Nov. 30, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
After posting a 75-54 win over Loyola Marymount, No. 12/13 California hosts (5-1) the fourth-annual Contra Costa Times Classic Friday-Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 2. Friday, Cal faces Saint Mary's (5-2) at 7 p.m., Saturday, the Gaels meet No. 23/18 Vanderbilt (6-1) at 4 p.m., and Sunday, Cal entertains Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet. The Bears boast the same record through six games as they did a year ago.
Admission is free to everyone for all three women's basketball games at Haas Pavilion this weekend. Cal brings a 26-game home non-conference winning streak into the Saint Mary's game and has won its own tournament four consecutive years - the first three Contra Costa Times Classics and the last Oakland Tribune Classic in 2003.
Cal, whose lineup features only nine healthy players, has relied upon defense and rebounding this season. The Bears surrender only 58.3 ppg and boast a +8.2 rebounding margin. The Bears average 67.5 ppg and lead the conference in field goal percentage (45.5 percent).
Junior forward/center Ashley Walker leads the Pac-10 in scoring (21.8 ppg) and rebounding (12.3 rpg). After topping the conference with 12 double-doubles a year ago, Walker ranks first in that category again with five this year. After tallying 25 points and 10 rebounds vs. Loyola Marymount, Walker is now 13th in scoring in school history with 1081 points. She has had to play an even bigger role for the Bears, as junior forward/center Devanei Hampton - the 2006-07 Pac-10 Player of the Year - misses four to six weeks after having knee surgery Nov. 9.
Walker, Hampton and redshirt sophomore guard Alexis Gray-Lawson all earned preseason All-America recognition. Gray-Lawson is second on the team in scoring at 11.5 ppg and paces the Bears in three-point percentage (50.0%) and three-pointers made (10).
Sophomore guards Natasha Vital and Lauren Greif, Pac-10 All-Freshman honorees last season, also start for the Bears. Greif is fourth on the team in scoring (7.7 ppg) and is a leading three-point threat (38.9%, 7-18). Greif has started all 38 games during her career. Vital contributes 7.2 ppg and leads the Bears in assists at 3.2 apg. Sophomore center Rama N'diaye completes Cal's starting lineup, averaging 8.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg.
Freshman guard/forward Kelsey Adrian (7.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg), senior forward Krista Foster (1.8 ppg, 0.8 rpg) and junior forward Shantrell Sneed (2.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg) have been the Bears' main contributors off the bench.