Feb. 15, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Still wobbly from Friday's 91-50 dismantling by the nationally No. 2 ranked Stanford Cardinal, the California Golden Bears (9-14, 3-11 Pac-10, 8th) travel to Los Angeles this weekend to face UCLA (15-9, 9-6 Pac-10, 6th) Friday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. and USC (16-8, 10-5 Pac-10, 2nd) Sunday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.
The Bears, who have absorbed nine losses in their last 10 games, are looking to sever a current five-game road losing streak that dates back to Jan. 7, when Caren Horstmeyer's club dropped an 80-69 decision at Arizona. Saddled with a 1-7 road record this season, Cal's only victory away from Haas Pavilion came in Corvallis Dec. 29, when the Bears triumphed over Oregon State, 77-71.
Yet, California had shown signs of promise as recently as Feb. 5, when the Bears stormed past favored Arizona, 70-61, in one of their best efforts of the 2004-05 campaign. But Cal's new-found momentum was doused by Pac-10 leading Stanford last week in Berkeley, as the Cardinal's barbed-wire defense held the Bears to season lows of 50 points and 23.3 percent (14-of-60) from the field. It was California's largest margin of defeat (41 points) in eight years.
The Bears, who boast their highest scoring average (67.0 ppg) since 1995-96, hope to solidify their eighth-place standing in the conference during the final two weekends of regular-season play. At 3-11 in the Pac-10, they own a 1.5-game lead over ninth-place Washington State (2-13) and a two-game edge over last-place Oregon State (1-13).
Led by Pac-10 career free throw leader Kristin Iwanaga (.945 FT%, .583 3FG% in '04-'05) and Kiki Williams (.878 FT%, .397 3FG%), the Bears continue to lead the Pac-10 in both free throw (.742) and three-point field goal (.409) shooting. Iwanaga ranks first in the nation in free throw percentage, and Cal stands sixth nationally in three-point field goal percentage.
Leading Cal's scoring attack this year is senior forward Leigh Gregory, who's averaging 12.0 ppg (10th Pac-10). Lawson (10.7) and Iwanaga (10.2) also are scoring in double figures for the Bears.