Nov. 22, 2011
Friday, Nov. 25: California at Hawaii, 7:00 p.m. PT
Saturday, Nov. 26: No. 24 Texas vs. California, 2:00 p.m. PT
Sunday, Nov. 27: No. 22 Virginia vs. California, 5:00 p.m. PT
Live Audio Streaming: CalBears.com; Gametracker: Hawaiiathletics.com
BERKELEY- The California Golden Bears (2-1) head to the island of Oahu to play in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown, a holiday tournament with three games in three days. The Bears open on Friday, Nov. 25, taking on the host school, Hawaii. The Bears close out the tournament playing a pair of ranked teams, No. 24 Texas on Saturday and No. 22 Virginia on Sunday.
The Bears are coming off back-to-back 24-point margins of victory after downing Sacramento State (85-61) and Illinois (80-56). It was only the fourth time in the last fifteen years that Cal scored 80 or more points in back-to-back games. The last time Cal scored 80 or more points in three consecutive games was during the 1994 season with a 92-82 victory over Texas starting that streak.
With the games against No. 24 Texas and No. 22 Virginia, Cal will be facing three ranked teams in the first five games of the season. The Bears last victory over a ranked team came in the 2009 NCAA Tournament second round game, a 99-73 win over No. 23/25 Virginia.
Cal's last visit to the tropics for Thanksgiving came in 2008 when the Bears swept the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands, defeating South Florida, Texas Tech, and Iowa to win the tournament title.
Cal's fortunes in Hawaiian tournaments have not been as good. Cal went 0-3 the last time they played in the Rainbow Wahine Classic in 2004, falling to TCU (96-89), Idaho (82-72) and Hawaii (70-68). Overall, the Bears have a 3-9 record in four appearances in the Rainbow Wahine Classic. Cal, who is 4-4 overall against Hawaii, has not defeated the Rainbow Wahine in the islands since 1976 when the Bears won back-to-back games, 47-41 and 31-25, that were not part of a tournament.
Sunday's tournament finale is the game that Cal fans have had circled on their calendars since the moment the schedule was released. The Bears will face former head coach Joanne Boyle and her Virginia Cavaliers at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. Cal current head coach Lindsay Gottlieb spent six years working with Boyle (three at Richmond and three at Cal). Nine of Cal's 13 players were on Boyle-coached teams and all but Justine Hartman were recruited and signed by Boyle.
Hawaii Games Live Friday's game against the Rainbow Wahine will be available to watch on line through Oceanic Time Warner Cable and will air on local TV in Hawaii [OCSports (Channel 22) Saturday at 12:00 p.m.]. The streaming video is available for a small fee. See this website (https://secure.oceanic.com/Streaming/) for more details.
Live stats for all three games will be available through the Hawai'i Wahine website (hawaiiathletics.com). Free live streaming audio for all games is available through Cal All-Access on CalBears.com. The links for both are available on the women's basketball schedule page.
Also continue to check CalBears.com for photo galleries and real-time updates from the trip on Twitter (@CalWBBall; @CalCoachG) and Facebook(CalWBBall).
Depth The Golden Bears, who had just nine healthy bodies on the squad in 2010-11, are carrying an active roster of 12 players this season. All 12 players have seen time on the court already this season.
Bench Scoring In the exhibition win over Vanguard, the non-starters accounted for 64 of the Bears 99 points (64.6 percent). In the Rutgers game, the bench contributed 41 of the 70 points (58.5 percent). Even after changing the composition of the bench by changing out two players in the starting lineup, the bench still scored 43 points against Sacramento State (50.5 percent). The bench had its third straight 40-point showing against Illinois (41 points, 51.2 percent). Last year, the Cal bench, over the course of the season, was responsible for scoring 419 points, 19.6 percent of Cal's total offensive output.
Nearly Perfect (Field) Junior forward Talia Caldwell began her season going 12-for-13 from the field, shooting 92.3 percent. She was perfect from the field against Rutgers, starting the season converting her first four field goal attempts. This was the sixth time in Caldwell's career she has been perfect from the field. Caldwell's best single-game performance was a 6-for-6 shooting game against San Jose State in her freshman year. Caldwell, as a freshman, had the second-best season in Cal program history when it comes to shooting percentage. She made 61.5 percent of her shots in her rookie campaign.
Perfect (Stripe) Freshman Brittany Boyd was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line against Illinois. It was the best free throw shooting performance by a Bear since DeNesha Stallworth went 10-for-10 from the line in the 2010 WNIT game at Oregon (March 25).
Double Digits Freshman Reshanda Gray has begun her career with three consecutive games scoring in double digits. DeNesha Stallworth began her career in 2009 with seven consecutive double-digit scoring efforts. Ashley Walker had five double-digit games to start her Cal career in 2005.
Efficiency Freshman forwards Justine Hartman and Reshanda Gray are making the most of their playing time. Hartman has scored 37 points this season, in 49 minutes of playing time. Gray, in the game against Illinois, scored 11 points in nine minutes on the court.
Welcome Back, Gen Brandon Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon showed no signs of rust when she took the court against Rutgers. Brandon sat out the entire 2010-11 season, trying to recover from a stress fracture in her shin. Her last appearance on the court was in the Bears WNIT victory over Miami. Brandon played 30 minutes against Rutgers, scoring 12 points with 15 rebounds, the sixth double double of her career. Brandon is averaging 11.0 rebounds per game in the first three contests. She is also averaging two blocks and two steals per game.
Defense The Bears, who come into the week leading all Pac-12 teams by averaging 15.0 more rebounds per game than their opponents, held the Illini to just four offensive rebounds in Sunday's victory. The Bears kept Illinois from making a single three. It was the first time an opponent went 0-fer from long range since Jan. 14, 2010 when the Washington Huskies went 0-8. The Bears held Yale to a 1-19 three-point shooting percentage last season at Haas Pavilion.
Steals Junior guard Eliza Pierre had four steals against Sac State. Pierre, who had the fourth best season in program history for steals with 90 last year, has 165 career steals, just 13 shy of moving into the top-10 in career steals in the Cal record book.
Cal vs. Ranked Teams Cal's last victory over a ranked team was the 99-73 victory over No. 23/25 Virginia in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The No. 2/3-ranked Rutgers team was the highest-ranking team to be defeated by Cal when the Bears defeated the Scarlet Knights, 66-52, in Berkeley (11/21/08). The Bears are 0-1 this season against ranked teams.
Debuts Three Golden Bears made their collegiate debuts against Rutgers. Freshman forward Reshanda Gray was the first to debut, subbing in two minutes into the game. Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd subbed in one minute later. Four minutes into the game, Gray had a steal that led to a Boyd lay-up, the first stats for the players. In her first six minutes on the court, Gray had that steal, a block, and scored six points. In her shift on the court, Boyd scored four points with a steal and an assist. Freshman forward Justine Hartman checked in later in the first half, making her appearance in the final five minutes of the first period, but immediately made her presence known with back-to-back lay-ups. The three freshmen combined to score 27 points in the game.
The Bears other two freshmen guards, Avigiel Cohen (who redshirted last season) and Erika Johnson, made their debuts against Sacramento State. Johnson got a steal in her first moments on the court. She also hit a free throw to score her first collegiate points. Cohen did not score in the game, but had two rebounds and an assist.
Starting debuts Two Golden Bears made their first career starts against Sacramento State. Sophomore guard Afure Jemerigbe played in 35 games in her Cal career, all coming off the bench, before getting the start on Thursday. Freshman guard Brittany Boyd earned the start in the second game of her career.
Scoring streaks Talia Caldwell has scored at least one point in 52 consecutive games, going back to Feb. 12, 2010. Layshia Clarendon has scored at least two points in 37 consecutive games, a streak that encompasses every game of the 2010-11 season. Clarendon was held scoreless in the 2010 WNIT Final against Miami, the last time she did not score for the Bears. In all, Clarendon has only been held scoreless four times in her career. Caldwell has only twice gone without scoring. Caldwell has also had at least one rebound in every game of her Cal career.
We Assist, You Assist California women's basketball has announced that Team Up For Youth and the Coaching Corps program will be the focus of this season's We Assist, You Assist campaign. Fans are encouraged to pledge money, from pennies to dollars, for each assist tallied by the Bears this season. Coaching Corps is a program that pairs trained volunteer coaches with kids in low-income communities so that all children have the powerful experiences of playing and learning, winning and losing, and through it all, discovering their best selves. Dedicated college students serve as volunteer coaches and role models for kids in after school programs in underserved communities. Coaching Corps harnesses the energy and passion of young adults to help kids in low-income communities. The goal is to help kids do better in school, have higher self-esteem, stay away from drugs and alcohol, and create a healthy and active lifestyle that lasts their entire lives.
Donation forms can be downloaded from CalBears.com or picked up at any Bears home game this season.
Past Honors The Bears have seven former McDonald's High School All-Americans [Gennifer Brandon (2009), Eliza Pierre (2009), Tierra Rogers (2009), Afure Jemerigbe (2010), Lindsay Sherbert (2010), Reshanda Gray (2011), Justine Hartman (2011)], four WBCA high school All-Americans [Layshia Clarendon (2009), Afure Jemerigbe (2010), Lindsay Sherbert (2010), Justine Hartman (2011)], and five players with National Team playing experience [Layshia Clarendon (2009, USA U-19), Avigiel Cohen (2006-09, Israel), Reshanda Gray (2010, USA U-18), Justine Hartman (2009, USA U-16), Afure Jemerigbe (2011, Nigeria)] on the current roster.