Nov. 24, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Off to a 4-0 start after beating three consecutive 2007 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, No. 12/14 California travels to Waco, Texas, to face No. 13/12 Baylor (4-0) Sunday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m. CT. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net in many markets, including the Bay Area. Cal looks to improve to 5-0 for the first time since the 1981-82 Bears opened the season with a 5-0 record.
Admission is free next week to all four games at Haas Pavilion. Two tip-offs have been changed - Nov. 28 (11:30 a.m.) and Nov. 30 (4:30 p.m.).
Cal has relied on defense and rebounding to begin with a 4-0 mark for the second consecutive season. Cal has outrebounded all four of its opponents so far to establish a +8.2 rebounding margin compared to +5.5 in 2006-07. On the heels of setting a school record for scoring defense in 2006-07 at 60.1 ppg, this year's Bears are holding their opponents to 56.8 ppg.
While Cal began the week in sixth in the conference in scoring at 66.7 ppg (now 68.5 ppg), the Bears top the Pac-10 in field goal percentage at 47.1 percent, which is a slight improvement over last year's 46.1 output.
Junior forward/center Ashley Walker is a focal point of the team. The CSTV.com preseason All-American leads Cal in scoring (21.5 ppg) and rebounding (13.0 ppg) and is converting 64.0 percent of her field goal attempts. Walker, who topped the Pac-10 with 12 double-doubles in 2006-07, leads the league with three double-doubles to begin the week. Walker has had to play an even bigger role in Cal's post game, as junior Devanei Hampton - a State Farm/Wade and Wooden awards candidate - recovers from Nov. 9 knee surgery. Hampton, the 2006-07 Pac-10 Player of the Year, is expected to miss four to six weeks of action.
Sophomore Rama N'diaye has received the starting nod at center the last three games and contributed career highs of 14 points and 17 rebounds in the 74-55 win over TCU for her second double-double of the season.
Redshirt sophomore guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is finding her stride after missing 23 games last season due to an ACL injury. Gray-Lawson is second on the team in scoring at 10.3 ppg and has been instrumental in Cal's come-back wins over Fresno State and New Mexico this year. Against the Lobos, the Oakland, Calif., product posted 10 of her 11 points with under seven minutes to play. Gray-Lawson has also earned another year of eligibility after playing less than the NCAA limit of games to redshirt 06-07.
Freshman guard/forward Kelsey Adrian (7.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg) is averaging almost 30 minutes per game off of the bench.