Cal Hosts Second-Annual Contra Costa Times Classic
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/29/2005

Nov. 29, 2005

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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After splitting two games at the Caribbean Classic Thanksgiving Weekend, California (4-2) returns home to host the second-annual Contra Costa Times Classic Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 3-4 at Haas Pavilion. Youth grades K-12 will be admitted for $1 each day, and hot dogs and soda will be sold for $1 each.

The tournament kicks off with UNLV (3-1) facing Albany (2-2) Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by Cal vs. Columbia (1-2) at 3 p.m. Sunday, Columbia will play at 1 p.m., and Cal tips off at 3 p.m. Each team's opponent will be based on who wins and loses on Saturday.

In the Riviera Maya, Mexico, Cal posted a 62-53 come-from-behind victory over Marshall, before falling to No. 5 Baylor, 75-58, after trailing by only four points at the half.

The Golden Bears won the inaugural 2004 Contra Costa Times Classic with a 77-67 victory over Cal State Northridge in the first round and a 65-41 triumph over Tennessee Tech in the second round.

Cal has been hosting a tournament since the 1977-78 season and has advanced to the championship game each of the last 22 years. The Bears won the final Oakland Tribune Classic in 2004 by defeating Tulane in the title game.

The top four Bears' scorers are freshmen, with forward/center Ashley Walker leading the team at 14.0 ppg, followed by Jené Morris (12.6 ppg), Alexis Gray-Lawson (11.8 ppg) and forward/center Devanei Hampton (9.6 ppg).

Forward Reneé Wright, the team's only senior, started with Walker, Morris, Gray-Lawson and Hampton in the Bears' last game against Baylor. Wright paces Cal in rebounding this year at 9.2 rpg (4th Pac-10) after averaging only 4.1 rpg in 2004-05.

Redshirt junior guard Sarah Pool, sophomore forward Krista Foster and freshman forward Shantrell Sneed round out the Bears' current top-eight rotation.

Opponents are averaging only 56.0 ppg (3rd Pac-10) against the Bears. Morris leads the Pac-10 with 19 steals (3.8 spg), and Walker holds team-high honors in blocks (2.3 bpg, 2nd Pac-10).

Cal is under the direction of first-year head coach Joanne Boyle, who directed Richmond (2002-05) to three consecutive 20-plus win seasons and three postseason appearances, before accepting the job in Berkeley.