Feb. 8, 2005
Friday, Feb. 11 - vs. Stanford, Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA, 7:00 p.m.
Buoyed by a stirring 70-61 upset win over Arizona Saturday, the rejuvenated California Golden Bears (9-13, 3-9 Pac-10, 8th) face their sternest test of the season when the nationally No. 2 ranked Stanford Cardinal (21-2, 12-1 Pac-10, 1st) visits Haas Pavilion Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Cardinal is flying high after sweeping the Arizona schools last weekend en route to its 11th and 12th consecutive victories. The Bears, meanwhile, halted an eight-game losing streak with their victory over the Wildcats and now own an 8-4 home record at Haas this season.
Boasting its highest scoring average (67.7 ppg) since 1995-96, Cal's offense took a backseat to the Bears' suffocating defense in Saturday's triumph. Coach Caren Horstmeyer's club harnessed Arizona to more than 10 points under its season average, while the Wildcats' frigid 28.9 field goal percentage (22-for-76) was the lowest showing by a Cal opponent this year.
Led by Pac-10 career free throw leader Kristin Iwanaga (.940 FT%, .596 3FG% in '04-'05) and Kiki Williams (.878 FT%, .389 3FG%), the Bears continue to lead the Pac-10 in both free throw (.742) and three-point field goal (.411) shooting.
Friday's renewal of the Cal-Stanford rivalry will feature two of the best freshmen in the conference this season in Bears' center Jessica Lawson (10.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 52.4 FG%) and Cardinal guard Candice Wiggins (17.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 82.8 FT%).
Lawson enters this weekend's clash after enjoying the game of her career Saturday against Arizona. Facing the more experienced Wildcats' 6-5 center Shawntinice Polk, the hyper-active Lawson swooped inside for a career-high 12 rebounds and career-tying 19 points. Wiggins, meanwhile, drilled in 15 of her team-high 20 points in the second half vs. Arizona State, as Stanford dismantled the Sun Devils, 67-53.
Leading Cal's scoring attack this winter is senior forward Leigh Gregory, who's averaging 12.4 ppg (10th Pac-10). Lawson (10.8) and Iwanaga (10.1) also are scoring in double figures for the Bears.
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES
BEARS RANK 1ST IN PAC-10 IN 3FG PERCENTAGE
This year's Cal team is in pursuit of the school's three-point field goal (38.7, 1991-92) and free throw (74.1, 1986-87) percentage records. The Bears are hitting 41.1 percent from beyond the arc and 74.2 percent from the charity stripe - tops in both categories in the Pac-10.
GREGORY CLIMBS INTO 12TH ON CAL CAREER CHARTS
Senior forward Leigh Gregory has climbed into 12th place all-time in scoring in Cal history with 1,085 points. The product of Pleasant Hill, Calif., leads the Bears in scoring at 12.4 ppg (10th in the Pac-10) and ranks second in rebounding at 4.1 rpg. Her 51.3 field goal percentage stands sixth in the conference. Gregory became the 17th Bear to reach the 1,000-point plateau with her 14-point effort at Stanford Jan. 13. She has a good chance of graduating as one of the Top 10 scorers in Cal history.
All-Time Cal Scoring Leaders 1. Colleen Galloway (1978-81) 2,320 10. Jennie Leander (1996-99) 1,144 11. Heli Toikka (1983-86) 1,102 12. Leigh Gregory (02-present) 1,085 13. Courtney Johnson (1998-01) 1,077 14. Laura Baker (1988-91) 1,072 15. Patrycja Czepiec (1995-97) 1,059
IWANAGA RANKS 9TH ALL-TIME IN ASSISTS AT CAL
Senior guard Kristin Iwanaga is currently perched in ninth place all-time at Cal in assists with 297. It will be a tall order for her to move up further on the career list, as she needs 45 assists to surpass No. 8 Monica Wiley (1989-92), who has 341. Iwanaga is second on the team this season in assists with 62 (2.8 apg).
IWANAGA PURSUES PAC-10 FT/3FG SEASON RECORDS
Kristin Iwanaga leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (94.0) and three-point field goal percentage (59.6) and would rank fifth in the conference in field goal percentage (53.4), but she is three makes short of the minimum three made field goals per games played to qualify. Her free throw percentage and three-point percentage are on track to set new Pac-10 season records. Iwanaga is third on Cal in scoring with a career-best 10.1 ppg (21st Pac-10), is third in the Pac-10 in minutes played at 34.14 and ninth in the conference in assists (2.82).
IWANAGA PURSUES PAC-10 CAREER FT MARK
Kristin Iwanaga already easily holds the distinction of being Cal's career free throw percentage leader at 88.8 percent (213-240), while her senior teammate, Kiki Williams, is second at 81.8 percent (170-208). Iwanaga looks to graduate as the Pac-10's all-time best for free throw percentage, but she needs to maintain a pace of two made free throws for every game she plays in. She's currently three off the pace, as she's played in 108 games (needs 216 makes). Additionally, if Iwanaga can make a minimum of 250 free throws (at her current pace, will fall short), she has a chance to graduate as one of the top three free throw shooters in NCAA I, II and III history. Also, Iwanaga is fifth all-time in Pac-10 history in three-point field goal percentage at 42.4 (113-264) and second in Cal history.
NCAA Division I, II and III FT Percentage Leaders (need 250 made) 1. Kandi Brown (Morehead State, DI, 00-04) 91.538 (357-390) 2. Brooke Lassiter (La Tech, DI, 98-02) 91.497 (269-294) 3. Kristin Iwanaga (Cal, DI, 02-05) 88.750 (213-240) 4. Darlene Hildebrand (Philadelphia, DIII, 92-95) 88.511 (547-618)
LAWSON PROVES TO BE AMONG TOP NEWCOMERS
Freshman center Jessica Lawson has proven that she is one of the top freshmen in the Pac-10 this year. The native of Edgewood, Fla., is second on Cal in scoring at 10.8 ppg, which ranks 16th in the conference and second among all freshmen, behind Stanford's Candice Wiggins (17.0 ppg, 3rd). Lawson is second on Cal behind Leigh Gregory (15) with 14 double-digit scoring games in 2004-05. Lawson notched a career-high 19 points at Arizona Jan. 7 and matched that total in her second meeting with the Wildcats last Saturday. Her 52.4 field goal percentage is fifth in the Pac-10 and tops among all Pac-10 freshmen. Additionally, she leads Cal and is tied for sixth in the Pac-10 (second among freshmen) in blocked shots at 0.95 per game (21 total). Lawson's 21 blocks are the most by a Cal player in the last five years and at her current pace, she'll end the season with the most blocks by a Cal player since Ingrid Dixson had 34 in 1993-94. Away from the court, Lawson has won nine straight oratory contests in the state of Florida.
CAL'S SCORING AVERAGE BEST IN NINE YEARS
Cal ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 67.7 ppg - only 0.1 behind fifth-place USC (67.8) - after ranking seventh in 2003-04 at 64.7 ppg. The Bears look to post the program's best scoring average since the 1995-96 squad averaged 71.8 ppg. The Bears demonstrated the potency of their attack by posting 87 and 89 points, respectively, in their first two games of the season and have recorded 70 or more points nine times this year.
Cal Scoring Average Best in 9 Years 1994-95 75.6 1995-96 71.8 1996-97 60.6 1997-98 60.9 1998-99 62.3 1999-00 62.1 2000-01 64.6 2001-02 56.8 2002-03 57.6 2003-04 64.7 2004-05 67.7
WRIGHT SHINES AS SUPER SUB
After starting the first eight games of the season, junior forward Reneé Wright has excelled in her new role as super sub. Wright - one of three Cal players with Sacramento ties (Krista Foster and Jacqueline Sanchez) - is fifth on the team in scoring at a career-best 8.3 ppg. The Antelope, Calif., product has posted at least 16 points in three of the last seven games and is coming off a career-high 17 points at Washington Jan. 29 and season-best 10 rebounds vs. Arizona Saturday. She's also the team's third-best three-point shooter in terms of percentage at 35.9 (14-39). For her career, Wright ranks eighth in school history in three-point percentage at 34.1 (30-89). Wright has seen her free throw percentage climb to a career-best 80.4 percent after sinking 16 of her last 18 attempts.
POOL RANKS 4TH IN PAC-10 IN ASSISTS
Sophomore point guard Sarah Pool is making an impact after redshirting the 2003-04 season due to a back injury. Pool, who hails from Central Point, Ore., ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in assists at 4.09 per game and has dished off at least five assists eight times this season. Against TCU in November, Pool recorded a career-high 10 assists. She has 90 assists in 2004-05 after posting 76 during her 2002-03 freshman campaign. Pool also boasts the seventh-best assist/TO ratio (1.13) in the Pac-10 this year.
GERAEDTS STEPS UP IN WASHINGTON
After seeing a combined 24 minutes in her only six games of action prior to the Washington trip, sophomore center Emmelie Geraedts made the most of a combined 33 minutes of playing time at WSU Jan. 27 and Washington Jan. 29. Against the Cougars, the Dutch national team member had a then-season-high seven points and two rebounds in 13 minutes. Against the Huskies, she posted a career-high 10 points, two rebounds and a steal in a career-high 20 minutes on the court.
BEARS WIN 12TH STRAIGHT NON-PAC-10 HOME GAME
Cal rallied from two 11-point first-half deficits to defeat Hampton, 67-60, in its final non-conference game of the season Dec. 21. With the victory, the Golden Bears extended their home non-conference winning streak to 12, posting 6-0 marks each of the last two seasons. The last time Cal lost a home non-conference contest was against Colorado (66-47) Dec. 8, 2002.
BEAR BITS: Freshman guard Seda Erdogan will not dress for the Bears while her amateur status is in question...freshman guard Kelly O'Connell will redshirt this season due to a partial tendon tear in her right foot...she had surgery on Jan. 10...six different players have led the Bears in scoring this year (Gregory 7, Lawson 7, Iwanaga 5, Wright 4, Williams 2, Pool 1) and seven have led in rebounding (Lawson 8,Iwanaga 5 Gregory 4, Williams 2, Coakley 1, Foster 1, Pool 1, Wright 1)
Arizona State 76, Cal 59: The Bears trailed only 30-27 at halftime against the favored Sun Devils, but 25 Cal turnovers in the game was too much to overcome. Jessica Lawson (12), Renee Wright (12) and Leigh Gregory (11) all scored in double figures for the Bears, who were out-rebounded by a wide margin (34-to-27) by ASU. While Cal entered the game as the nation's No. 3 field goal percentage shooting team, it was Arizona State that dominated beyond the arc in this match-up. The Devils bombed in seven of 12 treys, including a 4-of-5 effort by guard Kylan Loney, while the Bears came up empty in four three-point attempts on the evening.
Cal 70, Arizona 61: Fueled by the inspiring inside play of freshman Jessica Lawson, the Golden Bears applied the brakes to an eight-game losing streak by posting an upset win over the visiting Wildcats. With Lawson corralling a career-high 12 rebounds and scoring 19 points (matching her all-time best), Cal overcame a 48-44 deficit in the final nine minutes of the game, making its last nine free throws down the stretch. The Bears out-boarded the taller Wildcats by a whopping 58-40 margin, as Renee Wright added a season-high 10 in only 23 minutes of action. Leigh Gregory (12) and Kristin Iwanaga (11) joined Lawson in scoring in double figures, but it was Kiki Williams who starred in the final half, scoring all of her nine points in the final eight minutes of the game.