March 21, 2009
California made its seventh overall and fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Cal posted its third NCAA Tournament win in school history to improve to 3-6 all-time in NCAAs. Cal won their first round game in 2008.
Fresno State earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning its second consecutive Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship. It is the second NCAA Tournament appearance for the Bulldogs. The program's first trip was last season, as a 14 seed, and lost 88-67 to No. 3 Baylor in the first round of the 2008 tournament. The Bulldogs are now 0-2 in the NCAA Tournament.
The first-round match-up marked the 26th meeting between the two teams. The two squads played each other last Nov. 10, 2007, when the Bears defeated Fresno State, 83-79. The Bulldogs' last win over Cal was Dec. 17, 1995, when the FS won, 68-61, in Fresno, Calif.
Cal head coach Joanne Boyle won her second NCAA Tournament game (2-4 overall: 2-3 Cal; 0-1 Richmond).
All of the squad's 11 student-athletes saw playing time today. Eight notched points and 10 grabbed rebounds.
Walker came into tonight's match-up with 54 career points against the Bulldogs occurring over the course of two games (Dec. 7, 2006 and Nov. 10, 2006). She now has scored 75 points against Fresno State.
Walker has been the Bears' leading scorer four times in five NCAA Tournament games.
Cal limited Fresno State to 22.2 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, with the Bulldogs only making four three-pointers. The Bulldogs have led the nation in treys made per game all season. Coming in tonight's game, they were making an average of 9.5 a game
Ashley Walker tied the Cal NCAA Tournament record for blocked shots in a game with three. This feat has now been achieved three times in program history, with the last time coming in 1993.
Cal's four blocks were a season high for the Bears. Walker's three blocks was the most by an individual Bear in a game this season.
The Bears broke a Bulldog five-game winning streak.
Ashley Walker scored 13 of Cal's first 16 points of the game, all within the first eight minutes of the game.
The Bears will play the winner of fifth-seeded Virginia vs. No. 13-seed Marist on Monday evening.