March 3, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
After posting a 63-51 victory over Oregon in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament March 3, No. 24/25 California (23-7), the third seed, faces second-seeded Arizona State (27-3) in the semifinals Sunday, March 4, at 2 p.m. at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Net.
The Bears (No. 24) and Sun Devils (No. 7) both own their highest national ranking in the USA Today-ESPN coaches' poll. Cal is 1-4 against ranked teams this season, with its lone win being a 72-57 triumph over No. 8 Stanford.
In the six-year history of the Pac-10 Tournament, this marks the first time Cal has advanced to the semifinals of the event. The Bears are 4-5 all-time in Pac-10 Tournament history.
Through 30 games, Cal boasts the best record in school history at 23-7 and is only one win shy of the 1983-84 Bears' (24-8) school record for wins in a season. Three Cal teams have registered 23 wins. Cal has won four consecutive games for the fourth time this season and looks to grab its fifth straight victory Sunday for the first time since 2004-05.
The Bears dominated the Pac-10 postseason awards, highlighted by sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton being chosen the Pac-10 Player of the Year (first Bear to win the honor) and Joanne Boyle claiming the Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor. Former Cal coaches Gooch Foster (1991-92), who is now oversees the Pac-10 women's basketball officials, and Caren Horstmyer (2003-04) also earned the award.
Additionally, sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker joined Hampton on the 10-member All-Pac-10 team, joining Trisha Stafford and Milica Vukadinovic (1991-92) as the only Cal duos to earn spots on the first-team All-Pac-10 squad.
Guard Natasha Vital, who has started the last 21 games after Alexis Gray-Lawson (the 2005-06 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year) tore her ACL, was chosen to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Guard Lauren Greif received honorable mention Pac-10 All-Freshman accolades, giving four of the Bears' five starters a postseason honor.
Hampton has been unstoppable, especially since the Pac-10 season began in the middle of December. Over the last 10 games, Hampton is averaging 22.2 ppg and 10.5 rpg, including five double-doubles and eight outings with at least 21 points.
Overall this season, Walker leads the Bears in scoring (17.3 ppg) and in rebounding (8.6 ppg)
Senior guard Keanna Levy, who has tallied four straight double-digit scoring games, rounds out the Bears' starting five.