Nov. 30, 2011
Saturday, Dec. 3: CSU Bakersfield vs. California, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3: UNLV vs. Prairie View A&M, 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4: UNLV or Prairie View A&M vs. CSU Bakersfield, 12 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4: UNLV or Prairie View A&M vs. California, 2:30 p.m.
Live Audio/Video Streaming (all 4 games): CalBears.com; Gametracker: CalBears.com
BERKELEY- The California Golden Bears (4-2) will host their home tournament, the Cal Classic, presented by the DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina, Dec. 3-4 at Haas Pavilion. The Bears will open by facing CSU Bakersfield (2-5) on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 1:30 p.m. The UNLV (6-1) vs. Prairie View A&M (1-4) game will follow at approximately 4 p.m.
On Sunday, the Bears will play at 2:30 in the second game of the day, with CSU Bakersfield the designated home team for the 12 p.m. tilt. If the Bears win Saturday's game, they will play the winner of UNLV/Prairie View in the championship game. If the Bears lose the opener, Sunday's game will be the consolation game and they will play the loser of UNLV/Prairie View.
The Bears are playing in back-to-back tournaments, coming off last week's 2-1 showing in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown. Prairie View A&M was also in the tropics, going 0-3 at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. CSU Bakersfield spent Thanksgiving weekend at the FIU Classic in Miami, dropping both games there including a loss to No. 8 Maryland (114-83). UNLV was at home, hosting the Lady Rebel Round Up, falling in the championship game to No. 21 Georgetown (64-45). The Rebels had won six straight to start the season prior to the loss to Georgetown.
Cal comes into the weekend with a 4-2 record. Both of the Bears' losses have come at the hands of top-25 teams with the Bears dropping those two games by a combined four points.
The Bears have dominated the Bears, outrebounding each of their first six opponents, with an average rebounding margin of +14.8 , the seventh best rebounding margin among all NCAA Division I teams (best in the Pac-12).
Live streaming video for all four games will be available through All-Access on CalBears.com. GameTracker live stats will also be available for all four games.
Cal Classic Presented by DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina This is the first year that the DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina has been the presenting sponsor of Cal's annual fall tournament. From 2008-10, the tournament was known as the Colliers International Classic . From 2004-07, it was called the Contra Costa Times Classic. The tournament, which first began in 1978, has also been known as the Golden Bear Classic and the Oakland Tribune Classic.
The Bears have won their tournament six of the last eight years and 17 times overall. The Bears have been in the championship game 28 consecutive years. There have only been three times the Bears have not played in the title game, the last time coming during the 1981 season, when the Bears finished fourth in what was then an eight-team format.
After falling in the championship game for two straight years, both times being taken out by top-25 teams, the Bears turned it around last year, winning the championship game, 82-49, over Portland State.
MVP At the conclusion of the tournament, a Cal Classic MVP will be named as well as a five-member All-Tournament team. A Cal player has been named the MVP six of the last eight years and 16 Bears have earned the honor since the award was first presented in 1979.
Last season, Layshia Clarendon earned MVP honors, scoring 35 points with 14 rebounds, 11 assists, and three steals in the two games. DeNesha Stallworth was named All-Tournament after scoring 44 points with 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and a steal. Also named to the All-Tournament team were Eryn Jones and Kelli Valentine of Portland State, Olivia Grayson of Tulane, and Lyndsey Grove of Fullerton.
About The Tourney Teams The University of Las Vegas, Nevada Lady Rebels (6-1) were 11-20 (.355) last season in the Mountain West Conference finishing in eighth place. The Rebels last saw postseason action in the 2006 WNIT. They return all five starters from last season's squad.
The Lady Rebels got off to their best start since 1990-91 with six straight wins before falling to No. 21 Georgetown, 64-45, in Las Vegas last weekend.
The CSU Bakersfield Road Runners (2-5) went 22-12 last season and saw postseason action, making it to the championship game of the WBI (Women's Basketball Invitational). They are lead by first-year head coach Greg McCall. McCall was a longtime assistant for CSU Bakersfield prior to being promoted to head coach.
CSU Bakersfield is looking for its first road win of the season. The Road Runners are averaging 82.7 points per game this season.
The Prairie View A&M Panthers (1-4) won the SWAC tournament last season to earn their third NCAA Tournament bid in program history. The Panthers, a 16-seed, fell in the first round to No. 1 seed Baylor, 66-30, in Waco, Texas.
The Panthers nearly pulled an upset against undefeated Michigan in the opener of the Paradise Jam Tournament, but fell in the final minutes, 59-53.
Waikiki Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown Cal went 2-1 at the Thanksgiving weekend tournament. Junior guard Layshia Clarendon and freshman point guard Brittany Boyd were both named to the All-Tournament team. Clarendon averaged 14 points per game, scoring 42 points in the three games. She had the fourth double double of her career with 16 points and 11 rebounds in the victory over No. 22 Virginia. Boyd averaged 8.3 points per game and 3.7 rebounds. She also tallied 13 assists with seven steals in the three games. This was Boyd's first All-Tournament honor of her collegiate career and Clarendon's second as she was named the MVP of the Colliers International Classic last season.
Heating Up After a quiet start to the season, Clarendon has returned to form, scoring double digits in each of the last three games and having at least three assists in each of the last four games. In the first three games of the season, she averaged 7.7 ppg. In her last three, that number nearly doubled, with a 14.0 average. During the Rainbow Wahine Showdown, Clarendon sank six three-points, shooting 42.9 percent from long range. She made just two treys in her first three games.
Field Goal Percentage The Bears two freshmen post players, Justine Hartman and Reshanda Gray, are both shooting over 60.0 percent from the field. Gray is making 69.7 of her attempts. Hartman is currently ranked 14th among all NCAA Division I players with a 62.5 percent field goal percentage. Gray does not have enough attempts to qualifying for the national rankings.
Bench Scoring The Cal bench has scored over 207 of the Bears 423 points this season (48.9 percent). Last year, the Cal bench, over the course of the season, was responsible for scoring 419 points, 19.6 percent of Cal's total offensive output. In the exhibition win over Vanguard, the non-starters accounted for 64 of the Bears 99 points (64.6 percent). In the Rutgers game, the bench contributed 41 of the 70 points (58.5 percent). Even after changing the composition of the bench by changing out two players in the starting lineup, the bench still scored 43 points against Sacramento State (50.5 percent). The bench had its third straight 40-point showing against Illinois (41 points, 51.2 percent).
Nearly Perfect (Field) Junior forward Talia Caldwell began her season going 12-for-13 from the field, shooting 92.3 percent. She was perfect from the field against Rutgers, starting the season converting her first four field goal attempts. This was the sixth time in Caldwell's career she has been perfect from the field. Caldwell's best single-game performance was a 6-for-6 shooting game against San Jose State in her freshman year. Caldwell, as a freshman, had the second-best season in Cal program history when it comes to shooting percentage. She made 61.5 percent of her shots in her rookie campaign.
Perfect (Stripe) Freshman Brittany Boyd was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line against Illinois. It was the best free throw shooting performance by a Bear since DeNesha Stallworth went 10-for-10 from the line in the 2010 WNIT game at Oregon (March 25).
Double Digits Freshman Reshanda Gray began her career with five consecutive games scoring in double digits, a streak that was snapped when she was limited to just one point in the Virginia contest, in which she appeared for only eight minutes. DeNesha Stallworth began her career in 2009 with seven consecutive double-digit scoring efforts. Ashley Walker had five double-digit games to start her Cal career in 2005.
Points Per Minute Freshman forwards Justine Hartman and Reshanda Gray are making the most of their playing time. Through the first three games, Hartman scored 37 points in 49 minutes of playing time. During the Rainbow Wahine Showdown, Hartman scored 37 points in 44 minutes. Gray, in the game against Illinois, scored 11 points in nine minutes on the court.
Welcome Back, Gen Brandon Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon showed no signs of rust when she took the court against Rutgers. Brandon sat out the entire 2010-11 season, trying to recover from a stress fracture in her shin. Her last appearance on the court was in the Bears WNIT victory over Miami. Brandon played 30 minutes against Rutgers, scoring 12 points with 15 rebounds, the sixth double double of her career. Brandon averaged 11.0 rebounds per game in the first three contests. She currently leads the team with a 9.3 rpg average, ranking her sixth in the Pac-12.
Cal vs. Ranked Teams The Bears earned their first victory over a ranked team since the 99-73 victory over No. 23/25 Virginia in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament when they defeated the No. 22-ranked Cavaliers, 59-50, at the Waikiki Beach Marriott rainbow Wahine Showdown. It was also the first win over a top-25 ranked team in Lindsay Gottlieb's head coaching career. The Bears are 1-2 this season against ranked teams. They will get another shot when they face No. 17/18 Ohio State at Haas Pavilion on Saturday, Dec. 17.
We Assist, You Assist California women's basketball has announced that Team Up For Youth and the Coaching Corps program will be the focus of this season's We Assist, You Assist campaign. Fans are encouraged to pledge money, from pennies to dollars, for each assist tallied by the Bears this season. Coaching Corps is a program that pairs trained volunteer coaches with kids in low-income communities so that all children have the powerful experiences of playing and learning, winning and losing, and through it all, discovering their best selves. Dedicated college students serve as volunteer coaches and role models for kids in after school programs in under served communities. Coaching Corps harnesses the energy and passion of young adults to help kids in low-income communities. The goal is to help kids do better in school, have higher self-esteem, stay away from drugs and alcohol, and create a healthy and active lifestyle that lasts their entire lives. Donation forms can be downloaded from CalBears.com or picked up at any Bears home game this season.