March 1, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
No. 8-seed California opens the fourth-annual Pac-10 Tournament against No. 9-seed Washington State (6-21, 2-16, 9th) Friday, March 4 at 8:15 p.m. at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The Golden Bears (10-17, 4-14, 8th) are the eighth seed after holding down the No. 9 slot in the first three editions of the tournament. In 2002 and 2003, Cal posted first round tournament wins over Arizona State (46-38) and Oregon (82-57), respectively.
The winner of the Cal-WSU game meets No. 1-seed and second-ranked Stanford (26-2, 17-1, 1st) Saturday at 5 p.m. in the quarterfinals. Cal is coming off a split in its final two games at home - a 74-60 win over Oregon State and a 58-51 setback against Oregon, the No. 2 seed in the Pac-10 Tournament.
The Bears rank seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring at 66.5 ppg, which is their highest output since the 1995-96 squad averaged 71.8 ppg. Despite holding its last two opponents to 60 and 58 points, respectively, Cal's defense ranks 10th in the conference at 71.7 ppg. In five of the last seven years, the Bears defense has been in the upper half of the Pac-10. Senior forward Leigh Gregory leads a trio of double-figure scorers for Cal at 11.2 ppg (12th Pac-10), followed by freshman center Jessica Lawson (10.5 ppg, 15th Pac-10) and senior guard Kristin Iwanaga (10.3 ppg, 17th Pac-10).
Gregory stands 11th all-time in scoring in Cal history with 1115 points. Lawson leads Cal in rebounding (5.0 rpg, 16th Pac-10), field goal percentage (51.3, 4th Pac-10) and blocks (0.78, 10th). Iwanaga paces the nation in free throw percentage at 94.0.
Sophomore guard Sarah Pool is fourth in the Pac-10 in assists per game at 4.11 after missing last season with a back injury. Iwanaga is 10th in the conference at 2.85 per game.
Iwanaga leads a three-point shooting arsenal, which ranks second in the Pac-10. The tri-captain has converted 54.1 percent of her treys (40-74) to lead the Pac-10, while senior forward Kiki Williams has hit 35.6 percent (37-104, 8th Pac-10).
Senior center Khadijah Coakley has come on strong off the bench, posting double-doubles in two of her last four games, including 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds vs. Oregon.