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Cal Travels to State Farm Classic in Florida
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/21/1999

December 26, 1998

QUICK LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Cal, at 5-2, is riding a four-game winning streak and is off to its best start since the 1994-95 season when it also began at 5-2. The Golden Bears best start prior to 1994-95 was a 9-1 start in 1992-93. The Bears journey to the State Farm Classic in Gainesville, Fla., Dec. 28-29, with its first four-game winning streak since the 1992-93 season when it strung together six-consecutive wins. While Cal is 5-0 at home this season, the Bears are in search of their first road win. Thanksgiving Weekend Cal dropped games at No. 17 Virginia and Ohio State.

The University of Florida's holiday tournament pits Cal against three teams it has never faced: Vermont, Florida and Western Michigan. Cal tips off the tournament Monday at 1:30 p.m. PT against Vermont. The Bears look to advance to the championship game Tuesday.

The Bears are coming off one of the biggest wins in school history as they upset ninth-ranked Colorado State, 80-75, in the championship game of the Oakland Tribune Classic. The win was Cal's first over a ranked team since March 4, 1995, when the Bears defeated No. 19 Oregon State, 77-75, at Harmon Gym. Cal won its own tournament with wins at opposite ends of the spectrum. First, Cal defeated Pittsburgh, 40-35, for its first win scoring 40 or less points since its inaugural 1973-74 season. The next night, Cal doubled its scoring output for the upset win.

Cal showcased its outstanding depth in the post as it outmustled a smaller Colorado State line-up. Sophomore forward Lauren Ashbaugh's four point scoring average fooled the Ram coaching staff as she posted a career-high 18 points. Freshman center Shavaki Jackson also tallied a career-high 17 points and senior center Jennie Leander contributed 14 points and was named to the all-tournament team.

Junior Paige Bowie was named MVP of the Oakland Tribune Classic, notching 15 points, eight boards (tied career high) and seven assists (career high) against CSU. Bowie leads Cal with 13.7 points per game and has either led the team or tied for the team lead in scoring in six of seven games this season.

Cal's Probable Starters and Key Reserves


POS  NO  NAME              HT   YR  PTS   REB  ASST  NOTES
F/C  31  Lauren Ashbaugh   6-2  So   6.1  5.9        Career-high 18 points vs. Colorado State
F    33  Paige Bowie       6-0  Jr  13.7  5.1  3.4   Career-high 30 pts vs. NU; MVP OTC
C    50  Jennie Leander    6-3  Sr  11.3  7.0        3 double-doubles; 19 for career
G    10  Courtney Johnson  5-8  So   9.9  3.7  2.0   2nd in Pac-10 with 3.6 spg; career-high 8 vs. NU
G    23  Sherrise Smith    5-5  Sr   6.1  2.4  3.0   Career-high 10 assists vs. Northwestern
C/F  00  Shavaki Jackson   6-4  Fr   7.7  5.5        Career-high 17 pts, 5 assts vs. Colorado State
G     4  Kenya Corley      5-8  Fr   2.9  1.4        Career-high 4 blocks vs. USF
F/C  42  Ami Forney        6-2  Fr   2.3  4.2        5th on team in reb. in only 10 min/game

This Week:

Mon. Dec. 28:
at State Farm Classic, Gainesville, FL Cal vs. Vermont 1:30 p.m. PT

Tues. Dec. 29:
Western Michigan vs. Cal or Vermont 1:30 p.m. PT
Florida vs. Cal or Vermont 4:00 p.m. PT

PAC-10 STANDINGS (As of 12/21)

               Pac-10  Overall
Oregon State     0-0     8-1
Oregon           0-0     7-2
UCLA             0-0     7-2
Wash. State      0-0     5-2
Arizona State    0-0     5-2
California       0-0     4-2 
USC              0-0     4-4
Arizona          0-0     4-3
Stanford         0-0     4-6
Washington       0-0     3-5
AROUND THE PAC-10

Dec. 21 - Arizona State at UC Santa Barbara; Colorado State at Cal; UCLA at Tennessee; Washington State at Saint Mary's
Dec. 22 - Oregon vs. DePaul
Dec. 27 - Arizona at Colorado State; Portland Saints at Washington State
Dec. 28 - Cal vs. Vermont; Stanford at Colorado; Duke at UCLA
Dec. 29 - Cal at State Farm Classic; Portland at Oregon; Portland Saints at Oregon State; UCSB at USC; Boise State at Washington
Dec. 30 - San Jose State at Arizona State; Pepperdine at UCLA
Jan. 2 - UCLA at Arizona; USC at Arizona State; Cal at Oregon; Stanford at Oregon State

CAL ON RADIO
For the 17th consecutive year, KALX (90.7 FM) will carry all California home games and all of the Pac-10 road games. Each broadcast begins five minutes prior to tip-off.

BEARS ON TV
At least five Cal games will be broadcast this season. Those games are vs. Northwestern (FSBA), Dec. 17; at Stanford (FSBA), Jan. 8, at Washington State (FSN), Jan. 23; vs. Washington State (FSBA), Feb. 18, and vs. Washington (FSN), Feb. 21.

HEAD COACH MARIANNE STANLEY, 3 WINS SHY OF 400
Marianne Stanley enters her third season at the helm of Cal's women's basketball program. A native of Upper Darby, Pa., Stanley is a 19-year coaching veteran and winner of five national championship titles as a player (2) and coach (3). She entered the 1998 campaign with a career record of 392-192 (.671), which ranks 26th in victories among all active NCAA Division I women's coaches. Stanley, 44, will become the 12th youngest coach to reach the 400 victory plateau this season.

Stanley has earned four conference coach of the year honors and national coach of the year kudos twice, in 1979 at Old Dominion and 1996 at Stanford.

Stanley is joined at Cal by third-year associate head coach Barbara Thaxton and first-year assistant coach Jualeah Woods.

STATE FARM CLASSIC PREVIEW
This is the ninth year of the State Farm Classic. Florida has won seven of eight championships dating back to 1990. Stephen F. Austin won the 1991 title. Florida's Muriel Page was named MVP of the 1997 Classic.

VERMONT SCOUTING REPORT

A Look at Vermont (5-2, 1-0 America East)
Vermont is 5-2, 0-1 in the America East Conference and enters its Dec. 28 game with Cal after a 16-day layoff since defeating St. Peter's 74-67, Dec. 12. The Catamounts lost to Washington State of the Pac-10, Nov. 21, 88-70. Junior forward Karalyn Church leads Vermont with 24.2 ppg and 10.5 rpg.

Cal-Vermont Series History
This is the first meeting between these two teams.

Vermont Head Coach Keith Cieplicki
Keith Cieplicki is in his second season at the helm at Vermont. He led his team to a 22-7 record in 1997-98 in his first ever season as a head coach.

Vermont Probable Starters

POS  NO  NAME             HT   YR   PTS   REB 
F    20  Karalyn Church   6-0  Jr  24.2  10.5
F    41  Melissa Dodge    6-0  Sr   8.4   7.7
F/C  34  Liz Mintzer      6-0  Fr   2.4   2.6 
G    14  Christie Lauzon  5-6  Jr  10.3   2.9
G    11  Libby Smith      5-9  Fr  13.9   6.9 4.6 assists
FLORIDA SCOUTING REPORT

A Look at Florida (9-4, 1-0 SEC)
Florida returns only two starters from last season's Sweet 16 team but is still off to a good start at 10-3, 1-0 SEC. Florida has dropped two straight having lost to Illinois and Purdue. The Lady Gators are ranked No. 18 and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches and AP polls, respectively.

Cal-Florida Series History
This is the first meeting between these two teams.

Florida Head Coach Carol Ross
Carol Ross enters her ninth year in charge of the Lady Gator program. Ross, Florida's all-time winningest coach, boasts a 165-77 record in eight previous seasons at Florida, her only collegiate head coaching job. Prior to arriving in Gainesville, Ross spent seven years as an assistant coach at Auburn of the SEC.

GOLDEN BEAR BREAKDOWN

By Class
Senior (4) - Jamilla Churchill, Kobie Kennon, Jennie Leander, Sherrise Smith
Junior (1) - Paige Bowie
Sophomore (4) - Lauren Ashbaugh, Kenya Corley, Courtney Johnson, Masa Radovic
Freshman (5) - Ami Forney, Janet Franey, Shavaki Jackson, Latifa Lewis, LaShanthi Rhodes

By Height
6-4 - Shavaki Jackson, Latifa Lewis
6-3 - Jennie Leander
6-2 - Lauren Ashbaugh, Ami Forney
6-1 - Jamilla Churchill, Masa Radovic
6-0 - Paige Bowie, Kobie Kennon
5-8 - Kenya Corley, Janet Franey, Courtney Johnson, LaShanthi Rhodes
5-5 - Sherrise Smith

STATE FARM CLASSIC RESULTS

1990
Champion - Florida
Runner-up - Tennessee State

1991
Champion - Stephen F. Austin
Runner-up - Florida

1992
Champion - Florida
Runner-up - Illinois

1993
Champion - Florida
Runner-up - Southern Mississippi

1994
Champion - Florida
Runner-up - N.C. State

1995
Champion - Florida
Runner-up - George Washington

1996
Champion - Florida
Runner-up - Kansas State

1997
Champion - Florida
Runner-up - Duke

Florida Probable Starters (stats prior to Purdue loss)

POS  NO  NAME              HT  YR   PTS  REB 
 F   24  Kelly Freeman    6-0  Jr   3.0  3.4
 F   13  Erin O'Neil      6-3  Jr   3.3  3.0
 C    4  Tamara Stocks    6-3  So  10.9  6.8
 G   11  Brandi McCain    5-3  Fr  12.7  3.3 7.6 assists
 G   33  Talatha Bingham  5-8  Sr   7.5  4.4
WESTERN MICHIGAN SCOUTING REPORT

A Look at Western Michigan (7-2, 1-0 MAC)
After posting a 7-19 record in 1997-98, Western Michigan has matched its win total this season with a 7-2 mark. The Broncos posted seven-consecutive wins in between an opening loss at Vanderbilt (85-67) and a loss to Bradley, Dec. 20, 93-79.

Cal-Western Michigan Series History
This is the first meeting between these two teams.

Western Michigan Head Coach Ron Stewart
Ron Stewart is in his second season at the helm of the Western Michigan program. The Broncos were 7-19 during his inaugural season. Prior to joining WMU, Stewart served six years (1991-96) as an assistant on Lon Kurger's University of Florida staff.

Western Michigan Probable Starters

POS  NO  NAME             HT  YR   PTS  REB 
 F   23  Shelsea Erving  6-0  Jr  20.8  6.0
 F   34  Kelly DeLong    5-9  Sr  12.7  3.4
 C   43  Star Harris     6-1  Sr  12.7 10.1
 G   24  Briane Gallert  5-4  Fr   7.9  1.8 4.3 assists
 G   32  Brooke Gallert  5-4  Fr   7.7  2.0 4.1 assists
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES

WIN OVER FLORIDA COULD EARN CAL NATIONAL RANKING
Cal is 1-1 this season against ranked opponents having defeated No. 9 Colorado State and having suffered a 70-55 loss to No. 17 Virginia. The Virginia game was a two-point game at the half and six points with 6:23 remaining in the contest. If the Bears defeat Vermont and face No. 18/20 ranked Florida in the championship game of the State Farm Classic, they may receive their first national ranking in several years.

CAL WINS FOUR STRAIGHT FOR FIRST TIME IN SIX YEARS
Cal has strung together four-straight wins for the first time since the 1992-93 season when the Bears won six straight. The longest winning streak in school history is 10 set during the 1981-82 and 1986-87 seasons.

HOW LOW CAN YOU GO...AND WIN
Cal has shot 29 percent twice this season and won both contests. The Bears defeated USF 58-46 and Pitt 40-35. The last time Cal scored 40 or less points and won happened three times during the Bears inaugural 1973-74 season. The Bears shot a season's-best .527 in their win over CSU.

BEARS STEP UP DEFENSIVE INTENSITY IN 1998
Cal has allowed opponents only 61.9 points per game, far ahead of last season's 70.9 points per game pace. The Bears rank fourth in the Pac-10 in defense prior to the Colorado State game behind Oregon (54.0), Arizona State (57.3) and Oregon State (58.3). Cal's lowest opponent output this season was Pitt's 35.

PAC-10 PRE-SEASON POLLS

    Coaches            Media
1.  UCLA               UCLA
2.  Stanford           Stanford
3.  Oregon             Oregon
4.  Washington         Washington
5.  Arizona            Arizona
6.  USC                USC
7.  Arizona State      Arizona State
8.  Washington St.     Washington St.
9t. California      9. Oregon St.
9t. Oregon State   10. California
BEARS RECORD WHEN THEY
Led at half-time            3-0
Trailed at half-time        1-2
Were tied at half-time      1-0
Went into overtime          0-0
Led by 10 or more points    4-0
Shot FG 60% or better       0-0
Shot FG 50% or better       1-0
Shot FG less than 50%       2-2
Shot FG less than 40%       3-2
Shot FG less than 30 %      2-0

CAL TEAM TURNOVER TOTAL DOWN BEHIND SMITH
It should be no surprise that the Bears turnovers per game are down from a year ago with a healthy Sherrise Smith. Through four games, Cal is averaging 17.3 turnovers, while it averaged 22.3 miscues per game without the services of Smith for seven games in 1997-98. The Bears had a season-low 11 turnovers against Colorado State. Against NU, Smith had a career-high 10 assists and only 1 turnover. Smith is second on the team in assists with 3.0 per game.

FREE THROW SHOOTING IMPROVED
Cal is helping its cause by improving its free throw shooting from a year ago. This season the Bears are converting 69 percent (.689) of its free throws, compared to a .658 clip a year ago. The Bears rank fourth in the Pac-10 for free throw percentage.

Sophomore guard Courtney Johnson keys Cal's improved efficiency at the foul line as she is hitting on .870 (20-of-23) of her attempts, ranking third in the Pac-10.

BOWIE LEADS THE WAY OFFENSIVELY
After scoring a paltry 3 points to start the season against Pacific, junior forward Paige Bowie has seen her average climb to a team-leading 13.7 ppg. Bowie started the week ranked 12th in the conference. She has led or tied for the team lead in scoring in five-of-seven games this season. Bowie's best game came against Northwestern, where she hit for a career-high 30 points. Bowie is the first Bear to score over 30 points in a game since Eliza Sokolowska accomplished that feat versus USC, Feb. 25, 1995. The Fresno, Calif., native also set school records for three pointers made (8) and attempted (15) against Northwestern.

JOHNSON, ONE OF THE PAC-10'S BEST DEFENDERS
Sophomore guard Courtney Johnson is establishing herself as one of the premier defenders in the Pac-10. Johnson set a career high for steals with 8 (25 on the season) against Northwestern including three during Cal's 25-10 run to close the game. She followed that effort up with 6 against Pitt. The Antioch, Calif., native leads Cal with 3.6 steals per game and started the week ranked second in the Pac-10 behind Julia Gray of Washington's 4.25.

Johnson was matched with All-American guard Becky Hammond for most of the Colorado State game and did a credible job containing her and racked up three steals.

POST PLAY KEYS UPSET OF NO. 9 COLORADO STATE
Cal won its first Oakland Tribune Classic since 1995 and XX overall with an 80-75 upset of No. 9 Colorado State in the championship game. The win was keyed by Cal's dominant post-game. Sophomore forward Lauren Ashbaugh broke out of a scoring slumber to score a career-high 18 points and freshman center Shavaki Jackson tallied a career-high 17 points. Senior center Jennie Leander also had 14 points. The Bears trailed 73-72 with 1:12 remaining in the game when they went on an 8-2 run to seal the win. All-American guard Becky Hammon led CSU with 27 points.

CAL ESCAPES WITH 40-35 WIN OVER PITTSBURGH, CSU IMPROVES TO 12-0 WITH WIN OVER WAKE FOREST
Led by eight points and six rebounds each from Paige Bowie and Jennie Leander, Cal defeated Pittburgh 40-35 in round one of the Oakland Tribune Classic. Both teams had trouble finding the basket as Cal won its second game during its current three-game winning streak shooting 29 percent on the evening. Luck for the Bears, the Panthers shot 22 percent and committed 25 turnovers.

No. 9 Colorado State improved to 12-0 overall with an 84-69 win over Wake Forest in its first round OTC game. The Rams were led by Hammon, who poured in 25 points.

Pac-10 Statistical Leaders (Through 12/20/98 games)

Scoring 1. Alke Dietel, WSU 20.4 12. Paige Bowie, CAL 13.5

Rebounds 1. Maylana Martin, UCLA 11.9 6. Jennie Leander, CAL 7.7

Blocks 1. Jenny Mowe, ORE 1.89 8t. Shavaki Jackson, CAL 1.00 3-Pt Goal Percentage 1. Michelle Tom, ASU .556 3. Paige Bowie, CAL .405

FT Percentage 1. Natalie Tucker, ASU .955 3. Courtney Johnson, CAL .857 GLANCE AT CAL HISTORY

Career Rebounds

 1. Colleen Galloway  1029
 2. Kesha Martin       875
 3. Teresa Palmisano   874
 4. Cynthia Cooke      855
 5. Jennifer Bennett   812
 6. Amanda Ray         795
 7. Ingrid Dixson      789
 8. Trisha Stafford    721
 9. Chris Sellin       703
10. Jennie Leander     682
Three-Point Field Goals Attempted 1. Liz Rizzo 460 2. Jennifer Self 430 3. Laura Baker 325 4. Kelly Tatum 295 5. Patrycja Czepiec 289 6. Chris Holten 229 7. Milica Vukadinovic 208 8. Paige Bowie 203 9. Eliza Sokolowska 144 10. Kim Robinson 126 CAREER HIGHS ABOUND IN 1998-99 SEASON
A number of reasons can account for the improvement in this year's Bear squad - improved defense, a veteran squad, depth in the post, etc. It also has taken career efforts by one or more players (not counting freshmen bests) in almost every game to pull off the victories. Bowie and Johnson recorded career highs for points against Northwestern with 30 and 20 points, respectively. Ashbaugh scored a career-high 18 points in Cal's upset of Colorado State. It hasn't been just point career-highs that have fallen. Also against Northwestern, Smith dished out a career-high 10 assists and Johnson swiped a personal-best 8 steals. Let's not forget, 5-8 guard Kenya Corley swatting a career-best 4 shots vs. USF.

STANLEY THREE WINS SHY OF 400 WINS
Cal head coach Marianne Stanley is three wins shy of becoming the 12th youngest NCAA Division I women's basketball coach to top the 400 victory plateau. Stanley's career record stands at 397-194. She could accomplish the feat as soon as the Bears Pac-10 opener Jan. 2 at Oregon. Stanley began the season as the 26th winningest active Division I women's coaches.

PAC-10 SEASON TIPS OFF JAN. 2 FOR CAL
While Cal is guaranteed a better non-conference finish then last season's 4-6 mark, the Pac-10 slate offers new challenges as the Bears look to improve upon a 2-16 mark last season. The Bears open conference play Sat., Jan. 2, at Oregon and travel to Oregon State, Mon., Jan. 4. Cal looks to snap a 19-game conference road losing streak. The Bears last Pac-10 road win was Feb. 24, 1996 at Washington State (91-83). Home wins over Oregon State and Arizona State amounted to Cal's only two conference wins last season. With perennial Pac-10 power Stanford undergoing a rebuilding year, new faces are showing their strength this season. Oregon State and Cal tied for ninth in the Pac-10 in 1997-98. Just as Cal is off to a quick start this season, Oregon State has amassed the Pac-10's best non-conference mark at 8-1. With 8 wins, the Beavers have already surpassed last season's 7-20 win mark. Oregon was tied with UCLA with the second-best non-conference mark at 7-2 as of Dec. 21. UCLA is predicted to win the Pac-10 and at No. 8 is the conference's only ranked team. Cal's Pac-10 home opener is Thurs., Jan. 14, against UCLA. The Pac-10 coaches picked Cal and Oregon State to tie for ninth, while the media picked Cal to finish last. So far, Cal is on its way to silencing its critics.


Cal Bears Women's Basketball


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