Feb. 7, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. -
Sunday, Feb. 8, 2:00 p.m.: No. 3 Cal at Washington State, Pullman, Wash. (Radio: KALX 90.7-FM, TV: none)
After a tumultuous week for teams in the top-10, the California Golden Bears (19-2, 10-0 Pac-10) moved back to No. 3 in both national polls, a position they held for two weeks earlier this season. The No. 3 ranking ties the best-ever showing by the Bears in the polls. Losses by the teams that held the No. 3-6 spots in the poll last week cleared the way for the Bears to move up four spots in the AP poll and two in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. The Bears, who have not lost a game since Dec. 13, when they fell to No. 2 Oklahoma, look to win their 12th straight game Sunday, Feb. 8, when they take on the Washington State Cougars (8-13, 2-8 Pac-10) in Pullman. The Bears current 11-game winning streak is the longest in program history, improving on the previous high of ten straight games (1981-82 and 1986-87). It is the sixth longest current win streak among Division I teams (UConn leads with an 18-game winning streak).
The Bears also set a new standard by winning ten straight Pac-10 games, their longest stretch of consecutive conference wins and best conference start in program history. Their previous best was eight games.
The team's 19 wins this season are already more victories than the Bears posted in the entire season in 25 of the 35 seasons of Cal women's basketball. Their ten Pac-10 victories are already more than they posted in 16 of the 22 seasons they have been playing in the Pac-10.
The Bears' 30-point victory over Washington was the largest margin of victory for the Bears in a Pac-10 game since their 99-44 victory over Washington State Dec. 30, 2007. They outrebounded the Huskies 49-29 with the Bears pulling in an impressive 17 offensive rebounds leading to 17 second-chance points. The Huskies scored just six points off offensive boards including making just one basket in the second half after getting a second chance at the bucket. The Bears defense held Washington to 26.8 percent shooting. They made just two three-point baskets in the game.
On offense, the Bears had four of their five starters scoring in double-digits. Senior forwards Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton and junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson each scored at least ten points in the second half. The Bears have averaged 69.8 points per game their last five games after starting the Pac-10 season scoring an average of 59.4 points in their first five games.
1,000 REBOUND WATCH Ashley Walker, with nine rebounds against Washington, is now just nine rebounds shy of reaching 1,000 in her career. There have been eight players in Pac-10 history to reach the 1,000 rebound mark. There has only been one player in Cal history, Colleen Galloway (1978-81, 1029), to have over 1,000 rebounds. Walker is 39 rebounds shy of passing Galloway as Cal's all-time leading rebounder.
PAC-10 LEADERS Ashley Walker continues to leads the Pac-10 in scoring average. Her 20.7 ppg paces the conference and ranks her 15th among all DI players. Dawn Evans of James Madison leads the nation at 24.7 ppg. Arizona's Ify Ibekwe is the only other Pac-10 leader to be ranked in the top-100 this week, coming in at No. 91 with 15.7 ppg. Walker is third in the Pac-10 and 14th in the country in field goal shooting percentage (57.5 percent).
Junior guard Natasha Vital's 46.2 percent three-point shooting efficiency continues to lead the Pac-10. She has hit 30 treys in 65 attempts this season.
Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is third in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.72 ratio. Gray-Lawson ranks No. 40 in the nation in this stat.
Senior center Devanei Hampton is averaging 8.1 rebounds per game in Pac-10 games this season, third best among all conference players.
DEFENSE Cal allows their opponents to score 53.0 points per game, the fewest points allowed among Pac-10 teams this season and currently ranks No. 14 in the country. Cal has kept opponents scores below 40 points twice this season, the first in the opener when they only allowed Albany to score 39 points, and again when Washington only managed 34.
Both Washington and Oregon set new records for fewest points scored in a half when playing Cal this season. Cal held UW to just 9 first half points. Oregon scored just 10 in their first 20 minutes of play.
The Bears are 17-0 when holding their opponents to 55 or fewer points. They have held their opponents to 50 points or less in eight of the last 11 games. Pac-10 opponents are averaging just 52.6 points against the Bears.
The Bears are holding opponents to a 27.8 three-point efficiency (105-of-378) best in the Pac-10. Conference opponents are making just 23.8 percent of their three-point attempts. The Bears have held opponents to two or fewer made-threes in a game five times this season, including Washington State's 1-for-19 performance earlier this season and Washington's 2-for-14 showing Friday night.
DEV Devanei Hampton had her first double-double of the season with 12 rebounds and 11 points against UCLA. She followed it up with a 17 point, 11 rebound performance against USC, including the game-winning offense rebound and put back. In the last five games, Hampton is averaging 9.8 points per game and 11.0 rebounds per game.
DEV AS A STARTER The Bears are 11-0 since Hampton has returned to the starting lineup. She is averaging 9.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game since returning to the starting lineup. In Hampton's first nine games of the season, she averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds.
VITAL POINTS Natasha Vital has scored in double digits each of her last five games. Since going scoreless in the Stanford game, Vital has scored 69 points (13.8 ppg average), scoring 10 points against Washington, going 4-for-8 from the field. Ashley Walker is the only Bear to have more points over that same span.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME SCORING: WALKER No. 15 Ashley Walker's name will also be written into the Pac-10 history books. Walker moved into the top-20 in career scoring in the Pac-10 in the Stanford game. Walker passed former UCLA player, Rehema Stephens (1990-92, 1,887 pts.), to move up to No. 15 on the list. She needs 25 points to move past Washington's Giuliana Mendiola (2001-04, 1,928 pts.) and into 14th palce on the list. Walker became the 39th player to score 1,500 points as a member of the Pac-10.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME REBOUNDERS: NO. 10 Ashley Walker Walker moved her into the top-10 in the Pac-10's history in rebounding. Walker entered the season ranked No. 21. She needs 6 rebounds to move up to No. 9 on the career list, passing Staphanie Kasperski of Oregon (1987-90, 996).
COUNTDOWN TO 2,000 Ashley Walker needs 96 points to become the second player in the history of Cal and the 11th player in Pac-10 history to score 2,000 career points.
COUNTDOWN TO 1,500 Senior forward Devanei Hampton scored the 1400th point of her career against UCLA. Hampton is 60 points shy of joining Walker in the 1500 point club.
CAREER ASSISTS Natasha Vital moved into the top-10 in career assists with her four dishes against SJSU, passing Sherrise Smith (1996-99, 292) to officially enter the Bear record book. Vital tallied career assist No. 300 against Saint Mary's on a feed to Devanei Hampton in the paint with four minutes left in the first half. Vital moved up to ninth in the Washington game. She is 3 assists shy of eighth place in the record book.
GRAY-LAWSON'S 1000 POINT MEMBERSHIP Alexis Gray-Lawson became the 20th member of Cal's 1,000 point club on Nov. 29 in the third game of the Paradise Jam Tournament against Iowa, with 1:26 left in the first half on a runner through the lane. Gray-Lawson needs 26 points to move into the top-10 on the career-scoring list.