Dec. 5, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Off to its best start in 14 seasons and riding a 21-game home non-conference winning streak, No. 16/17 California (6-1) hosts Fresno State (4-2) Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The contest vs. the Bulldogs is Cal's Toys for Tots Game. Fans will be admitted for $3 if they bring with them a new unwrapped toy. The Golden Bears then travel to Kansas (4-2) Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. CT for their final non-conference road trip.
Cal, which won its own Contra Costa Times Classic title for the third straight year last weekend, has seen improvement on both sides of the ball this season. The Bears rank second in the Pac-10 in scoring at 76.0 ppg after averaging 64.8 ppg last season. After setting a school record for scoring defense at 57.9 ppg in 2005-06, Cal ranks third in the conference this season in that department at 57.9 ppg.
Rebounding has been the Bears' forte this season, as they lead the Pac-10 in rebounding margin at +10.1 (38.9-28.7). Cal has outrebounded all seven opponents this year.
Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker was selected MVP of the Contra Costa Times Classic - her second MVP award of the season and her third all-tournament selection - after averaging 22.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg and shooting 75.0 percent (15-20) from the floor in wins over Harvard (96-54) and Arkansas State (81-62). On the year, Walker leads Cal in scoring (19.1 ppg, third Pac-10) and rebounding (7.3 rpg, eighth Pac-10) and is second on the team in field goal percentage (64.4%).
Freshman guard Lauren Greif is playing like a veteran, contributing 9.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.4 apg and a team-best 2.57 spg (fourth Pac-10). She also has a team-low nine turnovers among players who average at least 15 minutes per game.
Senior guard Keanna Levy has risen to starting status over the last five games after serving as a reserve the last three years. Levy, a defensive sparkplug who is tied for fifth in the conference at 2.29 spg, averages career highs of 6.9 ppg and 4.3 rpg.
Junior forward Krista Foster is excelling as a reserve for the Bears, averaging a career-high 7.4 ppg. She is two field goals made shy of qualifying as the Pac-10 leader for field goal percentage at 67.9 percent.