Feb. 10, 2009
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Saturday, Feb. 14, 8:00 p.m.: No. 3 Cal at No. 6/5 Stanford, Palo Alto, Calif. (Radio: KALX 90.7-FM, TV: FSN)
It's the Battle of the Bay part II this week as the California Golden Bears (20-2, 11-0 Pac-10) travel South to Palo Alto to take on the Stanford Cardinal (19-4, 10-1 Pac-10).
Cal goes into the game with the fifth longest active win streak among NCAA Division I schools, having won its last 12 straight games, its last loss coming Dec. 13 to Oklahoma.
Stanford brings a 24-game home-court winning streak, its last loss at Maples Pavilion was in the second round of the 2007 NCAA tournament when they lost to Florida State. Its last regular-season loss at Maples came at the hands of the Bears in 2007, when they upset the Cardinal, 72-57.
Cal and Stanford have officially played each other 67 times in women's basketball in a rivalry that dates back to 1974, which was the first official season of Cal women's basketball. Before 1974, the two teams played many times, beginning with April 4, 1896, the first-ever women's intercollegiate game. Stanford won, 2-1 , with 700 women in attendance.
The Cal-Stanford game was a league rivalry until 1982-83, when Cal went with most of the NorCal conference schools into the NorPac conference while Stanford opted to break from the former NorCal teams and join the WCAA. In 1986-87, both teams became part of the Pac-10, and the Conference rivalry has been strong ever since. Despite being in different conferences for four years, the two teams still played each other as nonconference games. The 2008-09 season is the 36th consecutive year that the Bears and Cardinal will face each other.
This game is fifth time these two rivals will face each other while both ranked in the top-10. All three meetings last season and the previous meeting this season had both of the teams ranked in the top-ten in both polls.
Stanford has won the last three of the last five meetings between the two and holds a 51-17 series lead. Cal's last victory at Stanford was the thrilling 72-57 victory at Maples Pavilion on Feb. 4, 2007. The Bears' victory snapped a string of 14 straight losses by Cal in its head-to-head meetings. Cal, fueled by junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson's 37-point performance, won the first meeting of the year between the two teams on Jan. 18, 2009 57-54.
THINK PINK The Bears' will be playing in back-to-back Pink games this season. The Saturday, Feb. 14 game at Stanford and Cal's home contest on Thursday, Feb. 19 against Oregon are both park of the Pink Zone promotion in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
What is the Pink Zone Game? An initiative dedicated to raise breast cancer awareness at a women's basketball game. Started in 2007, Cal Women's Basketball made a commitment to the community to spread awareness about this vicious disease by inviting the Cal campus, as well as the surrounding community, to attend a women's basketball game at a reduced admission price.
When is the Pink Zone Game ? Cal's Pink Zone night is Thursday, Feb. 19 when Cal hosts the Oregon Ducks. Saturday's game at Stanford is also a Pink Zone Game. In addition to the game, representatives from local organizations such as Susan G. Komen will be available to discuss with fans what their organizations can do to spread awareness, what you can do to help, how you can volunteer, and when they are having upcoming events.
1,000 REBOUNDS Ashley Walker needed nine rebounds against Washington State to earn her 1,000th career rebound. After getting seven in the first half, Walker pulled down her 1,000th career board at the 14:25 mark of the second period. There have been eight players in Pac-10 history to reach the 1,000 rebound mark. Walker's 1,002 career boards ranks her eighth in Pac-10 history. Walker needs two rebounds to move up to sixth on the Pac-10 career list. There has only been one player in Cal history, Colleen Galloway (1978-81, 1,029), to have over 1,000 rebounds. Walker is 28 rebounds shy of passing Galloway as Cal's all-time leading rebounder.
PAC-10/NATIONAL LEADERS Ashley Walker continues to leads the Pac-10 in scoring average. Her 20.5 ppg paces the conference and ranks her 14th among all DI players. Dawn Evans of James Madison leads the nation at 25.0 ppg. Walker is the only Pac-10 player to be ranked in the top-100 in scoring this week. Walker is third in the Pac-10 and 13th in the country in field -goal shooting percentage (57.7 percent). Stanford's Jayne Appel is fourth in the country with a 62.5 percent efficiency.
Junior guard Natasha Vital's 46.2 percent three-point shooting efficiency ties her for the Pac-10 lead. She has hit 30 treys in 65 attempts this season.
Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is third in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.70 ratio. Gray-Lawson ranks No. 37 in the nation in this stat.
Senior center Devanei Hampton is averaging 7.8 rebounds per game in Pac-10 games this season, sixth best among all conference players. Walker, averaging 7.9 rebounds per game in Pac-10 contests, ranks fifth.
DEFENSE Cal is holding its opponents to just 53.2 points per game, the fewest points allowed among Pac-10 teams this season and currently ranks No. 9 in the country. Kansas State's defense allows just 50.4 points per game to pace the nation. Cal has kept opponents' scores below 40 points twice this season, the first in the opener when it only allowed Albany to score 39 points, and again when Washington only managed 34 in their first meeting of the season with the Huskies.
Both Washington and Oregon set new records for fewest points scored in a half when playing Cal this season. Cal held UW to just nine first-half points. Oregon scored just 10 in its first 20 minutes of play.
The Bears are 17-0 when holding their opponents to 55 or fewer points. They have held their opponents to 50 points or less in eight of the last 12 games. Pac-10 opponents are averaging 51.8 points against the Bears.
The Bears are holding opponents to a 28.0 three-point efficiency (111-of-397) best in the Pac-10. Conference opponents are making just 24.6 percent of their three-point attempts. The Bears have held opponents to two or fewer made-threes in a game five times this season, including Washington State's 1-for-19 performance earlier this season and Washington's 2-for-14 showing last Friday night.
DEV Devanei Hampton had her first double-double of the season with 12 rebounds and 11 points against UCLA. She followed it up with a 17 point, 11-rebound performance against USC, including the game-winning offense rebound and put back. In the last four games, Hampton averaged 14.5 points per game and 9.0 rebounds per game.
DEV AS A STARTER The Bears are 12-0 since Hampton has returned to the starting lineup. She is averaging 9.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game since returning to the starting lineup. In Hampton's first nine games of the season, she averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds.
DOUBLE DIGITS Natasha Vital has scored in double digits in five of the last six games. Alexis Gray-Lawson, since scoring 37 against Stanford, has had four double-digit scoring games, including both the Washington and Washington State games. Devanei Hampton has hit double-digits in her last four games.
MORE NOTES ON WALKER
** Walker has scored in double digits in all but three games this season.
** Walker has hit 10 or more field goals in a game five times this season.
** Walker has shot 50.0 percent or better in all but four games this season. She has a career-best 57.7 field-goal percentage this season, third best in the Pac-10 and ranking her No. 13 in the country.
** Walker has 33 career games scoring 20 or more points. This season, she has topped 20 points 14 times and has done so seven times already in Pac-10 play.
** Walker was a nominee for WBCA Player of the Month in December, a month in which she averaged 22.6 points per game and shot 61.4 percent from the floor.
** Walker was a nominee for WBCA Player of the Month in January, a month in which she averaged 18.1 points per game with 7.4 rebounds per game.
** Walker has started every game since her freshman year and has scored in every game since her freshman year. The closest she ever came to being shut put was in the Pac-10 finals last season against Stanford when she scored her first, and only, basket with 6:20 remaining in the game.
** Walker's name was added for the ninth and tenth times in the Cal record book in cumulative career stat categories when she became No. 10 in career steals with 159 and No. 10 in games played.
** Walker has been named a John R. Wooden Award midseason top-20 candidate.
COUNTDOWN TO 2,000 Ashley Walker needs 78 points to become the second player in the history of Cal and the 11th player in Pac-10 history to score 2,000 career points.
COUNTDOWN TO 1,500 Senior forward Devanei Hampton scored the 1400th point of her career against UCLA. Hampton is 45 points shy of joining Walker in the 1,500 point club.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME SCORING: WALKER No. 15 Ashley Walker's name will also be written into the Pac-10 history books. Walker moved into the top-20 in career scoring in the Pac-10 in the Stanford game. Walker passed former UCLA player, Rehema Stephens (1990-92, 1,887 pts.), to move up to No. 15 on the list. She needs seven points to move past Washington's Giuliana Mendiola (2001-04, 1,928 pts.) and into 14th place on the list. Walker became the 39th player to score 1,500 points as a member of the Pac-10.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME REBOUNDERS: NO. 8 Ashley Walker Walker entered the season ranked No. 21 on the Pac-10 career rebounding list. She needs 2 rebounds to move up to No. 6 on the career list, passing Ebony Hoffman of USC (2001-04, 1,003) and Amber Hall of Washington (1996-99, 1,003).
SCOUTING STANFORD Stanford was ranked in the national top-50 in 12 statistical categories, including leading the nation in rebounding margin (+13.2). Jayne Appel is fourth in the nation in field goal percentage, making 62.5 percent of her shots. Stanford leads the Pac-10 in eight statistical categories through Feb. 6: scoring (77.5 ppg), scoring margin (+22.1), field-goal percentage (46.3 percent), field-goal percentage defense (34.3 percent), rebounding (44.7 rpg), rebounding margin (+13.2), blocked shots (5.0 per game), assists per game (18.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.31).
Stanford leads the all-time series with Cal 51-17. The numbers skew even more favorably for Stanford in its Pac-10 record. Cal has only beaten Stanford in a Pac-10 game five times, with Stanford owning a 43-6 advantage.
Stanford's Probable Starters (2008-09 per-game averages)
No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown PPG RPG 2 Jayne Appel F/C 6-4 Jr. Pleasant Hill, Calif. 15.4 9.2 14 Kayla Pedersen F 6-4 So. Fountain Hills, Ariz. 11.0 7.6 23 Jeanette Pohlen G 6-0 So. Brea, Calif. 10.7 3.1 30 Nnemkadi Ogwumike F 6-2 Fr. Cypress, Texas 9.5 5.7 33 Jillian Harmon F/G 6-1 Sr. Lake Oswego, Ore. 9.9 5.2