Jan. 3, 2003
Up Next: Radio: KALX (90.7 FM) and on Calbears.com TV: none Sat. Jan. 4 at Georgia Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, GA 11:30 a.m. PT
ATHENS, Ga. -- A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Coming off back-to-back victories for the second time this season, Cal closes out its southern road trip and plays its final non-conference game at Georgia (8-4) Saturday, Jan. 4.
The Golden Bears are off to their best start since the 1999-2000 season when they also were 5-5 after 10 games. A win at Georgia would give the team its best start after 11 contests since the 1988-89 season when it also had six wins at the same point.
Close games are a regular occurrence for the Bears, who are 3-3 this year in games decided by 10 points or less, including each of their last two games.
Last weekend's victory against Arizona State, the 2002 Pac-10 Tournament Champion, gave the Bears their earliest conference triumph since also opening the 1997-98 league season with a 1-1 mark.
Sophomore forward Leigh Gregory leads a rejuvenated Cal offense in scoring (10.4 ppg) and rebounding (4.7 rpg). She has been the Bears' most consistent player this season, posting double-figure points in eight of 10 games, including each of the last four. She also grabbed a career-best nine rebounds in the win at Mercer.
Cal has many other capable scorers on this year's squad as depth is one of the team's strong points. Twelve players average at least 10 minutes per contest, and seven of them have led or tied for team-high scoring honors in at least one game.
Junior center Timea Ivanyi and junior guard Nihan Anaz and, both starters, are Cal's next highest scorers at 9.1 and 8.8 ppg, respectively. Off the bench, junior guard LaTasha O'Keith (5.4 ppg), sophomore guard/forward Jacqueline Sanchez (5.0 ppg), sophomore forward Kiki Williams (4.9 ppg) and have been the most explosive. O'Keith posted a career-high 18 points in the ASU win.
Cal's offense is up from 56.8 ppg last season to 61.2 ppg this year. The Bears' defense ranks among the Pac-10's best as it regularly does at 62.5 ppg, but there are areas, such as opponents' field goal percentages (44.8 on the year), that Horstmeyer feels need work. Gregory's hard work over the summer is also paying off on the defensive end, as she leads Cal with 13 steals after posting 21 as a freshman.