Dec. 2, 2002
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Coming off three solid defensive efforts, California (1-2) wraps up its six-game homestand this week with three contests at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears open against Cal Poly (2-2) Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m., before hosting the 12th-annual Oakland Tribune Classic Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8. The tournament tips off at 1 p.m. Saturday with Colorado (3-1) vs. Evansville (1-2), followed by Cal vs. Pennsylvania (1-1) at 3 p.m. Sunday's action begins at 1 p.m. with Penn vs. Colorado or Evansville, followed by Cal vs. Colorado or Evansville at 3 p.m.
Junior guard Nihan Anaz will make her Cal debut in Sunday's game after serving a five-game NCAA suspension for previous ties to a professional team abroad.
This year's Oakland Tribune Classic also marks the debut of a new sponsor for Cal women's basketball, See Jane Run - an Oakland-based women's active wear store. Colorado - a 2002 NCAA Elite Eight team - is the marquee attraction of this year's tournament.
So far this season, Cal has showcased its historically strong defense, allowing its opponents only 58.3 ppg, which ranks third in the Pac-10. The Bears are still waiting for their offense to catch up, as they are averaging only 54.0 ppg. Three-point shooting (40.5 percent) and assists (16.0 per game) are two offensive areas Cal has improved in this year.
Sophomore power forward Leigh Gregory and junior center Timea Ivanyi lead the team at 12.3 ppg. Gregory, one of four returning starters this season, is the only Bear to post double-figure points in all three games. Sophomore point guard Kristin Iwanaga also is averaging double figures (10.3 ppg) after posting a career-high 20 points in the 57-53 win over Syracuse, a 2002 NCAA Tournament team.
The Bears' depth has been apparent this season as 10 players average at least nine minutes per game. Sophomore guard Jacqueline Sanchez and freshman forward Renee Wright have had the biggest impact off the bench, averaging 7.0 and 4.7 ppg, respectively. Wright also is second on the team in rebounding (4.7) behind Gregory (5.3) and has paced the Bears on the glass in the last two games.