears average at least one steal per game.
Cal's top offensive threat, senior center Ami Forney, struggled on the Washington trip with a combined five points, but she also was battling a bad cold. She did post a game-high nine rebounds against WSU. The game with the Cougars showcased the Bears other offensive weapons, as the four other starters and reserve forward Audrey Walter, who leads the team in field goal percentage at 59.1, had double figure points. This marked the first time since the first game of the year that five Cal players were in double digits.
Forney still leads the Bears in scoring (12.9 ppg, 11th P-10), rebounding (6.3 rpg, 10th P-10) and blocks (7 total, 0.4 bpg). Sophomore guard LaTasha O'Keith's scoring average is on the rise to 9.4 ppg after posting double figures in three of her last four games.