March 14, 2006
California to Face St. John's in NCAA Tournament First Round
No. 10-seeded Golden Bears (18-11, 10-8 Pac-10) earn trip to University Park for match-up with No. 7-seeded Red Storm (21-7, 11-5 BIG EAST)
Sunday, March 17, 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT)
University Park, Pa.
Radio: KALX (90.7 FM) and linked on CalBears.com
BERKELEY, Calif. - California earned its fourth bid to the NCAA Tournament this March - first since 1993 - and will face St. John's Sunday in University Park, Pa., at the Bryce Jordan Center on the campus of Penn State. The Golden Bears are seeded 10th in the Albuquerque Regional, while the Red Storm is the seventh seed. Cal was the final Pac-10 team to be announced (third from the last on the bracket) on the NCAA Selection Show, giving the conference six NCAA Tournament berths for the first-time ever.
The winner of Sunday's game will battle the winner of the contest between No. 2-seed Maryland (28-4) and No. 15-seed and Northeast Conference champion Sacred Heart (26-4) Tuesday, March 21 in University Park.
St. John's won the only previous meeting with Cal, 81-62, Dec. 29, 1983, and Maryland also claimed a victory in its only game against Cal in 1984. This would be the Bears' inaugural contest versus Sacred Heart.
First-year Cal head coach Joanne Boyle takes the Bears to the postseason for the first time in 13 years in her home state. Boyle, who was born in Philadelphia, graduated from Gatewood High School in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1981 and played three years of basketball there.
This has been a breakout year for Cal in many ways. The Bears, who are 18-11 overall and 10-8 in conference, are guaranteed to post their first winning overall and Pac-10 records since 1992-93. That year, the program tallied a 19-10 record and tied for fourth in the conference at 10-8, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament under the direction of head coach Gooch Foster. Cal opened the tournament with a 62-47 triumph over Kansas for its only win in the NCAA Tournament in program history. The Bears fell to Vanderbilt in the second round, 82-63.
Cal placed sixth in the Pac-10 this year, posting at least one win over eight of its nine conference foes and achieving more than five league victories for the first time since 2000-01.
Boyle inherited a Cal program that had posted an 11-18 mark a year ago. With seven more wins than last season, the Bears have tied the second-biggest turnaround in program history and have given Boyle the distinction of turning around two programs in her first season as head coach. Richmond tallied a 14-16 record the year before Boyle coached the Spiders to a 21-11 mark and the WNIT quarterfinals in 2002-03.
Cal ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring at 64.7 ppg this season but is second in the league in scoring defense at a school-record pace of 59.8 ppg. The Bears are also on track to set a program record for field goal percentage defense at 37.5 percent. After a 90-87 overtime setback against UCLA Jan. 29, Cal surrendered only 54.9 ppg in the next seven outings before falling to the Bruins, the Pac-10 Tournament champion, 80-63, March 4 in the conference quarterfinals. Cal is 15-2 when holding opponents under 60 points this year and 5-0 when limiting opponents to fewer than 50 points.
The Bears, who may be the only team in Division I that starts four freshmen, are led in scoring by those same four local individuals, which helped comprise the No. 7-rated recruiting class in the country last season.
Center Devanei Hampton (Oakland, Calif.) leads Cal in scoring (15.0 ppg, seventh Pac-10) and rebounding (8.1 rpg, third Pac-10), while her former Oakland Tech teammate, Alexis Gray-Lawson, is second at 14.5 ppg (ninth Pac-10). Forward/center Ashley Walker (Modesto, Calif.) is third on the team in scoring (13.0 ppg) and second on the Bears in rebounding (7.7 ppg, fourth Pac-10). Guard Jené Morris is fourth on Cal at 8.7 ppg. Forward Reneé Wright, the only senior on the team, rounds out the starting lineup and is fifth in scoring (6.8 ppg) and third in rebounding with a career-high 6.5 rpg.
Walker was thrust into a starting role after sophomore center Jessica Lawson, a member of the 2005 Pac-10 All-Freshman team, tore her ACL in October and was forced to miss the entire 2005-06 season. Walker responded well to her new status, ranking in the top five in the Pac-10 in five statistical categories, including No. 1 in blocks per game (1.69 bpg). Morris stands third in the conference in steals at 2.30 spg.
Led by Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Gray-Lawson, Cal dominated the Pac-10 rookie awards this season. Gray-Lawson became the first Golden Bear to be named the conference's top rookie and earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 and a spot on the Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Hampton was only the eighth freshman to ever be chosen first-team All-Pac-10 and was tabbed Pac-10 All-Freshman. Walker joined Gray-Lawson and Hampton on the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, marking the first time a school has landed three players on the five-player rookie team. Morris garnered honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman recognition.
Redshirt junior guard Sarah Pool (2.6 ppg, 2.6 apg) and sophomore forward Krista Foster (3.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg) are the first two players off the Bears' bench. Pool recorded consecutive double-doubles against San Jose State and South Carolina State in December to earn her first career Player of the Week honor. Foster matched her career highs of 13 points and seven rebounds to propel Cal to a road win over Arizona Feb. 16, giving the Bears their first victory at the McKale Center since 1993.
Under first-year strength coach Pat Dixon, Cal has demonstrated that it's a well-conditioned team. Four of Cal's starters average at least 30 minutes per game, with Gray-Lawson leading the group and ranking second in the Pac-10 at 36.2 mpg. The Bears frequently utilize only seven players per game.
In 1895, the University of California track & field team was the dominant power on the West Coast and decided to challenge several of the top teams in the Midwest and East on an eight-meet tour, that is now credited by many historians as putting Cal athletics onto the national scene. As a symbol of the University, Regent Arthur Rodgers, class of 1872, commissioned a blue silk banner emblazoned with a gold grizzly bear, the symbol of the state of California. The banner was carried by the team on its successful tour, which saw it win five of eight competitions. Cal athletics fans were so ecstatic over the team's performance that Prof. Charles Mills Gayley was inspired to write the song, "The Golden Bear." Cal's athletic teams have been known as the Golden Bears ever since.
For the 24th consecutive year, KALX (90.7 FM) will broadcast every California women's basketball game. Each broadcast begins five minutes prior to tip-off. Immediately after each game, Cal head coach Joanne Boyle or an assistant coach is on the air for a brief interview. All broadcasts can also be heard over the Internet at www.CalBears.com
All Cal releases, results, statistics, box scores, schedules and coaches and players biographical information, as well as historical data, are available on the Internet at www.CalBears.com. Game recaps, including coach and player quotes, and statistics are updated after each contest.
Cal completed its seventh season in the 11,877-seat Walter A. Haas Jr. Pavilion this year. The $57.5 million facility is a renovated and expanded version of old Harmon Gym. In addition to the basketball court, the building features coaching and administrative office space, locker rooms, a spacious weight room, athletic training facilities and a student-athlete computer lab, as well as media work and interview rooms. In 2005-06, Cal set a school home attendance record by averaging 1,656 fans and set a Haas Pavilion single game attendance record of 4,859 against No. 14 Stanford Feb. 11. The Bears also posted a 12-3 this season for its best-ever record in the facility.
CAL EARNS FOURTH NCAA TOURNAMENT BERTH
Cal earned its fourth invitation to the NCAA Tournament this March and first under first-year head coach Joanne Boyle. The Bears own a 1-3 all-time NCAA playoff record, including a program-best second-round showing in the school's last appearance in 1993. That season, Cal defeated Kansas, 62-47, in the first round before losing to Vanderbilt, 82-63. The Bears lost in the first round of the 1990 NCAA Tournament to Long Beach State (87-84) and in the opening round in 1992 to Santa Clara, 73-71. Cal has also advanced to the WNIT four times - 1979, 1981, 1984 and 1987, when they finished second for their best result.
BOYLE MAKES FOURTH CONSECUTIVE POSTSEASON APPEARANCE
First-year Cal head coach Joanne Boyle has taken a team to postseason play all four years she has been a collegiate head coach and in eight of the nine seasons she was an assistant coach at Duke. During her first two seasons at the helm at Richmond, the Spiders advanced to the 2003 WNIT quarterfinals (21-11) and the 2004 WNIT semifinals (23-10). Last season, Richmond lost to Florida State, 87-54, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (23-8) in the school's first NCAA trip in 14 years. The year before Boyle's arrival at Richmond, the Spiders tallied a 14-16 record. The year before her arrival at Cal, the Golden Bears were 11-18. With Boyle on Duke's staff, the Blue Devils garnered eight straight NCAA Tournament berths (1995-02), highlighted by appearances in the 1999 national championship game and the 2002 semifinals.
BEARS POST SECOND-BIGGEST TURNAROUND IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Cal has seven more wins this season than it had last year (11-18 to 18-11), which equals the second biggest jump in program history. The biggest was nine wins from 1975-76 (6-12) to 1976-77 (15-7). From 1982-83 (17-12) to 1983-84 (24-8), Cal also had seven more wins. Here's a look at how Cal fares against a selection of other improved teams this year. (Note: This is not a complete list.)
2004-05 2005-06 Diff. Saint Joseph's 7-23 20-9 +13 Williams & Mary 4-24 15-13 +11 Iona 6-22 17-12 +11 Stony Brook 8-20 19-8 +11 IUPUI 7-21 17-11 +10 Missouri 11-18 21-9 +10 Wichita State 5-22 15-12 +10 Oregon State 6-23 15-14 +9 Portland State 3-23 12-16 +9 Cincinnati 9-19 17-11 +8 Elon 4-24 12-16 +8 California 11-18 18-11 +7
CAL POSTS BEST OVERALL RECORD SINCE 1992-93
Cal takes an 18-11 overall record into postseason play, guaranteeing the Bears their first winning record since 1992-93. That year, Cal finished with a 19-10 mark after advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Milica Vukadinovic led Cal in scoring that year at 16.1 ppg, becoming the Bears' only Kodak All-American. Joanne Boyle, who is the eighth all-time women's basketball coach in school history, has equaled Marci Cantrell for the most wins in her first season on the job. Cantrell posted an 18-12 mark in her inaugural 1977-78 Cal campaign.
A Look at Cal's Last 13 years
Year Overall Pac-10 1993-94 8-20 2-16/T9th 1994-95 10-17 5-13/T8th 1995-96 7-20 3-15/10th 1996-97 6-21 2-16/10th 1997-98 6-22 2-16/T9th 1998-99 12-15 6-12/T6th 1999-00 11-17 6-12/8th 2000-01 12-16 8-10/T6th 2001-02 7-21 2-16/9th 2002-03 10-19 5-13/9th 2003-04 12-17 4-14/9th 2004-05 11-18 4-14/8th 2005-06 18-11 10-8/6th
CAL POSTS FIRST WINNING PAC-10 MARK IN 13 YEARS
Cal finished in sixth place in the Pac-10 at 10-8, giving the Bears their first winning record in conference play since the 1992-93 team tied for fourth with a 10-8 mark. Cal posted at least one victory over eight of its nine league opponents, including season sweeps over fourth-place USC and 10th-place Washington State and a victory over Pac-10 Tournament champion UCLA. The only time Cal trailed at the half and won this season was in a 73-68 home decision over the Women of Troy. In 2004-05, Cal placed eighth in the conference (4-14). This season, Cal was picked to finish eighth in the Pac-10 by the coaches and media, but the Bears outperformed expectations, winning more than five Pac-10 games for the first time since 2000-01 (8-10). The Bears also finished higher than eighth in the league for the first time since tying for sixth in 2000-01. At the 2006 Pac-10 Tournament, Cal earned the No. 6 seed - its highest ever - and a first-round bye for the first time in the tournament's five-year history.
FOUR CAL FRESHMEN EARN PAC-10 HONORS
Cal guard Alexis Gray-Lawson became the first Golden Bear to receive the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award, and freshman center Devanei Hampton was one of 10 players selected to the All-Pac-10 team. Forward/center Ashley Walker joined Gray-Lawson and Hampton on the Pac-10 All-Freshman squad, giving Cal the distinction of being the first school to ever land three players on the five-member rookie honor team. Bears guard Jené Morris garnered Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention. Gray-Lawson also was tabbed an honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick. Led by Hampton's 15.4 ppg, those four rookies lead Cal in scoring this season and are all in the starting lineup, giving the Bears the likely distinction of being the only team in the country to currently start four freshmen. Mississippi State started four freshmen earlier this season.
BEARS BEAT FIRST RANKED FOES SINCE 2003
The win over No. 13/15 Arizona State Jan. 19 marked Cal's first over a team ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll since an 80-75 triumph over No. 9 Colorado State Dec. 21, 1998, in the championship game of the Oakland Tribune Classic. The Sun Devils entered the game ranked No. 15 in the AP poll and No. 13 in the ESPN-USA Today-WBCA poll. Cal's last win over a team ranked in the coaches' poll was Dec. 27, 2003 (61-57 over No. 22 Oregon). Nine days after the ASU win, Cal defeated No. 23/25 (AP/coaches) USC, 72-67, in Los Angeles. Cal has received as many as 11 votes in the AP poll (1/30) and one in the coaches poll (1/3) this season. The Bears aren't currently receiving any votes.
TWO DEFENSIVE RECORDS LIKELY TO FALL IN 2005-06
Cal is on pace to set school records for scoring defense and field goal percentage defense this season. The Bears rank second in the Pac-10 in scoring defense (59.8 ppg, Oregon first at 58.8) and third in field goal percentage defense (37.5, Oregon first at 36.1), putting them on pace to break the previous school records of 63.2 ppg (2001-02) and 40.2% (1978-79). Last season, opponents averaged 71.3 ppg (10th Pac-10) and shot 44.4 percent (10th). In 2005-06, Cal is 15-2 when holding opponents under 60 points, 5-0 when holding them under 50 points and 2-0 when holding them under 40 points.
Cal's Top 5 Defensive Seasons
Year Average 1. 2005-06 59.8 ppg 2. 2001-02 63.2 ppg 3. 2002-03 64.2 ppg 4. 1999-00 64.6 ppg 5. 2003-04 65.1 ppg
TWO HOME ATTENDANCE RECORDS SET IN 2005-06
Cal is averaging 1,656 fans this season, surpassing the old Haas and Harmon Gym record of 1,615, set in 2003-04. This year's average was helped when Cal drew a Haas Pavilion record crowd of 4,859 fans against No. 14 Stanford Feb. 11. The previous facility record of 3,712 was established Jan. 16, 2004, when No. 7 Stanford beat Cal, 63-53. The Feb. 11 crowd fell slightly below the women's basketball record for Harmon Gym - the Bears' home court before Haas opened in 1999 - but is the second-best ever. Harmon's record was 4,908 (82-50, Stanford win vs. Cal, 2/28/97).
BEARS POST BEST RECORD AT HAAS PAVILION
Cal was 12-3 at home this season, which included a 6-0 non-conference record. The Bears posted their best home record at Haas Pavilion, which opened in 1999-00. In 2004-05, Cal finished the season with a 9-6 home record - its best mark at Haas Pavilion prior to 2005-06. Cal is 52-48 all-time at Haas. Arizona snapped a nine-game Cal home-winning streak with an 80-76 decision Jan. 22, 2006. Cal will take an 18-game home non-conference winning streak into next season. The Bears were also 6-0 against non-conference opponents at home during the last two campaigns. Cal last lost a non-conference home game to Colorado (66-47) Dec. 8, 2002, in the championship game of the Oakland Tribune Classic.
REBOUNDING EMERGES AS STRENGTH IN 2005-06
After finishing last in the Pac-10 in rebounding in 2004-05 at 34.9 rpg, Cal has clearly made strides in that department. The Bears are sixth in the conference at 38.2 rpg and third in rebounding defense (36.1). Freshman center Devanei Hampton (8.1 rpg) and freshman forward/center Ashley Walker (7.7 rpg) rank third and fourth, respectively, in the Pac-10 in rebounding. Hampton's rebounding average is the best by a Cal player since Shavaki Jackson contributed 8.7 rpg in 1999-00. Hampton (2.93 rpg) and Walker (2.76 rpg) are first and second, respectively, in offensive rebounding in the conference. Walker has 80 offensive boards this year, and Hampton has 79, which far surpasses Jessica Lawson's team best of 55 a year ago. Lawson topped the Bears in overall rebounding at 5.0 rpg last year. Senior Reneé Wright is third on the team in rebounding at 6.5 rpg and joins Hampton and Walker in the top 10 in the Pac-10 in defensive rebounding. Cal also owns a +2.1 rebounding margin (sixth Pac-10) this year after being at -0.9 last year. The Bears are 13-6 when outrebounding their opponents, including a season-high +16 edge (40-24) at Oregon State.
BEARS POST MOST BLOCKS SINCE 1992-93
Led by freshman Ashley Walker's 49 blocks, Cal has accumulated 97 blocks this season, which is the most in program history since the 1992-93 Bears had 98. Prior to that year, the 1985-86 Cal team tallied 110 blocks. The school record is 144 blocks in 1981-82. The Bears are sixth in the Pac-10 in blocks/game this season at 3.34 bpg after ranking 10th in 2004-05 at 1.93 bpg. The school record for blocks per game is 4.9 bpg in 1984-85 (132 in 27 games).
CAL RANKS 1ST IN PAC-10 IN FT ATTEMPTS/GAME
Cal is in last place in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage at 62.3 percent after converting a school-record 74.5 percent in 2004-05, but they are in first place in the conference in free throws attempted at 21.7 per game. Last season, the Bears benefited from four players shooting at least 80 percent from the charity stripe, including NCAA leader Kristin Iwanaga (93.4%). This year, only Sarah Pool (86.7%, 13-15) and Emmelie Geraedts (100.0%, 2-2) are above 70 percent. Rene, Wright, who is at 69.4%, 50-72), recently made 12-of-13 attempts over a five-game stretch. Cal has taken a Pac-10-leading 628 free throws this season, which is the most by the Bears since 2000-01 (716) and 200 more free throws than its opponents this year (compared to 99 more in 2004-05). A 34.5 percentage (10-29) contributed to Cal's 80-76 loss to Arizona and a 57.7 percentage (15-26) hurt the Bears in a three-point overtime (90-87) setback at UCLA. Devanei Hampton has taken the most free throws on this year's Cal team (179 - sixth Cal history, 6.6 per contest) and has made the most (94), but she is shooting only 52.5 percent. In the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals, she sank 7-of-10 attempts against UCLA. Not counting Hampton, Cal is shooting 66.1 percent (297-449) from the foul line.
WRIGHT - THE BLUE-COLLAR LEADER
Reneé Wright, the only senior on the Cal roster, has faced the unique situation of joining four freshmen in the starting lineup this year. Wright is averaging 6.8 ppg and a career-best 6.5 rpg, starting 28 of 29 games this year. She has played in 108 games all-time and has made 37 starts. Wright, who hails from Antelope, Calif., has posted double figures for points six times this season and four times for rebounding. She notched a season-high 13 points twice against Arizona and a career-high 14 boards in the season opener vs. Eastern Washington. The social welfare major recorded her only double-double of the season and second of her career in Cal's win over Marshall (10 points, 10 rebounds). On Senior Day Feb. 25, Wright, who is known as the team's blue-collar player, had an all-around performance - eight points, six rebounds and a career-high six assists. Wright is an iron-woman for Cal, averaging 35.4 mpg (fourth Pac-10), and has played in every minute of seven games this year. Wright has emerged as one of Cal's best on-ball defenders and has posted a career-high 25 steals in 2005-06. She plans to attend nursing school after completing her undergraduate studies in 2006-07.
NO. 7-RATED FRESHMAN CLASS LEADS OFFENSE
Cal features the No. 7-rated recruiting class in the country from last season, according to Blue Star Index. That group, which represents five of the top seven players on the 2004-05 NorCal Scouting Report, includes Devanei Hampton (Oakland, Calif.), Alexis Gray-Lawson (Oakland, Calif.), Jené Morris (San Francisco, Calif.), Ashley Walker (Modesto, Calif.) and Shantrell Sneed (Fairfield, Calif.). Hampton and Gray-Lawson teamed to lead Oakland Tech to the last two state titles. Morris, Sneed and Walker were first-team all-state honorees as seniors. Hampton (15.4 ppg), Gray-Lawson (14.5 ppg), Walker (13.0 ppg) and Morris (8.7 ppg) are Cal's top four scorers this year and are all starters. A freshman has led Cal in scoring in 28 of 29 games this year. Junior guard Sarah Pool paced Cal with a career-high 22 points at San Jose State, and senior forward Reneé Wright and sophomore forward Krista Foster (13 points) joined Hampton as the leading scorers at Arizona.
HAMPTON PACES PAC-10 FRESHMEN IN SCORING, REBOUNDING
Devanei Hampton (Oakland, Calif.) tops Cal and all Pac-10 freshmen in scoring (15.4 ppg, seventh overall Pac-10) and rebounding (8.1 rpg, third Pac-10). Hampton averaged 16.1 ppg (seventh Pac-10) and 8.2 rpg (second Pac-10) during conference games. She saw her streak of 19 consecutive double-digit scoring games snapped at Arizona State (eight points). She leads Cal and ranks second in the Pac-10 in double-doubles (9) and tops the Bears in double-figure scoring (23) and rebounding (9) outings. Hampton was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 20.5 ppg and 12.0 rpg in wins over UCLA and USC. Hampton fared well against Pac-10 Tournament champion UCLA, averaging 22.3 ppg and 13.3 rpg during three contests. Additionally, the All-Pac-10 selection looks to become only the third freshman in Cal women's basketball history to lead the team in scoring. Colleen Galloway was the first (1977-78, 16.4 ppg) and Cynthia Cooke (13.5 ppg, 1981-82) was the other. Records date back to 1976-77. Hampton has led Cal in scoring in 11 games and in rebounding 12 times.
GRAY-LAWSON MERITS PAC-10 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR HONOR
On a team filled with outstanding freshmen, the Pac-10 coaches likely had a tough time deciding which Cal player was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson contributed in numerous ways to the Bears, becoming the first Cal player to earn the conference's top rookie honor. Gray-Lawson, from Oakland, Calif., has been a calming influence on the court for the young Bears, logging a team-high 36.24 mpg (second Pac-10). She is second on the team in scoring (14.5 ppg, ninth Pac-10), first in assists (2.7 apg), first in three-pointers made (40), first in three-point percentage (39.2, fifth Pac-10, seventh Cal history) and fourth in rebounding (3.9 rpg, first for Cal guards). During the conference season, Gray-Lawson contributed 16.2 ppg (sixth Pac-10). She posted a career-high 30 points in the loss at Stanford and has 22 double-figure scoring games to her credit (seven games with at least 20 points). She has paced Cal in scoring 10 times.
MORRIS RANKS 3RD IN PAC-10 IN STEALS
Freshman guard Jené Morris (San Francisco) is third in the Pac-10 (first on team) in steals at 2.30 spg. Morris is the first freshman to lead Cal in steals since Courtney Johnson did so in 1997-98 (1.7 spg, 47 total). Morris grabbed nine steals (tied for first in Pac-10 this year) in Cal's win over Radford, which was one shy of equaling the school record of 10. She has grabbed at least three steals 12 times this year. Eliza Sokolowska posted 10 steals vs. Arizona State, Feb. 9, 1995, and Mazetta Garrett swiped 10 against UCLA, Nov. 21, 1980. Sarah Pool led Cal with 36 steals last season. Morris has 62 steals this year and is fourth on the team in scoring (8.7 ppg) and third in assists (2.5 apg). She dished off a career-high nine assists vs. Arizona Jan. 22 and had a team-high five assists at UCLA Jan. 29 and vs. WSU Feb. 23.
WALKER SEIZES OPPORTUNITY, LEADS PAC-10 IN BLOCKS
When the school year began, all indications were that Ashley Walker (Modesto, Calif.) would likely be coming off of Cal's bench as a freshman. When sophomore center Jessica Lawson tore her ACL in October, Walker responded well to her new role as Cal's starting power forward. Walker was the last of Cal's five freshmen to verbally commit to the school after receiving encouragement from long-time friend and current teammate Shantrell Sneed. Walker is third on the Bears in scoring (13.0 ppg) and is in the top five in the Pac-10 in five statistical categories. She leads the team in blocks (1.69 bpg, first Pac-10) and field percentage (49.5, fifth Pac-10) and is second on the Bears in rebounding (7.7 rpg, fourth Pac-10). She is also second in the Pac-10 to teammate Devanei Hampton in offensive rebounds (2.76 per game, second Pac-10) and is second on Cal in defensive rebounds (4.93 per game, tied for fourth Pac-10). Walker tops the Pac-10 in total blocks (49, most by Cal player since Charlotte Lusschen had 69 in 1984-85). Walker averaged 12.9 ppg and 8.7 rpg during conference games (first in Pac-10 games in rebounding). She has paced the Bears in scoring nine times and in rebounding 10 times and is second on the team with eight double-doubles (third Pac-10), posting six consecutive double-doubles from Jan. 1-22.
CAL'S SEASON BLOCK LEADERS
1. Sarah Thamer (1981-82) 97
2. Charlotte Lusschen (1984-85) 69
3. Sarah Thamer (1980-81) 67
4. Charlotte Lusschen (1983-84) 54
5. Chris Sellin (1979-80) 50
6. Ashley Walker (2005-06) 49
7. Charlotte Lusschen (1985-86) 44
POOL APPROCHES CAL'S CAREER TOP 10 ASSISTS LIST
Redshirt junior guard Sarah Pool is approaching Cal's career top 10 list in assists. Pool, who hails from Central Point, Ore., has 74 assists (2.6 apg) this season and 271 for her career. Sherrise Smith (1996-99) holds the No. 10 spot with 292. In 2005-06, Pool has played in 29 games, making eight starts, and is averaging 2.6 ppg and 2.0 rpg. She was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the first time in her career Dec. 12 after recording her first career double-doubles in wins over San Jose State Dec. 8 and South Carolina State Dec. 10. In the win over the Spartans, she notched career highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds and two days later, poured in 14 points and a career-high 11 assists.
FOSTER BRINGS TOUGHNESS OFF BEARS' BENCH
Sophomore forward Krista Foster doesn't back down from anyone as Cal's first post player off of the Bears' bench. Foster is known for taking charges on anyone that enters her defensive space, often when her team is dependent on a big defensive stop. A product of Fair Oaks, Calif., Foster has played in 29 games and has logged seven starts this season. She has been an offensive sparkplug for the Bears on several occasions, posting four double-digit scoring games. Foster contributed career highs of 13 points and seven boards in a road win at Arizona, the Bears' first at the McKale Center since 1993.
Cal won the Contra Costa Times Classic for the second consecutive time this season, with Devanei Hampton earning MVP honors and Reneé Wright being picked to the all-tournament team...Cal recorded 20 double-doubles this season after posting only four last year...four of Cal's starters average at least 30 minutes per game...a Cal player played every minute of a game this season 15 times.Cal set a new Haas Pavilion Golden Bears' scoring record in a 94-48 triumph over South Carolina State Dec. 10, 2005...Cal's 81-58 victory over Washington Feb. 25 signified its biggest margin of victory ever over the Huskies and broke an 11-game losing streak to its Pac-10 rival...this season, the Bears' longest winning streak was four and only once did Cal lose consecutive games (at UCLA, vs. Oregon State)...Cal was 10-6 in games decided by 10 points or less after going 7-8 in similar contests last season...the Bears swept the season series from USC for the first time since 1989-90.Cal ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (43.5%), which is on pace to be the team's best percentage since 1994-95 (44.6%)...the Bears have shot at least 40 percent from the floor each of the past three years, marking the first time they've reached that benchmark for three straight seasons since 1994-97...Cal is averaging 19.3 turnovers per game, which is an improvement over last season's mark of 21.2 tpg...the Bears have committed fewer than 15 turnovers five times this year.