Dec. 29, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
Sun., Dec. 30 Cal (10-2, 1-0 Pac-10) vs. Washington State (3-9, 0-1 Pac-10) Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m. Radio: 90.7 FM/linked on CalBears.com TV: None
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Fresh off a 66-40 win over Washington in its Pac-10 opener, No. 11/11 California (10-2, 1-0 Pac-10) closes out the weekend at home against Washington State (3-9, 0-1 Pac-10) Sunday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Sunday is Cal faculty and staff appreciation day, and Devanei Hampton enters the game only 10 points shy of 1000 for her career.
At 10-2, Cal has equaled the program's best record through 12 games since the 1991-92 team posted the same record. That year, the Bears opened at 14-2 before suffering another loss in game 17.
Cal is ranked No. 11 by the Associated Press and in the USA Today-ESPN coaches' poll, signifying the school's best-ever rankings in both polls. Washington State is coming off a 105-47 setback against No. 2 Stanford Dec. 28. Cal holds a 29-19 series lead over Washington State and has won five straight games over the Cougars.
Cal began the week among the top two teams in the Pac-10 in eight statistical categories. The Bears likely still hold top honors in scoring defense (54.1 ppg, school record), field goal percentage defense (34.9%, school record), rebounding defense (31.6 rpg, school record) and rebounding margin (+10.1 rpg, school record).
Junior forward Ashley Walker (Naismith Trophy candidate) and Alexis Gray-Lawson lead Cal in scoring at 17.7 ppg and 12.5 ppg, respectively. Gray-Lawson paces Cal in three-point field goals made (24) and three-point field goal percentage (48.0).
Gray-Lawson showed her pre-ACL tear quickness in the win over Kansas Dec. 21, pacing the Bears with a season-high 25 points, and had 12 points vs. Washington as one of four double-digit scorers for the Bears.
Sophomore center Rama N'diaye has done an excellent job starting in place of Hampton, who has missed nine of 12 games this season after knee surgery Nov. 9. The 2006-07 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Hampton made her home debut against Washington, posting 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. N'diaye averages 9.8 ppg and 8.5 rpg.
Sophomore guards Lauren Greif and Natasha Vital complete the starting lineup. Greif tallied 10 points and led Cal with nine rebounds against the Jayhawks, and Vital added a season-high 14 points in that game. Greif averages 7.9 ppg and 4.4 rpg and has led Cal in rebounding in two of the last three games. Vital contributes 6.6 ppg and a team-high 3.8 apg.
Senior forward Krista Foster, junior forward Shantrell Sneed and freshman forward/guard Kelsey Adrian have been Cal's main contributors off of the bench until Hampton returned to the lineup as a reserve against Princeton Dec. 8. Foster had a career-high eight rebounds vs. Kansas, and she and Sneed grabbed four rebounds each vs. Washington.