Feb. 20, 2001
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California (11-11, 7-5, 5th) takes a five-game winning streak on the road this week, as the Golden Bears visit Washington (16-7, 9-4, 2nd) Thursday at 7 p.m. and Washington State (10-13, 5-8, 7th) Saturday at 6 p.m. The game with the Cougars can be seen live on FOX Sports Net Northwest.
Cal holds the longest current winning streak in the Pac-10 and has its only five-game Pac-10 winning streak since the 1986-87 campaign when it won seven straight. The Bears play four of the final six regular season games on the road but do boast the best Pac-10 road record at 4-1.
For the first time in eight years, Cal is in a position to start thinking beyond the regular season. If the Bears can at least split their final six games and finish with a 14-14 mark, they will likely earn a bid to the WNIT as Arizona State did a year ago with the same record. The Bears also are only two and a half games out of first place in the Pac-10 with three of their final six games against teams in front of them.
Behind the leadership of seven seniors, Cal has improved upon last year's record of 7-15 (2-10 Pac-10) at this point last year.
While Cal scored a season-high 82 points in the Stanford win, the Bears foundation continues to center around their defense. Cal is fourth in the league in scoring defense at 64.9 ppg and third for steals at 9.73 spg.
Senior guards Courtney Johnson and Kenya Corley have spurred Cal's red-hot play. Johnson earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors by helping Cal snap a 15-game losing streak to Stanford, posting a career-high 34 points, six steals, five rebounds and five assists. Johnson leads Cal in scoring and ranks eighth in the Pac-10 at 14.0 ppg. The 1999-00 Pac-10 steals champion, Johnson regained the conference lead for steals at 3.09 pg following the Stanford win and also needs only 41 points to reach the 1000-point plateau. Corley, who is averaging 20.5 ppg over the last six games, is second on the Bears and tied for ninth in the conference in scoring at 13.6 ppg.
Junior center Ami Forney has been the Bears most consistent post player this season, averaging 10.2 ppg and 7.9 rpg, which ranks third in the Pac-10. She has five double-doubles this season.