Dec. 18, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
Next Up: Fri., Dec. 21 No. 12/12 Cal (8-2) vs. Kansas (8-1, at San Jose State 12/19) Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA 6:00 p.m. Radio: 90.7 FM/linked on CalBears.com TV: None
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
After an 11-day break for final exams, No. 12/12 California entertains Kansas Friday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m. at Haas Pavilion in its final non-conference game of the season. The Golden Bears (8-2) take a 28-game home non-conference winning streak into their contest with the Jayhawks (8-1), who are receiving votes in both polls after winning five in a row.
All youth 12th-grade and younger will be admitted free to the Kansas game. Additionally, anyone who brings a coat to be donated to the One Warm Coat Drive will receive free admission to the game. Cal won the last meeting between the two teams in Lawrence, Kan., 73-65, Dec. 10, 2006. Ashley Walker led Cal with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
This season, Cal ranks among the Pac-10's top three teams in the conference in 11 statistical categories. The Bears top the Pac-10 in scoring defense (56.8 ppg, school record), rebounding margin (+10.5, school record and 14th in the nation), 3-point FG percentage (37.1) and rebounding defense (31.8 rpg).
Walker, a junior forward/center, leads the Pac-10 in double-doubles (6), rebounding (10.7 rpg, 15th in nation) and offensive rebounds (4.50 rpg) and ranks second in scoring (19.0 ppg) and blocks (1.90 bpg).
Walker and junior forward/center Devanei Hampton were named to the Naismith Trophy preseason watch list Dec. 18. The Naismith Trophy is one of several national players of the year awards. Hampton is also a candidate for the State Farm/Wade Trophy and the Wooden Award.
Hampton returned to Cal's lineup Dec. 8 against Princeton after missing the first eight games of the season after undergoing knee surgery Nov. 9. She is averaging 7.5 ppg and 3.0 rpg in her first two games in limited minutes off of the bench.
In Hampton's absence, sophomore forward/center Rama N'diaye asserted herself. N'diaye, the MVP of the Contra Costa Times Classic, is third on the team in scoring (9.6 ppg) and is second on the team and in the conference in rebounding (9.0 rpg). The Dakar, Senegal, native is also third in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage (58.7) and fifth in blocks (1.0 bpg).
Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, the 2005-06 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, continues to return to her rookie form. Gray-Lawson missed 23 games last season after suffering a season-ending ACL tear nine games into the season at Kansas. Gray-Lawson is second on Cal in scoring at 11.3 ppg and leads the team and is fourth in the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (47.5%, 19-40).
Cal also starts sophomore guards Lauren Greif and Natasha Vital. Greif averages 7.7 ppg and is coming off a career-high 10 rebounds in the loss at Rutgers. Vital averages 6.3 ppg and leads the Bears in assists at 3.7 apg.