Jan. 25, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California - the nation's fourth-ranked three-point shooting team at 42.2 percent - travels to Washington State (4-14, 0-9, 10th) Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. and to Washington (8-11, 4-5, 7th) Saturday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m. Cal first year associate head coach Sunny Smallwood spent 11 seasons at Washington before accepting the job in Berkeley.
The Golden Bears (8-10, 2-7, 8th) look to snap a five-game losing streak when they visit the Great Norwest. Three of the five losses have been by 11 points or less and the last two have occurred after the Bears held halftime leads against USC (L, 76-71) and No. 25 UCLA (L, 85-70). Prior to the USC and UCLA losses, Cal was 6-0 this season when leading at the half. Overall, Cal is 6-5 in games decided by 10 points or fewer this season.
Cal ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 67.6 ppg, which is on track to be the program's highest scoring average since the 1995-96 team posted 71.8 ppg. The Bears lead the conference in free throw percentage (74.3) and three-point percentage (42.2).
However, the Bears, who have ranked in the top five in the conference in scoring defense in five of the last six years, are currently 10th at 69.7 ppg.
Rebounding and turnover struggles have led to many transition baskets for Cal's opponents, while the Bears' halfcourt defense has been solid. Cal is last in the Pac-10 in rebounding (33.7) and turnovers (21.3 tpg).
Senior forward Leigh Gregory leads a trio of double-digit Cal scorers at a career-best 12.4 ppg. Gregory became Cal's 17th 1,000-point scorer with her 14-point effort at Stanford Jan. 13. Freshman center Jessica Lawson is second on the team at 10.3 ppg, while senior guard Kristin Iwanaga is third at a career-best 10.2 ppg.
Iwanaga is on pace to set Pac-10 season records for both free throw percentage (94.9, 56-59) and three-point percentage (65.9, 29-44). Senior forward Kiki Williams stands second in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage at 90.2 percent. Iwanaga is second in the nation in free throw percentage.
Redshirt sophomore guard Sarah Pool ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in assists at 4.39 per game (79 total), surpassing her assist total (76) in 2002-03. Junior forward Reneé Wright has been the Bears' sparkplug off the bench, averaging a career-best 8.1 ppg after leading the team with a career-high 16 points vs. No. 25 UCLA.