Jan. 23, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Riding a four-game winning streak and off to its best start in 15 years, No. 20/22 California (15-4, 6-3 Pac-10, T3rd) travels to No. 10/10 Arizona State (18-2, 8-1, 2nd) Thursday, Jan. 25, at 6:30 p.m. MT (5:30 p.m. PT) and Arizona (7-14, 1-8, T9th) Saturday, Jan. 27, at 4 p.m. MT (3 p.m. PT). Saturday's game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net. Three of the Bears next four contests will be televised.
At 15-4, Cal is tied for the second-best start in school history through 19 games. Only the 1983-84 Bears began the year with a better record at 17-2. Cal's 6-3 Pac-10 record is its second best through nine games in Pac-10 play to the 1991-92 squad which was 7-2 (15-4 overall).
The last time Cal won five straight games was in 2004-05 during the non-conference season. The Bears haven't claimed five consecutive Pac-10 games since 2000-01.
Behind a career-high 19 points from freshman guard Lauren Greif (Portland, Ore.), Cal is coming off a 65-56 victory over Oregon Jan. 20. The win was the Bears' fourth straight and head coach Joanne Boyle's 100th in five years as a collegiate coach. Additionally, it marked Cal's second sweep of a Pac-10 series this year and first over Oregon State and Oregon since the 2000-01 season in Berkeley.
Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker (Modesto) earned her third Pac-10 Player of the Week honor this season after averaging 18.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg last weekend. Walker, who was named to the State Farm Wade Trophy Watch List for national player of the year recognition, paces the Bears in scoring (17.8 ppg, 3rd Pac-10) and rebounding (8.6 rpg, 2nd Pac-10).
Sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton (Oakland) combines with Walker to give the Bears one of the best post combinations in the country. Hampton is second on Cal in scoring (13.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg).
The Bears' three starting guards had a breakout game in the Oregon win, as they combined for 39 points, eight assists and 1 turnover in a combined 118 minutes on the court. Greif, who averages 8.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg, is Cal's top three-point threat at 39.6 percent (36-91, 7th Pac-10).
Senior Keanna Levy (Waterloo, Iowa) continues to excel in her first season as a starter, contributing 7.2 ppg and 4.1 rpg. Freshman Natasha Vital (Stockton) has started the last 10 games at point guard since Cal lost sophomore Alexis Gray-Lawson (Oakland) for the season with an ACL injury Dec. 10. Vital is averaged 7.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 4.6 apg as a starter.