Feb. 2, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
Maintaining a one-game lead for first place in the Pac-10 after beating UCLA, 67-53, No. 10/9 California (18-3, 9-1, 1st) hosts USC (13-8, 6-4, T4th) Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Saturday is the second of four Cal Kids' Days. Admission is $1 for all youth 12th grade and under, and fun activities are scheduled for outside Haas Pavilion beginning at 12:30 p.m. The first 500 fans will receive a 2007-08 Cal basketball autograph book.
After sweeping the season series with UCLA for the first time since 2000-01, Cal looks to win its sixth straight game over USC and by doing so record the Bears first-ever four-game sweep of the Southern California schools.
At 18-3, Cal has surpassed the 1983-84 Bears (17-4) for the best record through 21 games in school history. Cal is 10-0 overall at home this season (5-0 Pac-10) and boasts a 13-game home-winning streak, dating back to last season. The Bears outscore their opponents 69.9 to 49.3 (+20.6 ppg) at home.
Cal is in pursuit of its first-ever Pac-10 title in women's basketball. The Bears, at 9-1, hold a one-game lead over both Stanford and Arizona State, which are 8-2. The Bears won NorPac titles in 1980-81 and 1981-82. Defense has fueled Cal's rise to the top this season, as the Bears are first in the Pac-10 in scoring defense (54.0 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (34.4) with school-record marks in both categories.
Led by juniors Ashley Walker (F/C), Alexis Gray-Lawson (G) and Devanei Hampton (C), Cal's offense ranks third in the conference at 67.0 ppg. Walker ranks in the top five in the conference in seven statistical categories, including scoring (16.4 ppg, 2nd), rebounding (9.4 rpg, 1st) and blocks (1.57 bpg, 2nd), and tops the Pac-10 with 10 double-doubles. Gray-Lawson is second on the team in scoring at 12.5 ppg and leads the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (46.2%). Hampton, who averages 12.3 ppg and 6.8 rpg, narrowly missed her third double-double of the season vs. UCLA.
Rounding out Cal's starters are sophomore guards Natasha Vital and Lauren Greif. After tallying a season-high 18 points vs. UCLA Jan. 6, Vital followed that up with 16 points and a career-high seven boards against the Bruins Jan. 31. Greif, who shoots 36.7 percent from beyond the arc, has helped Cal post the best three-point shooting percentage in the Pac-10 at 38.1 percent.