March 10, 2012
LOS ANGELES - The Battle of the Bay moves south to the Staples Center as the California Golden Bears (22-8, 13-5 Pac-12) take on the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal (30-1, 18-0) on Saturday, March 9 at 11:30 a.m. in the championship game of the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament. The game will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports Net and locally on CSN Bay Area.
The Golden Bears have advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament for the second time in the history of the program. Cal and Stanford met in the championship game of the 2008 Tournament, which was held in San Jose, with the Bears falling 56-35.
The Bears and Cardinal are squaring off for the second time in a week. The two played last Sunday, March 4, when the Bears fell 86-61 in Berkeley. This is the second time in the past three years that Cal has played Stanford twice in one week. In 2010, the Bears fell 63-48 on March 6 in the regular-season finale and 64-44 on March 13 in the Pac-10 Tournament.
In the first meeting of the year between Cal and Stanford, the Bears trailed the Stanford Cardinal by 14, 61-47, with 8:17 remaining in the game. Layshia Clarendon tied the game, 69-69, on a pair of free throws with 27 seconds remaining in the game, capping a 22-8 run and sending the game to overtime. The Cardinal won 74-71 in the overtime.
The Bears are the only team to force overtime against the Cardinal this season. The game this season was Stanford's narrowest margin of victory and one of only four games for the Cardinal that was decided by less than ten points, including the nine-point game yesterday against Arizona State. Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd scored a career-high 19 points against Stanford back in January.
The Cardinal have won the last eight meetings and lead the all-time series 59-17. Since 2001-02, the Bears have two victories against the Cardinal.
The Bears have had four players in double figures in each of the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament games and have four players who are averaging double figures. Junior center Talia Caldwell and freshman point guard Brittany Boyd are averaging 11.0 points per game. Caldwell is also averaging 9.0 rebounds per game and has gone 10-for-14 from the field (71.4 percent shooting).
* Talia Caldwell just missed a double double in both games with 11 points and nine rebounds against Colorado and the same line against WSU.
* Reshanda Gray has scored 20 points in 46 minutes in the tournament
Single Season Rebounding Record Gennifer Brandon became Cal's single-season rebounding leader with her 15 rebounds against Washington State. She passed Ashley Walker who, as a junior, pulled in 317 in 2007-08. Brandon has 319 rebounds so far this season.
There have only been three players in Cal program history to have 300 or more rebounds in a single season. In addition to Walker, Colleen Galloway (312, 1977-78) and Jill Weddick (300, 1978-79) have also accomplished the feat.
Rebounding The Bears had 59 rebounds against Washington State, the most rebounds in a conference tournament game in program history. The previous best was 52 against USC in 2009.
The Bears outrebounded the Cougars by 34 (59-25). This was only the third-highest rebounding margin of the season for the Bears. Cal topped Oregon by 37 and Bakersfield by 36.
Stanford is the only team this season to outrebound the Bears in a game. In the first meeting of the year, the Cardinal won the battle of the boards 51-47. In the second meeting, both teams had 41 rebounds.
Shooting The Bears held the Cougars to a 27.0 shooting percentage, the lowest opponent shooting percentage of the season.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Bears shot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half, going 15-for-26. The Bears finished the game shooing 48.2 percent.
Free Throws The Bears, who have often struggled at the free throw line this season, have hit clutch free throws in the tournament, including going 6-for-6 in the final minute of the victory over Colorado. Gray has gone 8-for-10 (80.0 percent) from the stripe in the tournament with Boyd nearly matching that mark with an 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) tournament performance.
After a 3-for-9 free throw performance at Arizona State, Boyd has made 30 of her last 36 attempts (over nine games), raising her free throw shooting percentage from 51.6 percent to 60.5 percent.
24 Wins The Bears have now won 24 or more games in a single season four times in the history of the program. The last time Cal won 24 games in a season was the 2009-10 WNIT Championship year. Cal's top win total were the back-to-back 27-win campaigns in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Flirting with a Triple Double Brittany Boyd was one assist shy of a triple double against WSU, with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. No player in Cal history has ever had a triple double. It was Boyd's second career double double, but the first with points and rebounds. Her first career double double was a 10-steal, 19-point game at Arizona State.
Her 10 rebounds was a career high. She had two nine-rebound performances earlier this season.
Selection Monday The winner of the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament will earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Even without a victory on Saturday, the Bears have an excellent chance of receiving an at-large bid to the field of 64 teams. On Monday, March 12, ESPN will air the selection show live from 4-5 p.m. Pacific Time. The Bears players and staff will be watching the show at Pappy's Bar and Grill at 2367 Telegraph Ave (between Channing Way & Durant Ave). The viewing party will be open to the public and fans are invited to join the team as they find out their NCAA Tournament destiny. The pre-show meet and mingle will begin at 3 p.m.
Behind the Scenes with the Cal Bear Blog The Cal Bear Blog has been at the tournament all week capturing behind-the-scenes moments and has been posting exclusive interviews. Click Here to take a look at life at the tournament.