Jan. 28, 2001
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Coming off a one-point loss to Washington (69-68), California (6-11 overall, 2-5 Pac-10, T9th) looks to get back on track when the Golden Bears travel to Los Angeles to face USC (8-9, 3-4 Pac-10, T6th) Friday and UCLA (3-15, 2-5 Pac-10, T9th) Sunday. Last year, the Bears split with the LA schools, winning at UCLA and at home against USC. The Bears take a 4-5 record away from Haas Pavilion with them into the final 11 games of the year, which includes seven road games.
Cal continues to be one of the better defensive teams in the Pac-10, ranking fifth in both scoring defense at 66.2 ppg and steals at 9.41 pg.
While Cal ranks ninth in the conference for scoring offense at 62.4 ppg, the Bears are averaging 68.0 ppg over the last four contests.
In addition to scoring, Cal's turnovers per game have decreased over the same four-game span. While the Bears average 20.3 tpg overall, over the last four games, that figure has been cut to 18.3 per game.
Senior guard Courtney Johnson has been in a groove over the last five games, averaging 14.6 ppg, including leading the Bears with 18 points and 9 assists (tied career high) against WSU. The Antioch native leads Cal with 12.8 ppg (11th Pac-10), followed by senior guard Kenya Corley at 11.4ppg (14th Pac-10) and junior center Ami Forney at 10.8 ppg (15th Pac-10). Forney is coming off a career-high 27 points against Washington.
Bolstered also by a career-high 14 rebounds vs. the Huskies, Forney stands third in the league in rebounding at 7.8 rpg and first for offensive boards at 3.38.
After beginning the year in sixth place on Cal's all-time steals chart with 197, Johnson (245) surpassed Jackie Lear's (1993-95) 238 against WSU. She now has her sights set on Cynthia Cooke (1982-85) who is in second at 250. Mazetta Garrett (1979-84) is Cal's all-time leader with 295.
Johnson also is closing in on becoming the 16th player in Cal history to record 1000 points. She has 870 with 11 games to go in the regular season, which means at her current pace, she'd reach the milestone in the final game of the year at Arizona.
Johnson is slated to do an online chat Wed., Feb. 7 at 10:30 a.m., at www.pac-10.org, which also can be accessed from www.calbears.com.