Nov. 12, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Coming off a 64-45 victory over Eastern Washington in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT, California (1-0) travels to New Mexico (1-0) for the second round Sunday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. MT at University Arena (The Pitt) in Albuquerque, N.M. Despite shooting only 32.3 percent from the floor, the Lobos cruised to a 69-52 victory over Oral Roberts in its first-round game Nov. 11.
Freshman forward/center Devanei Hampton, a 2005 McDonald's All-American, will make her Cal debut after missing the Eastern Washington and exhibition games due to a suspension. Cal freshman guard Jené Morris may see her first action as well after spraining her right hand two weeks ago.
The winner of the Cal-New Mexico game will battle the winner of the Oklahoma-Southern Methodist contest Wednesday, Nov. 16 at a TBD location. Joanne Boyle begins her first season as head coach at California after directing Richmond to three straight 20-plus wins seasons and three postseason berths. In 2005, the Spiders earned their first NCAA Tournament bid in 14 years.
Freshmen Alexis Gray-Lawson - a McDonald's All-American guard - and Ashley Walker (forward/center) each posted 25 points to lead Cal to a 94-72 exhibition victory over the Bay Area Pro Am Nov. 2 and then led their team with 14 points apiece in the season-opening win over Eastern Washington. Walker added 18 rebounds against the Pro Am.
Forward Shantrell Sneed is also part of the Bears' seventh-ranked recruiting class, according to Blue Star Index. Sneed tallied eight points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench against Eastern Washington.
Forward Reneé Wright, who corralled a career-high 14 rebounds against the Eagles, is the only senior on this year's Cal team and is the Bears' top returning scorer from last season at 7.5 points per game. Sophomore center Jessica Lawson (Pac-10 All Freshman pick) would have been the team's top returning scorer at 10.6 ppg, but she'll miss the year due to an ACL injury she sustained in October.
With Lawson's injury, redshirt junior point guard Sarah Pool is the team's only returning starter. In 2004-05, Pool averaged 4.1 ppg and ranked fourth in the Pac-10 in assists (4.2 apg). She dished off six assists and had 10 points against EWU.
Sophomore forward Krista Foster is expected to play an increased role this season. Foster notched 14 points in Cal's exhibition win and 10 vs. EWU after averaging 4.5 ppg and 1.9 rpg during her rookie campaign. The Bears finished last season with an 11-18 overall record and in eighth place in the Pac-10 with a 4-14 mark. Cal won its first round Pac-10 Tournament game (over Washington State) for the third consecutive season.