Jan. 26, 2010
The California Golden Bears (10-8, 4-3 Pac-10) play the first of four straight home games on Thursday, Jan. 28 when they host the Arizona Wildcats (9-8, 3-4 Pac-10). Tip off is at 7 p.m. The Bears will close out the weekend with a game on Saturday, Jan. 30 against the Arizona State Sun Devils (12-6, 4-3 Pac-10) that will air live at 2:30 p.m. on FSN/ CSN Bay Area.
The Bears are riding a four-game winning streak. They look to win five games in a row for the first time this season. The Bears are coming off two very tiring games last week in Oregon where they played their fastest-paced game of the year against Oregon and a double-overtime marathon against Oregon State.
In Thursday's game at Oregon, the Bears held the Ducks to 62 points, 22 below their season average. Freshman guard Eliza Pierre had five steals in the game, the third time she has stolen the ball five or more times in a game this season. Pierre is averaging 2.9 steals in Pac-10 games this season, tops in the Conference. Overall, she is third in steals-per-game, averaging 2.4. She also had a career-high nine rebounds against the Ducks.
Freshman center Talia Caldwell had 13 rebounds coming off the bench in the game. It was the second time this season that a Cal player came off the bench to pull in 13 rebounds in a game. Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon also accomplished that against Southern.
Cal won the rebounding war against Oregon, 53-31. It was the largest rebounding margin in a Bears game this season.
Saturday's double-overtime game against Oregon State was just the fifth time in Cal history a game has gone to 2OT and the second time in Coach Boyle's tenure that her teams have gone to double OT in Corvallis. The Bears are now 5-0 all-time in double overtime games. It was also the first time since Feb. 2, 2008 that the Bears played an overtime game. They went the entire 2008-09 season without playing extra time.
Two of Cal's non-starters racked up 35 or more minutes of playing time in the game. Senior guard Natasha Vital was on the floor for 40 minutes and Brandon logged 36. Starting senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson played all 50 minutes of the game.
Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth logged her third three-block game of the season. All three of her three-block games have come against Pac-10 opponents. Stallworth leads the team with 22 blocks this season.
ANATOMY OF 47 POINT PERFORMANCE Senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson broke the school record for most points in a single game with her 47-point performance at Oregon State. It was just the fourth time in Cal history a Bear scored 40 or more points in a game. Jennifer Bennett (1984-87) had two 40+ point games, the previous record of 45 points against Arizona in 1987 and 44 points against Washington two weeks later. Colleen Galloway (1978-81) scored an even 40 points against Weber State in 1978.
Only one other NCAA Division I player, Brittany Carter of Memphis, has scored more points in a single game this season. Carter scored 49 against Sacramento State earlier this season.
Gray-Lawson scored 33 points in regulation (four shy her previous career high of 37), all eight of Cal's points in the first overtime, and six points in the second OT. Twelve of the 14 points she scored in overtime came from the free throw line. She played in all 50 minutes of the game, never subbing off the court.
In addition to setting the record for points, she also tied the single-game mark for made freethrows (17), freethrow attempts (20), and field goal attempts (31).
GRAY-LAWSON IN THE RECORD BOOKS Gray-Lawson moved up to fourth on the Cal career scoring list. Gray-Lawson passed Devanei Hampton (1,588) with her 29-point performance against Washington State, Teresa Palmisano (1,610) with her 19 points at Oregon, and Cynthia Cooke (1,641) during the Oregon State game. She has 1,660 career points, 106 points behind Jennifer Bennett, who currently ranks third on the list. She has moved up to third in the Pac-10 in scoring, averaging 17.8 points per game. Against Pac-10 opponents, she averages 23.3 points per game, the best in the Conference.
Gray-Lawson is already the Cal career leader in made three-pointers (182). She has hit at least one three-point bucket in all but two games this season. She is currently fifth on the Cal career games played list, but should end the season having played more games in the blue and gold than any other women's basketball player in program history. She moved into the career top-10 in steals in the Oregon State game.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon logged her team-leading third double-double of the season against Oregon State. Brandon scored 11 points with 11 rebounds coming off the bench for the Bears. All three of Brandon's double-doubles have come in games where she is not a member of the starting lineup.
FRESH(MAN) LINEUP Cal used their fifth different starting lineup of the season against the Ducks and Beavers with Oregon native Brenna Heater getting her first career start at Oregon. The lineup was the second different mix to feature four freshmen in the starting lineup. Every single eligible Cal player but junior guard Rachelle Federico has now started at least one game this season.
PLAYING TIME Every single Cal player (except Rama N'diaye who has yet to play a game this season) is averaging double-digits in playing time this season.
FINDING HER GROOVE Senior guard Natasha Vital had back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts against the Oregon schools. Vital was 8-for-18 from the field with six assists to just one turnover last week. She played 41 minutes in the Oregon State game.
CONSISTENT SCORING DeNesha Stallworth is averaging 13.6 points per game overall this season and 13.6 points per game against Pac-10 opponents. The seven points she scored against Oregon State was only the third time this season she did not reach double-digit points in a game. Her season scoring average has stayed between 13.2 and 14.4 ppg all season long.
PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK Alexis Gray-Lawson was selected Pac-10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 18-24. Gray-Lawson lead the Golden Bears to a pair of road victories at Oregon and Oregon State, averaging 33 points per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the floor and from three-point range. Gray-Lawson's most impressive performance came in the 79-75 double overtime win over the Beavers where she accounted for nearly 60 percent of the teams points, netting a Cal single-game record 47, also the second-most scored in NCAA Division I women's basketball this season and the third-most scored by a Pac-10 player all-time. She is only the ninth player in the country to score 40+ points in 2009-10. It is Gray-Lawson's second-career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor, earning her first recognition just over a year ago on Jan. 19, 2009. It is California's 35th all-time Pac-10 Player of the Week selection and the first this year.
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.
A LOOK AT ARIZONA The Arizona Wildcats (9-8, 3-4 Pac-10) have two of the Pac-10's top scorers. Freshman guard Davelynn White is second in the Conference in scoring, averaging 17.9 points per game. Junior forward Ify Obekwe is ninth, averaging 14.4 points per game. Ibekwe is the Conference's leading rebounder, averaging 12.1 boards per game. The Wildcats were on the winning side of the record-setting 119-112 game at Oregon two weeks ago. The contest was the most combined points ever scored in a Pac-10 women's game.
Arizona leads the all-time series 29-21. Cal has won the last seven meetings. Their last loss to the Wildcats was at Haas Pavilion Jan. 22, 2006 when they fell 80-76. Last season, Cal won 56-46 in Tucson and 51-48 at home.
A LOOK AT ARIZONA STATE Arizona State Sun Devils (12-6, 4-3 Pac-10) are tied with the Bears for fourth place in the Pac-10 standings. The Sun Devils started the Pac-10 season the same way Cal did, with three straight losses. They have won their last four games heading into this week. Currently ASU's leading scorer averaging 13.9 points per game, senior guard Danielle Orsillo has scored in double figures in all but two contests this season. She is one of two returning starters for the 2008-09 team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
The Arizona State game brings the much-anticipated showdown between the Brandon sisters: Cal freshman Gennifer Brandon and ASU sophomore Kimberly Brandon.
The all-time series between the two schools is tied 27-27. Arizona State won the last meeting between the two, a 63-41 victory over a slumping Cal team in the last weekend of the regular season at Haas. Cal had won four straight games prior to that including a 54-53 victory at the buzzer in Tempe in Cal's second Pac-10 game of the 2008-09 season.