Feb. 9, 2010
The California Golden Bears (12-10, 6-5 Pac-10) head up to the state of Washington for a pair of games, taking on Washington State (6-16, 1-10 Pac-10) on Friday, Feb. 12 at 6:00 p.m. in Pullman and Washington (9-12, 4-7 Pac-10) Sunday, Feb. 14 at 2:00 p.m. in Washington. Sunday's game will be carried live on Fox Sports Net and shown locally on Comcast Bay Area.
The Bears are trying to rebound from last Saturday's 44-32 loss to the UCLA Bruins. Cal is currently tied with Arizona State for fourth place in the Pac-10 standings, trailing Stanford (11-0), UCLA (8-3), and USC (7-4).
Freshman center Gennifer Brandon turned her season around against Washington State the first time the two teams played this season. Brandon scored 12 points with seven rebounds against the Cougars. Since that game, Brandon has pulled in at least seven rebounds in each contest, is averaging 27.7 minutes per game, and has worked her way back into the starting lineup. Brandon pulled in 22 rebounds last week against the LA schools (14 vs USC, 8 vs UCLA). Brandon is averaging 8.2 rebounds per game in Pac-10 contests, ranking her fifth in the Conference. Overall, Brandon is ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in rebounding, averaging 7.7 boards per game and is second among freshmen, trailing only Markel Walker of UCLA among rookies.
Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth had six blocks last week against the LA schools, including a career-high four rejections against UCLA. Stallworth has blocked at least one shot in each of her last four games. She has 18 rejections in Pac-10 games this season, ranking only behind WSU's Carly Noyse (24) and Stanford's Jayne Appel (19).
Stallworth has also been the steady offensive presence for the Bears. She is averaging 12.5 points per game, third among the Pac-10 freshmen for scoring average. Davelynn White of Arizona is averaging 17.5 points per game and Washington State's Kiki Moore is scoring 13.2.
Junior guard Rachelle Federico nearly pulled off a career first in the UCLA game. Before late freethrows by Alexis Gray-Lawson, Federico was in line to the Bears top-scorer in the game. Federico, who had not played in the previous two games, came off the bench to play 21 quality minutes against the Bruins, hitting both of Cal's three-point baskets and scoring nine points.
STAT STANDINGS Alexis Gray-Lawson slipped to second in the Pac-10 scoring race. Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike leads the Conference, raising her average to 19.0 ppg with Gray-Lawson averaging 17.9. Gray-Lawson still leads the pack in Pac-10 games, averaging 21.5 ppg. Taylor Lilley of Oregon is second at 20.6.
GRAY-LAWSON IN THE RECORD BOOKS When Alexis Gray-Lawson takes the court against Washington State, it will be the 130th game of her Cal career, tying her for first place in career games played with Ashley Walker (2006-09) and Karen Smith (1981-84). Gray-Lawson has started all 130 of those games. On Sunday against Washington, she will have played in more games wearing a Cal jersey than any other Bear women's basketball player.
Gray-Lawson moved up to fourth on the Cal career scoring list. Gray-Lawson passed Devanei Hampton (1,588) with her 29-point performance against Washington State, Teresa Palmisano (1,610) with her 19 points at Oregon, and Cynthia Cooke (1,641) during the Oregon State game. She has 1,733 career points, 33 points behind Jennifer Bennett, who currently ranks third on the list.
She also has the single-game scoring mark with her 47-point performance against Oregon State, and the back-to-back game scoring record of 86 when she followed that up with a 39-point performance against Arizona.
Gray-Lawson is already the Cal career leader in made three-pointers (188). She moved into the career top-10 in steals in the Oregon State game.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth posted the first double double of her college career with 14 points and 10 rebounds against USC. Stallworth was the fifth different Cal player to post a double-double in a game this season. Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon logged her team-leading third double-double of the season against Oregon State. Brandon scored 11 points with 11 rebounds coming off the bench for the Bears. All three of Brandon's double-doubles have come in games where she is not a member of the starting lineup.
STEALS Freshman guard Eliza Pierre has amassed 46 steals this season. She had four against Washington State and six against Washington earlier this season. She is averaging 2.1 steals per game. She had at least one steal in six straight games, snapping that streak against USC. She did not have a single steal last week against the LA schools.
FRESH(MAN) LINEUP Cal used their seventh different starting lineup of the season against USC and UCLA. The Bears have reverted back, for the time being, to two seniors and three freshmen. They have used three different mixes that feature four freshmen in the starting lineup and two different versions of the two seniors, three freshmen. Every single eligible Cal player but junior guard Rachelle Federico has started at least one game this season.
WBCA HIGH SCHOOL ALL-AMERICANSTwo of Cal's top-10 ranked recruiting class have just earned WBCA All-American recognition. The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today the nation's top 20 girls' basketball players selected to participate in the 19th annual WBCA High School All-America Game presented by Nike. Two incoming Cal players, Afure Jemerigbe and Lindsay Sherbert, have earned the honor. The college-style regulation game is scheduled to tip off at 4:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 3, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. This highly-anticipated event is part of the WBCA National Convention, which takes place at the site of the NCAA® Women's Final Four®. This year's event will be the first to be played on the same court as the NCAA Women's Final Four.
This is the second year in a row that Cal's incoming freshman class has been well-represented in the WBCA All-American game. Last season, DeNesha Stallworth and Layshia Clarendon were named WBCA All-Americans.
A LOOK AT WASHINGTON STATE (6-16, 1-10) The Washington State Cougars are coming off their dramatic 66-62 victory over Arizona State in Tempe last Saturday, the first win of the Pac-10 season for the Cougars. April Cook scored a career-high 33 points against the Sun Devils.
Cal leads the all-time series against the Cougars 34-19. The Bears have won the last ten meetings between the two teams. Their last loss to WSU was a 79-69 loss in Pullman Jan. 27, 2005.
Cal won last year's games 68-45 and 77-57. The most-memorable recent showdown between the two was their 2008 meeting at Haas where the Bears won 99-44. The 99 points was a Haas Pavilion record at the time, a mark that was broken earlier this year when Cal scored 100 points in their season- opening victory over Idaho State.
Earlier this season against the Cougars, the Bears earned a 75-68 victory over the Washington State Cougars at Haas Pavilion.
In the first half, Cal freshman center Brenna Heater broke an early 9-9 tie to put Cal up by a pair. The Bears built on the lead, extending it out to seven, 30-23, on a layup by senior guard Natasha Vital with 7:23 remaining in the half. Washington State took advantage of a four minute Cal scoreless span to go on a 5-0 run, cutting Cal's lead to two. A length of the floor pass to a wide open Rachelle Federico ended the drought, giving Cal a 32-28 lead. Washington State's Kiki Moore scored on a fastbreak with less than a minute remaining in the first half to help cut the deficit. The teams went into the locker room knotted at 35.
In the second half, WSU scored a quick basket to take a 37-35 lead. A 6-0 run put the Cougars up 47-41 when Cal, led by senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, came chagrining back. Gray-Lawson scored five straight points in the game to narrow the margin to one, 47-48. After freshman forward Gennifer Brandon battled for an offensive rebound and a put-back, Gray-Lawson drained two more baskets to give Cal a 54-52 lead. Brandon helped extend the lead by battling for another O-board and put back to extend the lead to four, 56-52.
Gray-Lawson and Washington State traded baskets, with Gray-Lawson scoring eight points for the Bears and WSU six to push Cal's lead to 64-58 with just over six minutes to go. After a Natasha Vital jumper gave Cal an eight point lead, Washington State went on a 7-0 run in the next three minutes to pull within a point, 66-65 with 3:14. It was as close as the Cougars would come. Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth made a layup and Natasha Vital nailed a pair of late freethrows to give Cal a little breathing room. Cal's defense made a strong stand in the final two and a half minutes, holding Washington State to just one made field goal and one trip to the freethrow line to help Cal hold on for the 75-68 victory.
Gray-Lawson was the difference for Cal in the second half. The senior guard scored 22 points in 19 minutes on the floor in the second half. It was the second time in two games she scored 15 or more points in the final period. Gray-Lawson ended the game with a season-high 29 points, the second-highest single game point total by a Bear this season.
Freshman guard Eliza Pierre set the tempo and led the Bears' pressure defense. Pierre had four steals and five assists to go with six points and five rebounds. Gennifer Brandon, also a key element to the press, came off the bench to score 12 points with seven rebounds in 19 minutes.
A LOOK AT WASHINGTON (9-12, 4-7 Pac-10) The Huskies are in seventh place in the Pac-10, having dropped their last three games after defeating Washington State in Pullman to close out January. Cal has won seven of the last nine meetings between the two teams, including sweeping all three games against UW last season. The Huskies lead the all-time series 40-15.
LIVE STREAMING AUDIO The California Golden Bear's Women's Basketball team will be streaming live action for their entire 2009-10 season as part of the Cal ISP Sports Network online through CalBears.com. The Cal ISP Sports Network will be providing the audio broadcasts for all games will be available free on the internet for fans to listen via the CalBears.com website. Bay Area broadcasting veteran Dave Lewis has been hired to call the play-by-play for the game broadcasts. U.C. Berkeley's student radio station, KALX-FM, which has carried women's basketball games for the past 27 years, will continue to broadcast most home games and select road games this season.