Dec. 1, 2001
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
For the first time since 1985-86, California looks to improve to 4-0 when it hosts Central Connecticut State Saturday in the second game (approx. 3:30 p.m.) of the Oakland Tribune Classic. A win against the Blue Devils will also even coach Caren Horstmeyer's Cal record at 16-16.
The Bears also are one of only two undefeated teams in the Pac-10 - the other being 6-0 Stanford. The Cal women and men are a combined 7-0.
The Golden Bears are coming off a 62-55 victory over Fresno State Wednesday. Cal squandered a 20-point lead but were able to recover in time to hand the Bulldogs their first loss of the season.
The Bears' best start in school history was 5-0 during the 1981-82 season.
Prior to Cal's game against CCSU (0-3), UNLV (4-0) faces No. 13 Georgia (3-0) at 1 p.m. This is one of the best field's in the 11-year history of the tournament as three of the four teams come in undefeated. Sunday's match-ups features CCSU playing either UNLV or Georgia at 1 p.m., and Cal playing the other team 30-minutes afterwards. Cal looks to win its own tournament for the first time since 1998 when it knocked off No. 9 Colorado State 80-75.
Next week, Cal closes out its non-conference home slate with games against San Francisco (0-3) and Saint Mary's (2-2).
Cal's 16-player roster features nine newcomers, but the Bears have benefited from a majority of the new players coming from winning programs. Senior forward/center Ami Forney, the only returning starter from last year, leads the club with a career-high 12.7 ppg average. The next three top scorers are all freshmen - forward (redshirt) Kiki Williams (11.7 ppg), forward Leigh Gregory (11.3 ppg) and guard Kristin Iwanaga (10.7 ppg). Williams also leads Cal in rebounding at 6.0 per game.
After earning a reputation as a defensive-minded team over the last five years, Cal is showcasing its talent on both sides of the ball this year. The Bears are averaging 69.0 ppg and giving up only 61.3 ppg.