Feb. 8, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. -
Sat., Feb. 9 at Oregon McArthur Court, Eugene, OR 1:00 p.m. Radio: 90.7 FM TV: Fox Sports Net
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
After posting its 20th win at Oregon State, No. 9/9 California (20-3, 11-1, 1st Pac-10) plays at Oregon (10-13, 4-8, 7th) Saturday, Feb. 9, at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Net. The Golden Bears are in search of their first win at McArthur Court since the 1992-93 season and their first sweep of the regular-season series over the Ducks in 15 years, as well.
Cal registered at least 20 wins in consecutive seasons for only the second time in school history by beating Oregon State, 56-45, Feb. 7 in Corvallis. Junior forward/guard Ashley Walker and sophomore guard Natasha Vital led Cal with 17 points each. Oregon is coming off a 72-43 home loss to No. 6 Stanford.
The win over Oregon State marked the ninth time this season in which Cal has held an opponent to under 50 points. The Bears continue to lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense (53.6 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (34.6 percent) - both marks are school records. The 53.6 ppg is on track to break the Arizona State's Pac-10 record for scoring defense of 54.7 ppg (2004-05 season).
Free throw shooting has shown the biggest improvement for Cal over the last four games. During that span, the Bears are shooting 82.4 percent from the foul line (61-74), helping them rank fifth in the conference in that category at 67.5 percent.
Walker, a candidate for the Wooden, Wade and Naismith national player of the year awards, leads Cal in scoring (16.2 ppg, 3rd Pac-10), rebounding (9.2 rpg, 1st Pac-10), free throw percentage (79.7%, 5th Pac-10), blocks (1.5 bpg, 2nd Pac-10).
Junior forward/center Devanei Hampton is second on the team in scoring (12.8) and in rebounding (7.2 rpg), and junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is third on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg, 14th Pac-10) and tops the team in three-point field goal percentage (42.9%, 1st Pac-10).
Vital has emerged as a clutch player for the Bears, as she leads the team in free throw percentage in the final two minutes of games at 81.8 (18-of-22). She is sixth in the Pac-10 in assists (3.61 apg). Sophomore guard Lauren Greif, who hails from Portland, Ore., is one of Cal's four main three-point shooting threats, sinking 36.5 percent (6th Pac-10) of her treys.
Cal's bench has made huge strides over the last couple of seasons. Senior forward Krista Foster returned to the lineup at Oregon State after missing five games with a concussion. Sophomore forward/center Rama N'diaye grabbed six boards against the Beavers. Freshman guard/forward Kelsey Adrian and junior forward Shantrell Sneed also saw action at Oregon State, as the Bears swept the regular-season series for the second straight season.