Jan. 22, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. -
Sat., Jan. 26 at Stanford Maples Pavilion, Stanford, CA 2:00 p.m. Radio: 90.7 FM TV: Fox Sports Net (Jim Watson - pxp and Mary Murphy - color)A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Riding a nine-game winning streak, No. 8/8 California (17-2, 8-0 Pac-10, 1st) faces No. 7/7 Stanford (16-3, 6-2 Pac-10, 2nd) Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. at Maples Pavilion. This marks the first time in the history of the rivalry that the teams will face each other both ranked in the top 10 in the polls.
Cal defeated Stanford at Maples Pavilion, 72-57, last season in the last meeting of the Battle of the Bay - a phrase both schools' marketing departments are utilizing to describe the series beginning this year.
At 17-2, Cal has matched the 1983-84 Bears for the best record in school history through 19 games. A win over Stanford will give this year's Cal team the program's new standard through 20 games and tie the school's longest winning streak at 10 and establish a new Pac-10-record winning streak at 9.
The Bears are also looking to win the Pac-10 title for the first time in school history. Last season, Cal finished an all-time best of third and tied the 1991-92 Bears for the best Pac-10 mark at 12-6.
Cal is led by a trio of preseason junior All-America candidates in Devanei Hampton (F/C), Ashley Walker (F/C) and Alexis Gray-Lawson (G). Hampton leads Cal in scoring in Pac-10 games at 15.0 ppg (13.5 ppg overall) after registering a career-high 28 points in the Bears' win at No. 25 Arizona State last week.
Walker ranks in the top five in the Pac-10 in seven statistical categories in terms of overall stats, including first in rebounding (9.6 rpg) and third in scoring (16.6 ppg). Gray-Lawson tops the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage at 45.7 percent after sinking a career-high five treys (5-6) at Arizona and is third on the team in scoring (12.6 ppg, 9th Pac-10).
As a team, Cal ranks in the top three in the conference in 14 of 19 categories, including first in scoring defense (53.1 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (34.0%). The Bears rank seventh nationally for scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.
Cal ranks third in the Pac-10 in scoring at 67.8 pgg and leads the conference in three-point field goal percentage (37.9%). Sophomore guard Lauren Greif ranks sixth in that category at 39.7 percent. Sophomore point guard Natasha Vital is also capable of hitting from long range, shooting 31.7 percent after hitting 3-of-4 vs. the Wildcats. Vital paces Cal and ranks sixth in the league in assists (3.58 apg).
Senior Krista Foster, junior Shantrell Sneed, sophomore Rama N'diaye and freshmen Kelsey Adrian and Rachelle Federico form a solid bench for Cal. N'diaye, who has made 12 starts this season, grabbed nine rebounds as a reserve at Arizona.