Jan. 31, 2012
Thursday, Feb. 2: California at Arizona, 6 pm Pacific Time
Live Audio Streaming: CalBears.com; Gametracker: CalBears.com
Saturday, Feb. 4: California at Arizona State, 1 pm Pacific Time
Live Audio Streaming: CalBears.com; Gametracker: CalBears.com
Live Video Streaming: TheSunDevils.com (paid premium service)
BERKELEY - The California Golden Bears (15-6, 6-3 Pac-12) try to remain in second place in the Pac-12 as they head to Arizona to take on the Arizona Wildcats (13-8, 2-7 Pac-12) on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. MT (6 p.m. PT) in Tucson. The Bears close out the trip on Saturday, Feb. 4 when they face the Arizona State Sun Devils (15-5, 6-3 Pac-12) at 2 p.m. MT (1 p.m. PT) in Tempe. This will be the only regular-season meeting this year between the Bears and the Arizona teams. The Bears had a six-game win streak snapped in their 74-71 overtime loss against No. 4 Stanford. Though the Bears now have four losses this season to teams ranked in the top-25, the Bears have lost those four games by a combined nine points.
The Bears scored 71 points in the Stanford game, the second-most scored against the Cardinal this season with only the Tennessee Volunteer's managing to score more (80).
Despite snapping the streak of 20 consecutive games outrebounding their opponents with Stanford winning the battle of the boards, 51-47, the Bears remained in second place among all 336 NCAA Division I teams, averaging 15.1 more rebounds per game than their opponents. Liberty continues to lead the nation with a 16.0 margin.
Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon is ranked tenth in the nation in rebounding, pulling in 10.9 rebounds per game.
Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd had a career game against Stanford, scoring 19 points. Boyd has scored in double digits in five of her last six games. She has raised her scoring average a point and a half from 7.8 after the Oregon State game to her current 9.3 points per game average.
Junior guard Layshia Clarendon has scored in double digits in four of her last five games with her largest point total of the season (18 at Colorado) and her second highest (17 at Stanford) coming in that span.
The Bears come into the week tied with Arizona State for second place in the Pac-12 standings as they begin the second half of the Pac-12 season. The Bears open the road trip at Arizona. The Bears have won 11 consecutive contests against the Wildcats with all but two of the games in that stretch having been decided by at least ten points. Cal's last loss against the Wildcats was a 80-76 decision in Berkeley on Jan. 22, 2005.
* Layshia Clarendon has scored in double digits in every game away from Haas Pavilion this season except the season-opener at Rutgers. She has averaged 15.2 ppg in her last four road contests. She scored a season-high 18 points at Colorado and 17 points, her second-highest tally of the season, at Stanford
* Gennifer Brandon had three double doubles in her last six games.
* Brittany Boyd, in her last two games, has 28 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists, and seven steals
1,000 Point Club Layshia Clarendon became the 22nd member of the California Golden Bear 1,000 Point Club on her first field goal attempt of the game at Stanford. Clarendon hit a jumper 20 seconds into the game to give her 1,001 career points. By the end of the contest, she had scored 17 points to give her 1,016 in her career, and move her up to No. 21 on the career scoring list.
Down But Not Out The Bears trailed the Stanford Cardinal by 14, 61-47, with 8:17 remaining in the game. Layshia Clarendon tied the game, 69-69, on a pair of free throws with 27 seconds remaining in the game, capping a 22-8 run. It was not the first time that the Bears erased, or nearly erased, a large deficit this season.
The Bears trailed by as many as 12 points to Colorado. The Bears closed out that game on a 17-0 run and won 68-55.
Cal set the precedent in the season-opener at Rutgers. Trailing by 12, 65-53 with 4:40 left in the game, the Bears pulled to within two, 72-70, with 38 seconds remaining. The Bears eventually fell 73-70.
Against Ohio State, Cal was down by 14, 72-58, with 5:21 left in the game. The Bears pulled to within two, 77-75, with 42 seconds remaining. The Bears took three shot attempts in the final two seconds to try to tie, but couldn't get the ball into the hoop.
Cal managed to erase a 16-point deficit in the first half of the USC game. Cal trailed 26-10 with 9:30 left in the first half. The Bears took the lead, 33-32, with 18:14 left in the game. USC went on a run of their own to finish with a 74-54 victory in that game.
Late Bloomers Layshia Clarendon scored 17 points against Stanford. She had just four points at halftime in that game. She scored 13 in the second half and two in overtime. Against Washington State, Layshia Clarendon scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half.
In the 63-56 victory at Utah, both Gennifer Brandon and Reshanda Gray scored all of their points in the second half. Brandon scored 15 points in 17 minutes on the floor after halftime. Gray scored 11 in 13 minutes. The Bears also doubled their productivity in the second half, scoring twice as many points (42 vs. 21 first half points) and almost doubling their shooting percentage (29.4 percent in the first half and 59.1 in the second half).
Against Washington, Talia Caldwell scored 14 of her 18 points in the second half. Boyd scored 10 of her 14 points after the break.
Racking Up Points The Bears have moved up to third in the Pac-12 in scoring, averaging 70.4 points per game, trailing only the Stanford Cardinal and Oregon Ducks. Last season, the Bears averaged 62.9 points per game. The last time the Bears averaged more than 70 points per game in a season was the 1995-96 campaign, a year in which opponents averaged 81.3 ppg. This year, the opposition is putting up just 58.7 ppg. Last year, Cal opponents scored 60.7 points per contest.
Sister Sister One of the most anticipated match-ups of the season will be happening on Saturday at ASU. Cal's No. 25 (Gennifer Brandon) will be squaring off against Arizona State's No. 25 (Kimberly Brandon). This will be the fourth and final time the two Brandon sisters will play against one another (unless the two teams meet in the Pac-12 Tournament) with Kim finishing her senior season at ASU.
Kimberly Brandon leads the Sun Devils in scoring, averaging 11.2 points per game (19th in the Pac-12) while Gennifer Brandon averages 9.6 points per game (25th in the Pac-12). The younger Brandon, Gennifer, wins the rebounding war, averaging 10.9 rebounds per game (2nd in the Pac-12, 10th in the NCAA) while the elder Brandon, Kim, averages 7.2 rebounds (11th in the Pac-12).
The Brandons faced one another three times during Gennifer's freshman year. ASU swept the regular season games but the Bears took out the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 Tournament. Gennifer Brandon won the statistical Battle of the Brandons scoring 32 points (10.7 per game), 23 rebounds (7.7 rebounds), with seven blocks, one of which came on a shot by Kim. Kimberly Brandon scored 14 points (4.7 per game) with 10 rebounds (3.3 per game), two steals (neither of which was against Gennifer) and two assists.
Lights Out Talia Caldwell has shot 50 percent or better in each of her last six games. Caldwell went 8-for-10 against Washington and 5-for-6 against Washington State, finishing the week with a 81.2 shooting percentage. She went 3-for-6 against Washington State. Caldwell has moved up to sixth in the conference with a 54.3 shooting percentage. In conference games, there are only two players in the conference with better shooting percentages, Chiney Ogwumike and Colorado's Julie Seabrook.
Nine Points The Bears are now 1-4 this season against ranked teams but the Bears four losses against top-25 teams were by a combined nine points (lost by three to No. 16 Rutgers, one to No. 24 Texas, two to No. 12 Ohio State, and three to No. 4 Stanford.). Cal defeated No. 22 Virginia, 59-50, a nine point margin of victory. ppg) and have had an opponent outscore them in the paint only three times this season.
Rebounding Margin The Bears remain the second-best team in the country in terms of rebounding margin with 15.1 more rebounds per game than their opponents. Liberty has overtaken the Bears as the top team in the nation in rebounding with a +16.0 mark.
The Bears have outrebounded their opponents by double digits in 14 games this season and have five games with a 20-or-more rebound differential including besting CSU Bakersfield by 36 (60-24) and the 63-26 (37) differential against Oregon.
The Bears outrebounded their opponents in the first 20 games of the season. Last season, Cal had 23 games in which they outrebounded their opponents and finished the year averaging 5.6 more rebounds per game.
Gennifer Brandon Redshirt sophomore froward Gennifer Brandon paces the Bears at 10.9 rebounds per game, 10th in the nation and remaining at second in the Pac-12. She only has one game this season in which she has pulled in fewer than seven rebounds (2, in 16 minutes at Hawai'i).
Rookie Report Pt. I Freshman forward Reshanda Gray began her career with five consecutive games scoring in double digits. She scored 15 points in 17 minutes against Oregon State. She had previously scored 15 in 16 minutes against Sac State, and 16 in 18 minutes at Hawai'i. Her most impressive performance was 23 points in 17 minutes against UNLV.
Gray's scored 11 points in 13 second-half minutes against Utah.
Rookie Report Pt. 2 Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd is third in the Pac-12, averaging 4.6 assists per game while averaging just 23.8 minutes per game. She has 10 games this season with five or more assists. She is the only freshman in the top-10 in the conference in assists.
Boyd also ranks sixth with 2.2 steals per game, one of two freshmen in the top-10 in that category. She also ranks sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.3, the only freshman in the top-10 for that stat.
Play 4Kay For 2012 and beyond, the WBCA Pink Zone has been rebranded as Play 4Kay. The mission of the initiative, which was brought to life in 2007, will remain intact: a nation of coaches raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund will continue to be the official charity of the initiative.
This Saturday's game at ASU will be a pink game. For Cal fans looking to participate in the month-long promotion, Cal's home game on Saturday, Feb. 25 against Colorado will be the designated Pink Game. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game. There will also be auctions and other opportunities for fans to make a financial contribution to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women's cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved and unifying people for a common cause.
Kay Yow, the fund's namesake, was the head coach of the NC State Wolfpack women's basketball team from 1975 to 2009. A member of the Naismith Hall of Fame, she had more than 700 career wins. She also coached the U.S. women's basketball team to an Olympic gold medal in 1988 despite having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. She passed away on January 24, 2009, after facing her third bout with the disease.
We Assist, You Assist California women's basketball has announced that Team Up For Youth and the Coaching Corps program will be the focus of this season's We Assist, You Assist campaign. Fans are encouraged to pledge money, from pennies to dollars, for each assist tallied by the Bears this season. So far this year, the Bears have 290 assists, averaging 13.8 per game.
Coaching Corps is a program that pairs trained volunteer coaches with kids in low-income communities so that all children have the powerful experiences of playing and learning, winning and losing, and through it all, discovering their best selves. Dedicated college students serve as volunteer coaches and role models for kids in after school programs in under served communities.
Coaching Corps harnesses the energy and passion of young adults to help kids in low-income communities. The goal is to help kids do better in school, have higher self-esteem, stay away from drugs and alcohol, and create a healthy and active lifestyle that lasts their entire lives.