Feb. 1, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California, which is third in the nation in three-point percentage (42.1), returns home to host Arizona State (14-6, 6-4 Pac-10, 6th) Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. and Arizona (15-6, 7-3, 3rd) Saturday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Cal (8-12, 2-9, 8th) is 7-3 at home this season.
The Golden Bears, who finish the regular season with five of seven games at home, look to snap a seven-game losing streak - five of the setbacks coming by 11 points or fewer. In 2004-05, Cal is 6-7 in games decided by 10 or less points, most recently losing at Washington State, 79-69, and at Washington, 80-76.
Cal has also led at the half in each of its last four games. The Bears rank fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 68.1 ppg, their highest scoring average since the 1995-96 team posted 71.8 ppg. Cal paces the Pac-10 in three-point and free throw percentages (42.1, 73.5) and ranks fourth in field goal accuracy (44.6). However, Cal is 10th in the conference in scoring defense at 70.7 ppg, the most points the Bears have surrendered since 1997-98 (70.9). In five of the last six years, Cal `s defense has ranked in the upper half of the Pac-10.
Leading Cal's attack is senior forward Leigh Gregory, who is averaging a career-best 12.5 ppg (10th Pac-10). Also in double-figure scoring for the Bears are freshman center Jessica Lawson (10.3 ppg, 17th Pac-10) and senior guard Kristin Iwanaga (10.2 ppg, 19th Pac-10).
Iwanaga leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (93.5) and three-point percentage (64.0) and is on pace to set conference records in both categories. Nationally, Iwanaga ranks second in free throw percentage.
Junior forward Reneé Wright has been the Bears' sparkplug off the bench, scoring at least 16 points in three of the last five games. At Washington, she led Cal with a career-high 17 points, improving her season average to a career-best 8.4 ppg.
Sophomore center Emmelie Geraedts, who hails from the Netherlands, provided a lift off the bench on the Washington trip. At WSU, she had seven points and followed up that performance with a career-high 10 points at Washington.