Jan. 1, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Coming off its third victory in the last four games against Arizona, No. 21 California (10-3, 2-2 Pac-10, T4th) rings in the New Year at home against Rhode Island (2-11, 0-0 A10) Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 6 p.m., and vs. No. 12 Stanford (9-3, 4-0 Pac-10, T1st) Saturday, Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. The game against the Cardinal, which is part of the Lexus-Gauntlet Challenge, can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet, with Todd McKim (play-by-play) and Krista Blunk (color) handling the broadcasting duties.
Cal was 10-3 (2-1 Pac-10) through 13 games last season. The program's best record through 13 games is 11-2, set in 1983-84 and 1991-92.
The Bears are in search of their 23rd straight home non-conference win. Senior guard Keanna Levy continued her breakout season against Arizona Dec. 30, leading the Bears to a 65-48 victory with a career-high 17 points and by matching her career high of eight rebounds. Levy, who averaged 1.9 ppg and 1.2 rpg in 8.3 mpg her first three seasons, is averaging 8.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg in 29.8 mpg this year.
The guards led the way for Cal in the Arizona win, as freshman Lauren Greif was second on the team with 12 points, matching Levy's four three-pointers. Freshman Natasha Vital, who has started the last four games for Cal since Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Alexis Gray-Lawson tore her ACL against Kansas Dec. 10, contributed five points and career highs of eight assists and seven boards vs. the Wildcats.
Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker leads Cal in scoring (18.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg). Walker saw a streak of 13 straight double-figure scoring games (dating back to the final game of 2005-06) snapped with her six-point effort against Arizona.
Walker's post partner, sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton, is second on the team in scoring (13.1 ppg) and is tied for second on the team in rebounding with Greif at 5.7 rpg. Hampton, who was recovering from knee surgery and an ankle sprain earlier in the season, has registered six straight double-figure scoring games.
Freshman Rama N'diaye has shown improvement and versatility for the Bears at the three, four and five spots. N'diaye, who hails from Dakar, Senegal but played high school basketball in Japan, is averaging 5.8 ppg and 3.2 rpg and 9.0 ppg over the last three games.
Cal features 11 healthy players - nine on scholarship - with the addition of walk-on guards Julia Numair and Natalie Nurnberg last week.