Jan. 15, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A look at the Golden Bears
Riding the momentum of a seven-game winning streak, No. 8/9 California (15-2 overall, 6-0 Pac-10, 1st) visits No. 25 Arizona State (11-5, 5-0 Pac-10, 2nd) Thursday, Jan. 17, at 5:30 p.m. MT, and Arizona (6-10, 0-5 Pac-10, T9th) Saturday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m. PT. The Bears are in the middle of their toughest stretch of the Pac-10 season, as they then play at No. 7/6 Stanford (14-3, 4-2, T3rd) Jan. 26.
Cal owns a slight lead over Arizona State in the Pac-10 race. The Bears are 6-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time in school history, and the Sun Devils are 5-0. Cal placed a program best of third in the Pac-10 in 2006-07 and matched the 1991-92 Bears for the school's best Pac-10 mark at 12-6.
Cal, owners of a program-best national ranking of No. 8 in the AP poll, is coming off a 61-52 victory over Oregon and a 61-45 triumph over Oregon State. The Bears are chasing the program's winning streak record of 10 (1981-82 and 1986-87). The 1991-92 team was the last to win eight straight.
At 15-2, Cal has kept pace with the 1983-84 Bears for the best start in school history. In 1983-84, Cal posted a 17-2 record before losing its 20th game. That year, the Bears set a school record for wins, finishing at 24-8.
Cal is 9-0 at home this season and has won 12 straight home games dating back to last season. The Bears' last home loss was to Washington Feb. 8, 2007 (79-76 OT).
This year's Cal team has produced solid statistical numbers on both sides of the ball. The Bears rank first in the Pac-10 in scoring defense (53.6 ppg, school record and 14th in the nation) and third in scoring (68.2 ppg), which is their best average in 12 years. Overall, Cal tops the conference in five of 19 categories and ranks in the top three in 12 this year.
Cal is led by juniors Ashley Walker, Alexis Gray-Lawson and Devanei Hampton. Walker, who earned her Cal record fifth Pac-10 Player of the Week honor this week, tops the Pac-10 in rebounding (10.0 rpg), is third in scoring (17.2 ppg) and is second in blocked shots (1.71 bpg).
Gray-Lawson is second on the team and 10th in the Pac-10 in scoring (12.5 ppg) and second in three-point field goal percentage (42.5%). Hampton is third on the team in scoring (12.1 ppg). Hampton (Jan. 7) and Walker (Jan. 14) have been named Pac-10 Player of the Week the last two weeks. Walker garnered her school-record fifth Pac-10 Player of the Week honor this week.
Sophomore forward/center Rama N'diaye (8.5 ppg) and freshman forward/guard Kelsey Adrian (5.8 ppg) are Cal's leading scorers off the bench. Saturday's game marks the return home of freshman guard Rachelle Federico, who hails from Tucson, Ariz.