Nov. 19, 2001
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California opened the season with a 74-60 home victory over San Diego State Sunday. The win was the Golden Bears 22nd-straight home opening win. The Bears look to open the season 2-0 for the first time since 1999-00 when they travel to Cal Poly for a Tuesday evening tilt at 7 p.m.
The game in San Luis Obispo is one of only two non-conference trips for Cal this season - the other being to the Bahamas the first week of January. Overall, the Bears play six of nine non-league games at home after playing seven of 10 on the road last year.
Cal Poly opened its season with a 63-54 road loss to San Diego State last Friday. The Bears won the only previous meeting with the Mustangs, 94-58, Nov. 20, 1997, in Berkeley.
After playing Cal Poly, the Bears have over a week off before facing Fresno State, Wed., Nov. 28.
Bear head coach Caren Horstmeyer is faced with the challenge of blending nine new comers with the seven returning players. Two of those freshmen newcomers - point guard Kristin Iwanaga and forward Leigh Gregory - have earned a spot in the starting lineup. Neither disappointed in Cal's opener. Gregory tied for team-high scoring honors with 15 points, and Iwanaga contributed 13 points.
The other three starters are Cal's top returners from last season - senior center Ami Forney, junior forward Amber White and sophomore guard LaTasha O'Keith. Forney (11 points) and O'Keith (10 points) were also in double figures for Cal against the Aztecs. White probably would have been if she didn't foul out with 11 minutes to play in the game. Forney is Bears only returning starter and the team's top returning scorer (10.0 ppg) and rebounder (7.9 rpg). O'Keith was named honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman last season.
Redshirt freshman Kiki Williams, junior forward Audrey Watler, freshman guard Nicol Berry and freshman forward Alisa Lewis are Cal's top reserves early on. The Bears top outside shooting threat is freshman guard Jackie Lord, who is recovering from an ACL injury. She is expected to start practicing at the beginning of December and may be available for game action by the start of the Pac-10 season.