Dec. 8, 2009
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 7:00 p.m.: No. 22 Cal vs. San Jose State, TV: None; Audio: CalBears.com
The No. 22 California Golden Bears (4-3) host the San Jose State Spartans (1-7) in a non-conference matchup Wednesday night, Dec. 9, at Haas Pavilion. The game will be the final non-conference home game of the season for Cal and the last game at Haas Pavilion until the third week of the Pac-10 schedule when the Bears host the Washington Huskies on January 14.
The game also has a chance of seeing two milestones reached. Golden Bear head coach Joanne Boyle comes into the game with a record of 99-38 in her time at Cal. If the Bears defeat the Spartans, Boyle would win her 100th Cal game, making her just the second coach in the history of the women's basketball program to reach that benchmark. Gooch Foster is the only other former Cal women's basketball coach to win 100 games for the Bears.
Senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson comes into the game tied for the most made-three pointers in the history of Cal women's basketball. Gray-Lawson has 159 made-threes in her career. Jennifer Self, who has held the career mark since 1992, ended her career with 159. One made three will give Gray-Lawson sole possession of the record.
Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth has yet to score less than ten points in a game. Stallworth has posted double-digits in the points column in each of the first seven games of her collegiate career. She is still looking for her first career double-double. Stallworth pulled in a career-high nine rebounds against Texas A&M. She is averaging 7.6 rebounds per game.
Stallworth earned her first accolade of her collegiate career as she was named to the Colliers International Classic All-Tournament Team. Stallworth scored 33 points, including a season-high 19 against Texas A&M, with 16 rebounds, five assists, four blocks, and four steals. Gray-Lawson was also named to the All-Tournament team, giving her back-to-back weeks she has earned All-Tournament Team honors. Gray-Lawson scored 33 points with six assists and eight rebounds in the two games.
San Jose State has lost the last 18 meetings between the two teams. The Spartans last defeated the Bears, 65-56, in San Jose on March 6, 1982.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK All but three of the Bears' 22 blocks this season have come from the freshmen. DeNesha Stallworth has four blocks in her last two games and is averaging just over a block per game for the season. Gennifer Brandon has six blocked shots in seven games.
STEALS Guards Eliza Pierre and Natasha Vital have each had a game this season where they have logged six steals. Vital opened the season with a six-steal performance against Idaho State. Pierre logged six last weekend against Southern. The six steals was the most by a Bear in a single game since the 2005-06 season when Alexis Gray-Lawson grabbed six at Washington on Dec. 20, 2005. Pierre leads the team with 18 steals and entered the week ranked third in the Pac-10 averaging 2.6 steals per game.
FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGES Freshman center Talia Caldwell begins the week leading the Pac-10 in field goal percentage. Caldwell is connecting on 64.7 percent of her field goal attempts. Caldwell has shot 80.0 (8-for-10) in her last three games. Fellow freshman DeNesha Stallworth is also making 53.5 percent of he shots (38-for-71), ranking her fifth in the Pac-10, but Stallworth's three-point accuracy is what is really impressive. Stallworth has hit six three-pointers this season in nine attempts (66.7 percent).
THREES Alexis Gray-Lawson enters the tournament tied for first on the Cal career three-point list. She and Jennifer Self (1989-92) have each made 159 in their careers.
POINTS Alexis Gray-Lawson is currently ranked No. 10 on the Cal career scoring list with 1,441 points. She is 59 points shy of becoming the eighth player in Cal history to score 1,500 career points. Former teammates Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton each reached the 1,500 point mark last season. Walker became the first Cal player to score 1,500 points since 1992, eventually going on to pass the 2,000 career point mark later in the season.
ASSISTS Natasha Vital moved into fourth place on the Cal career assist list, logging four assists against Idaho State. Vital has 396 career assists, 8 fewer than Meme Fanner (1986-89, 404) who ranks third on the career list. Alexis Gray-Lawson is 10 assists away from moving into the career top-10 list. Vital and Gray-Lawson entered the week atop the Pac-10 list for steals among active players.
100 WINS Head Coach Joanne Boyle enters the week with a Cal career record of 99-38, one victories shy of her 100th Cal win. Gooch Foster, with 279 victories, is the only Cal coach in the history of the program with more than 100 victories. Boyle's career record, including her time as the head coach of the Richmond Spiders, is 166-67.
NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS Since 2005-06, Cal has gone 40-10 in regular season games while playing non-Pac-10 opponents. Cal went 9-2 last year in the regular season against non-conference foes, with their two losses coming at the hands of No. 5 Oklahoma and TCU, which was at the time ranked No. 22 in the USA Today/ESPN poll. The 2008-09 season saw one of the biggest non-conference wins in the history of the program when the Bears knocked off the then-ranked No. 2 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 66-52 in front of 4,458 fans. Cal is 4-3 this season against non-conference opponents with their only losses coming at the hands of No. 9/8 Baylor, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 7/10 Texas A&M.
LIVE STREAMING AUDIO The California Golden Bear's Women's Basketball team will be streaming live action for their entire 2009-10 season as part of the Cal ISP Sports Network online through CalBears.com. The Cal ISP Sports Network will be providing the audio broadcasts for all games will be available free on the internet for fans to listen via the CalBears.com website. Bay Area broadcasting veteran Dave Lewis has been hired to call the play-by-play for the game broadcasts. U.C. Berkeley's student radio station, KALX-FM, which has carried women's basketball games for the past 27 years, will continue to broadcast most home games and select road games this season.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: San Jose State Spartans The San Jose State Spartans (1-7) were picked to finish eighth out of nine teams in the WAS Preseason Coaches' Poll and ninth in the media poll.
The Spartans return four of their top six scorers from a year ago, including second-leading scorer, Chasity Shavers, and inside presence, Shaunna Ridge. Sayja Sumler, Ashley Brown, Aumornai Edinburgh, Myesha Broaden, Monique Coble and Dominique Hamilton are also returning this season for the Spartans.
The Spartans added size, speed and shooting with this year's nine-member recruiting class. Inside depth highlights the transfers with the addition of 6-foot-3 Samantha Marez and 6-foot Marnesha Hall. Marez joins the Spartans from Central Arizona College, last season's junior college national champions. The incoming freshmen add speed, shooting and ball-handling skills to the team, with the additions of Alisha Eckberg, a pure shooter from San Diego, and Rachel Finnegan from Turlock. Eckberg was a 1,000-point scorer, and Finnegan was a two-time high school player of the year and the Modesto Bee Player of the Year. Britney Bradley, Liz Johnson, Palagi Atoe, Addie Schivo and Danielle Keenan complete this year's squad.
Last season, Cal earned a 76-40 victory over the Spartans in the opening round of the Basketball by the Bay Tournament. Cal holds a 23-8 advantage over SJSU in the all-time series with Cal having won the last 18 consecutive meetings. San Jose State last defeated Cal, 65-56, in San Jose on March 6, 1982.