Feb. 2, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
After equaling the program's best start through 22 games with a 58-51 victory over UC Riverside Jan. 31, No. 21/21 California (17-5, 7-4 Pac-10, 4th) visits No. 8/9 Stanford (19-3, 11-0, 1st ) Sunday, Feb. 4, at 1 p.m.
The Cal-Stanford game, which is part of the Lexus Gauntlet Challenge, pits the top two scoring defenses in the Pac-10 and can be seen live on Fox Sports Net. Stanford surrenders 58.0 ppg, while Cal allows 59.0 ppg - a school record.
The 1983-84 Bears also were 17-5 at this point in the season and won their next five games. That year, Cal won a school-record 24 games. In head coach Joanne Boyle's inaugural season, the Bears were 14-8 after 22 games and finished with an 18-12 mark and the school's first NCAA Tournament berth in 13 seasons. After last weekend's 84-64 road triumph over Arizona, Cal is guaranteed to post a winning record again in 2006-07, marking the first time since 1991-92 and 1992-93 that the Bears will have recorded consecutive winning records.
Cal has also equaled the 1991-92 Bears for the best Pac-10 start through 11 games (7-4). In 1991-92, Cal tied for third in the conference for its best Pac-10 finish and had its best Pac-10 mark (12-6).
Sophomore posts Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton, both national players of the year candidates, lead Cal in scoring and rebounding. Walker, who is on the Wade Trophy watch list, tops the Bears in scoring (17.6 ppg, 3rd Pac-10) and in rebounding (8.8 rpg, 1st Pac-10). Hampton, a Naismith Trophy candidate, is second on the team in scoring (14.2 ppg, 10th Pac-10) and rebounding (6.9 rpg, 12th Pac-10). Hampton led the Bears with 14 points against UC Riverside - a 2006 NCAA Tournament team - and Walker contributed her eighth double-double of the season (13 points, 10 rebounds) to help the Bears win their 24th consecutive home non-conference game.
After seeing sporadic minutes as a reserve during her first three seasons, senior Keanna Levy is one of three starting guards for the Bears. Levy has posted a career-high 17 points twice this season in wins over Arizona and averages a career-best 7.7 ppg.
Freshmen guards Lauren Greif and Natasha Vital complete Cal's starting unit. Greif, the team's top three-point shooter, has started all 22 games and is averaging 8.6 ppg and 5.7 rpg. The Bears are 9-4 without sophomore point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year, who tore her ACL Dec. 10, and Vital has contributed 7.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 4.5 rpg as the new starter during that stretch.
Freshman 6-5 forward/center Rama N'diaye has been a versatile player off the Bears' bench. N'diaye averages 5.7 ppg and 3.2 rpg. Junior forward Krista Foster (3.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg) also provides a lift as a reserve.