March 1, 2011
Thursday, March 3: California at Stanford, 8:00 p.m.
TV: FSN/CSN Bay Area; Radio: 960 AM KKGN; Gametracker: CalBears.com
The California Golden Bears (15-13, 7-10 Pac-10) play their final regular-season game of the year on Thursday, March 3 when they play in the Battle of the Bay at No. 2 Stanford (26-2, 17-0 Pac-10), broadcast nationally on Fox Sports Net and locally on Comcast Bay Area. The game time has been changed to 8 p.m.
The Bears come into the game on the heels of a 58-49 victory over the Oregon State Beavers last Saturday in Berkeley. The Bears snapped a six-game slide in dramatic fashion, overcoming an 11-point deficit to earn their 15th victory of the season.
Senior guard Rachelle Federico, getting her first career start after coming off the bench in 95 career games, was a key element of the Bears win. Federico scored half of the Bears first half points, putting up a career-high 12 in the first period. Federico, who averages 2.4 points per game and 1.0 rebounds per game in this season, playing 11.3 minutes per contest, ended up scoring a career-high 15 points with a career-high 6 rebounds in a career-best 33 minutes. Federico had more points and more rebounds in that game than she amassed her entire freshman season.
Despite the low-scoring nature of the game, Cal actually had two players set career highs in points. In addition to Federico, freshman guard Mikayla Lyles scored a career-high 13 points.
Cal has had back-to-back games with players setting new career highs in rebounding. In addition to Federico's career-high, sophomore guard Layshia Clarendon had a career-high 12 rebounds. She also earned her first double double of the season, scoring 16 points. Against Oregon, sophomore center Talia Caldwell pulled in a career-high 20 rebounds. She had nine o-boards as part of the 20, the third time this season she has pulled in nine or more offensive rebounds in a game.
The Bears head to Stanford for the second half of the Battle of the Bay series. Stanford leads the series 56-17. Since 2006-07, Cal has two victories over the Cardinal. The Bears won 72-57 on Feb. 04, 2007 at Stanford. The Bears won a 57-54 decision on Jan. 18, 2009 at Haas.
This is only the third time that Cal has ended the regular-season by playing Stanford. In addition to last season, the Bears also closed out the 1991-92 season taking on the Cardinal. Cal is 0-2 in season finales against Stanford.
It is also Cal's fifth game this season playing a top-10 ranked opponent.
Turnovers In last week's games against the Oregon schools, the Bears had 19 turnovers. Against Oregon, the Bears only turned the ball over eight times, a season low, the first time this season the team tallied single-digit turnovers. Their previous low was 10 against Rutgers and 10 against Oregon when the two teams met in Eugene. Five players, including sophomore forward DeNesha Stallworth who played a team-high 30 minutes in the game, did not have a turnover.
Taking Shots Cal took 72 shots in the USC game, a then season-high. They followed it up by taking 80 shots against Oregon. The only starter to not take double digit shots in the game was sophomore guard Eliza Pierre led the team. Sophomore center Talia Caldwell was the only starter to not take double digit shots against USC.
Steals Eliza Pierre is currently averaging 2.9 steals per game, which leads the Pac-10. Her average ranks 26th among all NCAA Division I players. She has ranked as high as second in the NCAA this season in this stat.
Pierre ended last season with a team-best 71 steals (1.9 per game). The single season steal record for Cal is 100 set by Eliza Sokolowska in 1994-95. Pierre currently has 80 steals, which ranks her seventh on Cal's all-time list for steals in a single season.
Pac-10 Tournament The Bears come into the game in sixth place in the Pac-10 standings, a half game ahead of Washington and Washington State. The structure of this year's tournament is very different than previous season. The top two teams will get a bye into the semifinals. The 2-10 seeds will all play on the first day of the tournament. In years past, the top six seeds had a first round bye. The tournament begins on Wednesday, March 9 at the Galen Center.
If Cal is the six seed, they will play in the last game on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.
The first two rounds of the tournament will be played at the Galen Center with the semifinals and finals being played at the Staples Center. Both the semis and finals will also be broadcast by Fox Sports Network. The first two rounds will not be televised.
Fouls Cal committed just 16 fouls combined in the two games last week against the Oregons, including committing a season-low five fouls against Oregon where the Ducks never went to the line. The Bears have seven games this season when they have been whistled for 10 or fewer fouls and are averaging 14.0 fouls per game, the 20th fewest fouls per game in the nation.
Opponent Threes The Bears are still among the nation's best in three-point defense. Opponents are only making 28.2 percent of the long range shots they are attempting against the Cal defense. This leads the Pac-10 and is ranked No. 33 among all NCAA Division I teams.
Starting Five The Bears bench is averaging 11.9 points per game. In the game at Oregon, the Cal starting five accounted for all 81 points and 67 of Cal's 68 shots. Every member of the starting lineup ended the game with double digit points. It was the first time that the starting five each had at least ten points since Feb. 24, 2007 when the starters accounted for all the points in an 88-69 victory at Haas over UCLA and each ended up in double figures. The Bears' starting five were one point shy of repeating the feat of having all five starters in double digits against Arizona with sophomore guard Eliza Pierre scoring nine points while the other four put up double digits. The bench accounted for nine points, all coming from freshman guard Afure Jemerigbe.
Crashing the Boards The Bears fell to third in the Pac-10 in rebounding margin, grabbing an average of 7.1 more rebounds per game than their opponents ranking them 19th in the nation. Cal has now outrebounded their opponents in 19 of its 28 games this season but has lost all eight of the games in which they have been outrebounded.
Talia Caldwell is fourth Conference in rebounding, averaging 8.2 rebounds per game.
Caldwell is averaging 4.1 offensive rebounds per game, second in the Pac-10.
When neither Eliza Pierre or Layshia Clarendon picked up a rebound in the game at Washington earlier this season, it snapped a streak of 19 consecutive games in which they had at least one rebound (dating back to last season's WNIT run). The longest consecutive rebounding streaks belong to Talia Caldwell and DeNesha Stallworth who have had at least one rebound in every game they have played so far at Cal. Stallworth also has scored in every game she has played in.
Leading Scorers With Eliza Pierre's 12 points against UCLA, she became the eighth different Cal player to lead the team in scoring in a game this season. All three freshmen have led the team in a game (Afure Jemerigbe scored 17 against UT Arlington and Lindsay Sherbert 20 against Arizona, Mikayla Lyles 11 at Washington). DeNesha Stallworth and Layshia Clarendon have each had the team-high for points five times this season. Only Rachelle Federico has not led the team in scoring. She was poised to lead the team in scoring against Oregon State until Layshia Clarendon hit three free throws in the final minute of the game to give her one more point.
Double Doubles DeNesha Stallworth had four double doubles in the first four games of the season. It was the first time in her Cal career she has posted double doubles in back-to-back games let alone four in a row. Stallworth had 16 points with 10 rebounds at Arizona, her eighth double double of the season.
Talia Caldwell's third double double of the season came against Arizona where she had 13 points and 18 rebounds against Arizona. Caldwell had back-to-back double doubles at Oregon State and Oregon, the first time in her career she had accomplished the feat in back-to-back games. She racked up her sixth double double of the season when she had a career-high 20 rebounds and 10 points against Oregon.
Lindsay Sherbert had the first double double of her collegiate career against Portland State, bringing in 10 rebounds with 15 points scored. She had her second at Oregon with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Rama N'diaye had a double double with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Arizona. N'diaye accomplished this coming off the bench, playing just 21 minutes in the game.
Layshia Clarendon had her second career double double and first of the season against Oregon State when she scored 16 points with a career-high 12 rebounds.
Shooting Shirt Auction For Cal's final home game of the season, the team wore special shooting shirts that they had designed themselves. After warm ups, the shooting shirts were auctioned off to benefit New Day for Children, an organization that partners with law enforcement, social services, educational institutions, churches, corporations and other community leaders to provide programs and facilities to give hope and security to girls from the ages of 10 - 18 caught in the desperation of sexual exploitation for commercial purposes. The team raised $1500 for the cause.
Charitable Works This season, the Bears will again be doing the We Assist, You Assist promotion where fans can make pledges per assist to help a local charity. This season, the team has decided to focus their efforts on assisting Upward Roots. Upward Roots is aimed at generating positive change through community service. Their programs develop a greater sense of leadership and personal impact among under-served youth through the creation of self-initiated community service projects. The goal is to produce and sustain the concept that change can come from within and that every small action makes a resounding difference. Upward Roots strives to break the cycle from these youth being served to serving others. Every dollar raised, up to $10,000, will be matched by Coach Boyle.