Feb. 23, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
After an exciting 68-59 win over USC on Senior Day in Berkeley, California (10-15, 3-13, 9th) visits Oregon State (14-11, 8-8, T6th) on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. and Oregon (12-14, 4-12, 8th) on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. in its final Pac-10 regular season games. The Bears look to avenge a three-point setback (70-67) to Oregon State in Berkeley and to sweep the season series with Oregon for the first time since 1992-93, which is also the last year the Bears won at McArthur Court.
The Bears, who have equaled their win total of last season (10-19), and Ducks will likely face each other in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament on Friday, March 5, at 8:15 p.m. in San Jose, Calif. Cal can still surpass Oregon as the eighth seed, but neither team can vault into seventh.
Cal's win over USC snapped an 11-game losing streak and was its first since the death of teammate Alisa Lewis on Jan. 19. The 59 points allowed and 68 points scored were the second best in each category during the skid, which saw the Bears drop seven games by 10 points or less and two in the final five seconds. Senior guard Nihan Anaz had a game-high 21 points, and junior forward Leigh Gregory finished with 15 points against the Trojans.
Anaz leads Cal in scoring and ranks eighth in the Pac-10 at 14.9 ppg. Gregory is second on the team at 11.2 ppg (12th Pac-10) and paces the club in rebounding at 4.8 rpg. Rebounding had been the Bears' nemesis until the USC win. After being outrebounded in eight straight games by an average of 9.6 rebounds per contest, Cal pulled down a season-high 49 boards, compared to USC's 46. Reserve forward Renee Wright led the way with a season-high eight caroms.
Cal's bench has outscored its opponent's bench in four straight games, including 44-32 against UCLA and 20-15 vs. USC. Against the Bruins, the Bears' final six players off the bench played the final 14:38 of the game and held a 39-35 scoring edge during that stretch. Junior reserve forward/guard Jacqueline Sanchez tied her career high of 11 points, all in the final 6:45, to help seal the Bears win over the Trojans.
The Bears have taken good care of the ball lately, committing less than 20 turnovers in six of the last seven games, for an average of 16.9 per contest, compared to the season average of 19.5.