Feb. 22, 2011
Thursday, Feb. 24: Oregon at California, 7:00 p.m.
TV: none; Radio: 960 AM KKGN; Gametracker: CalBears.com
Saturday, Feb. 26: Oregon State at California, 7:30 p.m.
TV: none; Radio: 960 AM KKGN; Gametracker: CalBears.com
The California Golden Bears (14-12, 6-9 Pac-10) try to snap a five-game skid while playing on the home court, hosting the Oregon Ducks (12-13, 3-11 Pac-10) on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.
Cal has been a team of two halves during their current losing streak. In four of their last five losses, the Bears have outscored their opponent in one of the two halves. In Sunday's loss at USC, the Bears held the Trojans to 20 fewer points in the second half than the first and outrebounded the Trojans 24-18 in the second half (after trailing in rebounding at the break).
Cal took 72 shots in the USC game, a season-high. The only starter to not take double digit shots in the game was senior center Talia Caldwell. Sophomore guard Eliza Pierre led the team with 17 shots, only one of them a three-point attempt. All nine players took at least one shot and all but one, Rachelle Federico who played just two minutes, made a basket.
Freshman guard Lindsay Sherbert was the most efficient with her shooting, making 5 shots on 14 attempts. Sherbert really shined from three-point range, going 4-for-8. She was also a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line, another season high for the team.
Eliza Pierre has scored 12 points in each of the last two games. It is the first time this season Pierre has scored in double digits in consecutive games. She was also perfect from the free throw line in the last two games.
Cal, who have been outrebounded in three of the last four games, will be taking on a pair of teams this week that they outrebounded by a combined total of 35 on the road earlier this season. The Bears had 21 more boards than Oregon State and 14 more than Oregon.
The Bears held the Ducks to just 65 points in their first meeting, 13 points below their current season-scoring average of 78.0 points per game.
Oregon has lost seven games in a row, the longest active losing streak in the Pac-10.
Cal has won the last ten straight meetings against Oregon and 11 of the last 13 games. The two teams met three times last season, including a 71-57 victory in Eugene in the third round of the WNIT and Cal's 81-65 victory earlier this season at the new Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. Oregon's last victory in Berkeley was a 58-51 win to close out the regular season on Feb. 26, 2005.
Turnovers Cal has forced 45 turnovers in the last two games, including a season-high 27 against UCLA. The Bears are forcing 16.8 turnovers per game.
Steals Eliza Pierre is currently averaging 3.0 steals per game, which leads the Pac-10. Her average ranks 21st among all NCAA Division I players. She has ranked as high as second in the NCAA this season in this stat.
Pierre has 22 steals in her last seven games, including seven against UCLA.
Pierre ended last season with a team-best 71 steals (1.9 per game). The single season steal record for Cal is 100 set by Eliza Sokolowska in 1994-95. Pierre currently has 77 steals, which ranks her ninth on Cal's all-time list for steals in a single season.
Shooting Shirt Auction The Bears annual Shooting Shirt Auction will take place on Saturday, Feb. 26 through halftime of the game against Oregon State. The players will design special shooting shirts that they will wear during pregame warm-ups. The shirts will then be auctioned off in a silent auction that will benefit New Day for Children, an organization that partners with law enforcement, social services, educational institutions, churches, corporations and other community leaders to provide programs and facilities to give hope and security to girls from the ages of 10 - 18 caught in the desperation of sexual exploitation for commercial purposes. The Bears will also be auctioning off a team-autographed ball and a team autographed jersey with that will benefit Upward Roots, the charity that benefits from this season's We Assist, You Assist program.
Pac-10 Tournament The Bears come into the week tied for sixth place in the Pac-10 standings. With three games left in the season, it is hard to predict where the Bears will end up in the seeding for the Pac-10 Tournament. The structure of this year's tournament is very different than previous season. The top two teams will get a bye into the semifinals. The 2-10 seeds will all play on the first day of the tournament. In years past, the top six seeds had a first round bye. The tournament begins on Wednesday, March 9 at the Galen Center. The first two rounds of the tournament will be played at the Galen Center with the semifinals and finals being played at the Staples Center. Both the semis and finals will also be broadcast by Fox Sports Network. The first two rounds will not be televised.
Fouls Cal committed just 17 fouls combined in the two games in Oregon (7-OSU, 10-Ore.). The Bears have six games this season when they have been whistled for 10 or fewer fouls and are averaging 14.2 fouls per game, the 20th fewest fouls per game in the nation.
Opponent Threes The Bears are still among the nation's best in three-point defense. Opponents are only making 27.7 percent of the long range shots they are attempting against the Cal defense. This leads the Pac-10 and is ranked No. 24 among all NCAA Division I teams.
Efficiency DeNesha Stallworth is connecting on 50.9 percent of her tries from the field. The mark is eighth best in the Pac-10 and ranks No. 54 among all NCAA Division I players. Sophomore center Talia Caldwell actually has a better percentage, making 51.1 percent of her shots, but she does not have enough attempts to qualify for the national rankings. Her percentage ranks seventh in the Pac-10.
Starting Five The Bears bench is averaging 11.8 points per game. The Bears were well below average in two of their four games on a recent road trip. In the Oregon game, the Cal starting five accounted for all 81 points and 67 of Cal's 68 shots. Every member of the starting lineup ended the game with double digit points. It was the first time that the starting five each had at least ten points since Feb. 24, 2007 when the starters accounted for all the points in an 88-69 victory at Haas over UCLA and each ended up in double figures. The Bears' starting five were one point shy of repeating the feat of having all five starters in double digits against Arizona with sophomore guard Eliza Pierre scoring nine points while the other four put up double digits. The bench accounted for nine points, all coming from freshman guard Afure Jemerigbe.
Crashing the Boards The Bears have dipped to third in the Pac-10 in rebounding margin, grabbing an average of 7.2 more rebounds per game than their opponents ranking them 17th in the nation. Cal has now outrebounded their opponents in 17 of its 26 games this season but has lost all eight of the games in which they have been outrebounded.
Caldwell fell to fifth in the Conference in rebounding, averaging 7.9 rebounds per game.
Caldwell is averaging 4.0 offensive rebounds per game, second Pac-10.
When neither Eliza Pierre or Layshia Clarendon picked up a rebound in the game at Washington earlier this season, it snapped a streak of 19 consecutive games in which they had at least one rebound (dating back to last season's WNIT run). The longest consecutive rebounding streaks belong to Talia Caldwell and DeNesha Stallworth who have had at least one rebound in every game they have played so far at Cal. Stallworth also has scored in every game she has played in.
Leading Scorers With Eliza Pierre's 12 points against UCLA, she became the eighth different Cal player to lead the team in scoring in a game this season. All three freshmen have led the team in a game (Afure Jemerigbe scored 17 against UT Arlington and Lindsay Sherbert 20 against Arizona, Mikayla Lyles 11 at Washington). DeNesha Stallworth and Layshia Clarendon have each had the team-high for points five times this season. Only Rachelle Federico has not led the team in scoring.
Cal Coaches Corner Each Monday, head coach Joanne Boyle and one of the players will be featured weekly on the Cal Coaches Corner radio program. The show airs on KNEW Radio (910 AM) every Monday from 6-7 p.m. The program is broadcast live from the Paragon at the Claremont Hotel, Club and Spa in Berkeley, so fans are encouraged to come out and enjoy the show live. In addition to Coach Boyle and a women's basketball player, men's head coach Mike Montgomery will also be a weekly guest on the show, which is hosted by Todd McKim. The show allows fans to email questions for the coaches and players.
Charitable Works This season, the Bears will again be doing the We Assist, You Assist promotion where fans can make pledges per assist to help a local charity. This season, the team has decided to focus their efforts on assisting Upward Roots. Upward Roots is aimed at generating positive change through community service. Their programs develop a greater sense of leadership and personal impact among under-served youth through the creation of self-initiated community service projects. The goal is to produce and sustain the concept that change can come from within and that every small action makes a resounding difference. Upward Roots strives to break the cycle from these youth being served to serving others. Every dollar raised, up to $10,000, will be matched by Coach Boyle.