Dec. 26, 2000
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California (3-6) looks to snap a two-game losing streak as it wraps up its non-conference slate at San Jose State, Thursday, Dec. 28. The Golden Bears have had the disadvantage of playing seven of 10 non-league games away from Haas Pavilion. The 5 p.m. tilt with the Spartans (7-2) is on FOX Sports Net Bay Area, marking the fourth TV game for the Bears in their last five contests.
The Bears are coming off a 63-49 loss at San Diego State, Dec. 22, and looked rusty after a 12-day break for final exams. Senior forward Lauren Ashbaugh led Cal with 13 points and 6 boards before fouling out with 10:48 remaining in the game. In addition to foul trouble, Cal was hurt by the absence of starting off-guard Kenya Corley, who didn't attend the game due to a family illness and reserve guard/forward Brook Coulter, who didn't play due to lower back pains. They're both possible for the San Jose State game. Also, freshman forward Kiki Williams is back practicing with the team after recovering from two stress fractures in her tibia. She likely won't see game action until the Pac-10 season, however.
Cal features a veteran starting unit with four seniors - Courtney Johnson, Becky Staubes, Corley and Ashbaugh -- and one junior - Ami Forney. Combined they have logged 352 games in a Bear uniform (186 starts). Johnson, who led Cal in scoring as a junior at 11.7 ppg, continues to pace the Bears with a career-best 15.1 ppg. She also leads the Bears in steals (3.1 spg) and assists (2.8 spg).
Forney and Ashbaugh have emerged as two of the best rebounders in the Pac-10, averaging 8.1 rpg and 7.0 rpg, respectively. Ashbaugh also is posting a career-best 10.3 ppg, as Cal's only other double-figure scorer. Corley continues to show her explosive scoring abilities from the inside and outside, tallying a career-best 22 points against S. Alabama and 20 at USF - both Cal victories. Staubes, a tri-captain with Johnson and Ashbaugh, has been a leader for the Bears, playing at the one, two and three spots.