Jan. 7, 2010
The California Golden Bears (6-6, 0-1 Pac-10) head back to Southern California this weekend to take on the UCLA Bruins (9-4, 2-0 Pac-10) and the USC Trojans (8-5, 2-0 Pac-10). Cal opens the trip on Friday, Jan. 8 taking on the Bruins in Westwood. They conclude on Sunday, Jan. 10 with a 3 p.m. afternoon game in downtown LA against the Trojans.
This is the third roadtrip to Southern California for the Bears in the last month. Cal played in Long Beach on Dec. 21 and in San Diego Dec. 28 and 30. The Bears are 2-1 this season in games played down south.
Cal is looking for their first Pac-10 win of the season after dropping the opener at Stanford. Cal has only twice suffered back-to-back losses in Pac-10 games since Boyle began coaching the team in 2005-06 (last season's losses at UCLA and home against Arizona State and in 2005-06 losses at UCLA and home against Oregon State). Boyle's Bear teams have twice before lost their Pac-10 openers but rebounded in the second conference game of the season.
First up on this road trip will be the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins are coming into the series after sweeping the Arizona schools on the road last weekend. Cal has battled at Pauley Pavilion in the past few years with three of the last four games at UCLA being decided in overtime. The Bruins hold a 40-14 lead in the all-time series. Cal has won 4 of the last 5 games against the Bruins, but fell 71-56 at UCLA on the last regular season road trip of the year in 2009.
On Sunday, Cal will take on the USC Trojans, looking to avenge last season's stunning 69-67 upset in the Pac-10 Tournament. Cal had won eight straight meetings between the two teams before the Pac-10 tournament loss last year. At the Galen Center, Cal holds an overall mark of 6-1, including owning a pair of NCAA Tournament victories on the court. This will be Cal's first game back at the Galen Center since they defeated Virginia, 99-73, on the court to advance to the 2009 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Cal, whose last home game was Dec. 9, will return to Haas Pavilion next week, hosting Washington on Thursday, Jan. 14 and Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 16.
SIZING UP THE FRESHMEN The youth movement continues for the Bears. Cal started four freshmen against Stanford, the second straight game Cal has had but one vet on the floor for the opening tip. Cal is the only team in the Pac-10 going with a four rookie lineup. The Arizona Wildcats are the only other team close, with three newcomers in their starting lineup, but only one is a freshman, the other two are JC transfers.
This is the second time in Cal head coach Joanne Boyle's Cal career that four freshmen have gotten the starting nod. In Boyle's first season with the Bears (2005-06), Cal's normal starting lineup included four freshmen (Alexis Gray-Lawson, Jene Morris, Devanei Hampton, and Ashley Walker) and a lone senior (Rene Wright). Gray-Lawson would go on to be named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year that season with Walker and Hampton both earning spots on the All-Freshman team.
Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.5 points per game. Stallworth currently ranks 14th in scoring average among all Pac-10 players and is third in scoring among freshmen in the Pac-10, trailing only Davellyn White of Arizona, who is averaging 16.3 points per game and KiKi Moore of Washington State who is averaging 14.1.
When it comes to rebounding, freshman forward Gennifer Brandon is tenth in the Pac-10, averaging 7.1 rebounds per game. Stallworth is 11th with 6.9 rebounds per game. They are second and third among Pac-10 freshmen with UCLA's freshman Markel Walker pulling in 8.5 boards per contest. Cal's freshman center Talia Caldwell is fourth among Pac-10 freshmen in rebounding, averaging 6.6 per game.
Caldwell continues to lead the Pac-10 in shooting percentage. Caldwell, who made her only field goal attempt against Stanford, is shooting 66.1 percent from the field.
Stallworth is second among Pac-10 freshmen in freethrow shooting, making 75.0 percent of her attempts from the charity stripe, and second in blocked shots, with 11. Freshman Carly Noyles of Washington State has 21 blocked shots this season
Cal's hottest freshman is guard Layshia Clarendon. Clarendon has led the Bears in scoring each of the last four games and has been the team's top rebounder the last three times out.
GRAY-LAWSON IN THE RECORD BOOKS Alexis Gray-Lawson scored her 1,500th career point in dramatic fashion. With time expiring in the first half of the Jan. 2 game at Stanford, Gray-Lawson pulled up for a buzzer-beating three-pointer, the 1,500th points of her career. Gray-Lawson is the ninth Bear to score 1,500 or more career points. She is currently 24 points away from moving up to eighth on the Cal career point list.
Gray-Lawson already holds the career mark for made three-pointers, a record that she continues to add to. Gray-Lawson has made at least one three-point basket in every game but one this season (Saint Mary's) and has a streak of 10 straight games in which she has made at least one three-point basket. She made a career-high 6 treys against San Jose State, the game in which she became Cal's all-time leading three-point shooter.
Gray-Lawson, who recently moved up into the career top-10 in assists, is four steals away from ranking in Cal's top-10 in that statistical category.
LIVE STREAMING AUDIO The California Golden Bear's Women's Basketball team will be streaming live action for their entire 2009-10 season as part of the Cal ISP Sports Network online through CalBears.com. The Cal ISP Sports Network will be providing the audio broadcasts for all games will be available free on the internet for fans to listen via the CalBears.com website. Bay Area broadcasting veteran Dave Lewis has been hired to call the play-by-play for the game broadcasts. U.C. Berkeley's student radio station, KALX-FM, which has carried women's basketball games for the past 27 years, will continue to broadcast most home games and select road games this season.