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Cal Hosts San Jose State, Plays at Coors Classic
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/24/2003

Nov. 25, 2003

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS Coming off its second-biggest season-opening victory in the program's 31-year history, California (1-0) embarks on arguably its toughest stretch of the entire season. The Golden Bears play four games - three on the road and possibly two against top 20 opponents - in the next eight days.

The stretch begins at home against San Jose State (1-0) Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. Cal then plays at the Coors Classic in Boulder, Colo., on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 28-29 over Thanksgiving weekend and at No. 5 Texas Tech (4-0) in Lubbock, Texas, on Monday, Dec. 1. Cal opens the Coors Classic against Lehigh (0-2) and will face No. 20 Colorado (3-1) or Idaho State (1-0) in the championship or consolation game. The upcoming road trip features the Bears' only three non-conference road games this year, compared to six non-conference home games.

Barb Smith, Cal's second-year assistant coach, served as an assistant coach at Colorado for nine seasons from 1988-97 and helped the Buffaloes to eight NCAA Tournament bids.

The last time the Bears faced a team in the Top 5 in the Associated Press and/or USA Today-ESPN-WBCA Polls was during the 2001-02 season. The Bears lost back-to-back games to No. 3 Stanford at Maples Pavilion on Jan. 30 (79-52) and at Haas Pavilion on Feb. 2 (79-51).

Cal opened the 2003-04 campaign with a 78-47 victory over South Carolina State on Nov. 23 at Haas Pavilion. In 1997-98, the Bears posted their biggest margin of victory in a season opener - a 36-point win over Cal Poly at Kaiser Arena in Oakland.

The Bears showcased their improved offense and perennially strong defense against the Bulldogs. Cal led 47-11 at halftime, which is the most points the Bears have posted in the first half since equaling that mark in an 89-71 loss at USC on Feb. 11, 1996. In a 101-79 triumph at Arizona State on Jan. 9, 1996, the Bears poured in 51 first-half points. The 11 points allowed is the fewest by Cal in the first half since before the 1995-96 season.

All 13 dressed Cal players saw action against South Carolina State, and 12 dented the scoreboard. Senior guard Nihan Anaz and junior Leigh Gregory led the Bears with 12 points apiece.


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