Jan. 18, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. -
No. 8/9 Cal (16-2, 7-0 Pac-10) at Arizona (6-11, 0-6 Pac-10) Sat., Jan. 19 McKale Center, Tucson, AZ 1:00 p.m. PT Radio: 90.7 FM TV: Fox Sports Net
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Looking to continue the momentum of an eight-game winning streak, No. 8/9 California (16-2, 7-0 Pac-10, 1st) plays at Arizona (6-11, 0-6 Pac-10, T9th) Saturday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m. PT at the McKale Center in a nationally televised Fox Sports Net game. The contest marks the return home of freshman guard Rachelle Federico (Tucson, Ariz., Flowing Wells HS).
Cal is coming off a 64-51 victory over No. 25 Arizona State Jan. 17, marking the Bears' first road win at Arizona State since the 1998-99 season. Junior forward/center Devanei Hampton led Cal with a career-high 28 points, giving the Bears their first eight-game winning streak since the 1991-92 season.
The last time Cal won more than eight in a row was in 1986-87 when the Bears matched the 1981-82 team with a school-record 10 consecutive wins. Cal has won seven straight Pac-10 games, with the school record being eight in 1986-87.
Meanwhile, Arizona is coming off an 89-64 loss to No. 6 Stanford. With a win over the Wildcats, the Bears will have swept the Arizona State-Arizona road trip for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
The Bears continue to keep pace with the 1983-84 team for the best start in school history. Twenty-four years ago, Cal began the season 17-2 before losing its 20th game and went on to finish the season with a school record for wins at 24-8. Cal's 7-0 Pac-10 start is its best ever.
This year's Cal identity is grounded in strong defense and rebounding, but the Bears also have the capability of putting up big offensive numbers. The Bears lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense at 53.5 ppg, which far surpasses last year's school record of 60.1 ppg. Cal is third in the conference in scoring at 67.9 ppg and outscores its opponents by an average of +14.4 ppg.
Hampton and juniors Ashley Walker (F/C) and Alexis Gray-Lawson (G) lead Cal, which owns program-best rankings of No. 8 (AP) and No. 9 (USA Today-ESPN coaches' poll) this week. Walker leads the Pac-10 in rebounding (9.8 rpg) and is third in scoring (17.0 rpg). Gray-Lawson is 10th in the conference in scoring (12.2 ppg) and second in three-point field goal percentage (42.7%). Hampton averages 13.9 ppg in her nine games since returning from her Nov. 9 knee surgery but hasn't played the necessary 75 percent of Cal's games to qualify for the Pac-10 leaders.
Rounding out Cal's starting unit are sophomore guards Natasha Vital and Lauren Greif. Vital is sixth in the Pac-10 in assists (3.61) after matching her season high of six assists at Arizona State. Greif is tied for third in the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (40.0%).