Jan. 18, 2011
Thursday, Jan. 20: USC at California, 7:00 p.m.
TV: none; Radio: 960 AM KKGN; Gametracker: CalBears.com
Saturday, Jan. 22: UCLA at California, 2:00 p.m.
TV: none; Radio: 960 AM KKGN; Gametracker: CalBears.com
The California Golden Bears (10-6, 2-3 Pac-10) will host a pair of home games this week, taking on the USC Trojans (12-4, 4-1 Pac-10) on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in Haas Pavilion. The Bears will close out the homestand facing the Pac-10 leading No. 8 UCLA Bruins (15-1, 5-0 Pac-10) on Saturday, Jan. 22.
Cal is coming off a pair of tough losses in Washington, the first time this season the team has dropped back-to-back games, and are heading back to Haas Pavilion where they are 8-1 this season.
Freshman guard Mikayla Lyles and sophomore guard Eliza Pierre each scored 19 points in last weekend's series. Lyles hit five three-pointers, including going 2-for-2 in Pullman. She averages 4.2 points per game this season, doubling her production in Washington.
Pierre, who is known for her defensive talents, was well above her season average in scoring, putting up her fourth double-digit scoring effort of the season with 12 points at Washington State. Pierre was 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) shooting last week. Pierre's defense also rebounded, recording six steals against Washington. It was her highest single-game total since Thanksgiving weekend when she had six against Portland State.
Sophomore center Talia Caldwell went 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the series. In the past four games, Caldwell is shooting 100 points higher than her season average from the charity stripe (65.2 percent).
The Bears will try to get back into the win column hosting USC and UCLA. USC is currently in third place in the Pac-10. The Bears have won nine of the last 11 meetings with the Trojans, but all of those have been tight games. The Bears have two OT wins in that span. None of the games since the 2005-06 season (Boyle's first year) have been decided by double-digits and all three in the 2008-09 season were decided by two points. Cal and USC split last season's series with the Bears winning at home, 61-55, and falling in Los Angeles, 67-64. USC leads the all-time series 33-22
On Saturday, Cal will have their third crack of the season at a top-10 squad when No. 8 UCLA comes to town. Since 2005-06, Cal has five victories against the Bruins, their last coming in 2008-09 with a 64-48 decisive home win. The Bruins have just one loss this season, an upset by the LSU Tigers.
Leading Scorers With freshman Mikayla Lyles' 11 points against Washington, she became the seventh different Cal player to lead the team in scoring in a game this season. All three freshmen have led the team in a game (Afure Jemerigbe scored 17 against UT Arlington and Lindsay Sherbert 20 against Arizona). DeNesha Stallworth and Layshia Clarendon have each had the team-high for points five times this season. Only two players, Eliza Pierre and Rachelle Federico, have not led the team in scoring.
Home Sweet Home The Bears are an impressive 8-1 this season at Haas Pavilion. 14.2 is a magic number for the Bears. They are outrebounding their opponents by an average of 14.2 boards per home game and are outscoring their opponents by 14.2 points per game. The Bears are scoring 13.2 more points in home games than they do in games they play away from Haas Pavilion. The team grabs 7.3 more rebounds per game in their home contests as well.
Freshman guard Lindsay Sherbert has hit 18 of her 23 three-pointers at Haas. Sherbert is averaging 10.1 points per game in home contests this season. Sophomore forward DeNesha Stallworth leads the team, scoring 16.8 points per home game this season.
Crashing the Boards The Bears are second in the Pac-10 in rebounding margin, grabbing an average of 9.6 more rebounds per game than their opponents ranking them 12th in the nation. Cal has now outrebounded their opponents in 12 of their 16 games this season. The Bears pulled in 27 more rebounds than Arizona, the second largest differential of the season and the fourth time this season they have outrebounded an opponent by 20 or more. The Bear's top performance of the season was when they outrebounded Yale by 30. Cal's 64 rebounds in that game tied a program record for most rebounds in a game and set a Haas Pavilion mark for the same stat.
Talia Caldwell pulled in a career-high 18 rebounds in the Arizona game, the highest single-game total for a Cal player since Gennifer Brandon had 21 boards in the 2010 first round WNIT game against UC Davis. Only nine players in Cal history have had more than 18 rebounds in a game.
Caldwell has moved up to second in the Pac-10 in rebounding, averaging 8.7 boards per game. Ify Ibekwe, who was the Conference rebounding champ last season, continues to lead this year with 9.9 per game. Caldwell ranks 76th among all NCAA Division I players in rebounds per game.
Caldwell is averaging 4.4 offensive rebounds per game, the best mark in the Pac-10.
Cal Threes After going three games without making a three (Illinois, Stanford, ASU), sophomore guard Layshia Clarendon has been hot, going 5-for-7 from long range in her last three games. Clarendon is currently second in the Pac-10 in three-point shooting efficiency at 45.9 percent.
Mikayala Lyles has made five of her last nine three-point attempts (55.5 percent). Lyles is a pure three-point shooter with 12 of her 14 baskets this season coming from long range.
Opponent Threes Even after Washington State's hot three-point shooting last week, the Bears are still among the nation's best in three-point defense. Opponents are only making 25.1 percent of the long range shots they are attempting against the Cal defense. This leads the Pac-10 and is ranked No. 9 among all NCAA Division I teams.
Steals Eliza Pierre is currently averaging 3.3 steals per game, which leads the Pac-10. More impressively, her average ranks 13th among all NCAA Division I players. She has ranked as high as second in the NCAA this season in this stat.
Pierre did not have a steal against Arizona, the first time this season she was not credited with a steal. She returned to form against Washington, grabbing six steals, the most since Thanksgiving weekend against Portland State when she also had a half dozen.
Pierre ended last season with a team-best 71 steals (1.9 per game), just three shy of entering the Cal record book for single-season bests (74 ranks tenth). The single season steal record for Cal is 100 set by Eliza Sokolowska in 1994-95. Pierre currently has 53 steals.
Efficiency When DeNesha Stallworth shoots the ball, she is making her shots, most of the time. In fact, Stallworth, helped by her 12-for-14 performance in the Colliers International Classic Championships game, is connecting on 53.2 percent of her tries from the field. The mark is sixth best in the Pac-10 and ranks No. 39 among all NCAA Division I players. Sophomore center Talia Caldwell actually has a better percentage, making 56.1 percent of her shots, but she does not have enough attempts to qualify for the national rankings. Her percentage ranks fifth in the Pac-10.
Double Doubles DeNesha Stallworth had four double doubles in the first four games of the season. It was the first time in her Cal career she has posted double doubles in back-to-back games let alone four in a row. Stallworth's streak was halted against Fullerton when she only had 8 rebounds to go with 19 points. She got her fifth double double of the season at Illinois and her sixth at Washington.
Talia Caldwell had her second double double of the season against Long Beach State with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Caldwell's first career double double came last season against Long Beach State where she logged 10 and 10. Caldwell added her third double double of the season with 13 points and 18 rebounds against Arizona.
Lindsay Sherbert had the first double double of her collegiate career against Portland State, bringing in 10 rebounds with 15 points scored.
Rama N'diaye had the first double double of her career with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Arizona. N'diaye accomplished this coming off the bench, playing just 21 minutes in the game.
200 wins Cal head coach Joanne Boyle comes into the game with a career record of 196-83 (.703), including a 129-54 (.705) mark at Cal. She needs four more victories to reach the 200th of her head coaching career. Boyle spent three seasons as the head coach for the Richmond Spiders (67-29) prior to her arrival in Berkeley.
Cal Coaches Corner Each Monday, head coach Joanne Boyle and one of the players will be featured weekly on the Cal Coaches Corner radio program. The show airs on KNEW Radio (910 AM) every Monday from 6-7 p.m. The program is broadcast live from the Paragon at the Claremont Hotel, Club and Spa in Berkeley, so fans are encouraged to come out and enjoy the show live. In addition to Coach Boyle and a women's basketball player, men's head coach Mike Montgomery will also be a weekly guest on the show, which is hosted by Todd McKim. The show allows fans to email questions for the coaches and players.
We Assist, You Assist This season, the Bears will again be doing the We Assist, You Assist promotion where fans can make pledges per assist to help a local charity. This season, the team has decided to focus their efforts on assisting Upward Roots. Upward Roots is aimed at generating positive change through community service. Their programs develop a greater sense of leadership and personal impact among under-served youth through the creation of self-initiated community service projects. The goal is to produce and sustain the concept that change can come from within and that every small action makes a resounding difference. Upward Roots strives to break the cycle from these youth being served to serving others. Every dollar raised, up to $10,000, will be matched by Coach Boyle.