No. 23/22 California (7-3) vs. Lafayette (6-4)
Haas Pavilion • Berkeley, Calif.
Sunday, Dec. 29 • 2 p.m. PT
Series Record: First Meeting
BERKELEY – No. 23/22 California concludes the non-conference portion of the season Sunday afternoon when the Lafayette Leopards visit Haas Pavilion. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. in what will be the first meeting between the two teams.
California enters the matchup 7-3 overall with a 4-1 record at Haas Pavilion. The Bears have won their non-conference finale each of the last 11 seasons, dating back to a 69-60 victory over Mercer in the 2002-03 season.
Lafayette stands at 6-4 on the year after dropping their last two games to Stony Brook (71-61) and St. Francis (74-52).
A CALIFORNIA WIN WOULD:
* End California’s slide at just one game after dropping an 80-47 game to No. 1 UConn the last time out
* Move the Bears to 1-0 in the all-time series against Lafayette
* Improve the Bears to 5-1 at Haas Pavilion
* Improve the Bears to 8-1 against unranked opponents this season
GAME RECAP (UConn 80, Cal 47): Top-ranked UConn won its 18th consecutive game to put away No. 21/20 California in the marquee matchup of the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Bears were one of the few teams in the country during the streak to sit within seven points of the Huskies (29-16) at the final media timeout of the first half, but UConn ran away with the game behind Brianna Stewart’s 29 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Hind Ben Abdelkader and junior Brittany Boyd led the Bears with nine points each. Boyd also added seven rebounds, five assists and six steals – the only individual to record six steals against the Huskies this season – while Ben Abdelkader shined while making her first career start at the world’s most famous arena. As a team, California blocked six shots – the most of the season – and forced 16 Connecticut turnovers in front of 5,468 fans. Junior Kyra Dunn made her first appearance as a Golden Bear and blocked two shots in the game.
GIVE IT TO GRAY: Junior forward Reshanda Gray currently is second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at .625 through 10 games and ranks ninth nationally in the category. Gray is currently 60-of-96 shooting. Gray’s production will be a note to watch throughout the season with the California single-season record currently set at .624 (78-of-125) by Sophie von Saldern in the 1992-93 season.
BEN ABDELKADER EARNS FIRST START: Freshman Hind Ben Abdelkader earned her first career start at the most famous arena in the world against one of the most storied programs in women’s basketball history. The Belgian started against top-ranked UConn and proceeded to lead the Bears in scoring with nine points.
DUNN IMPRESSES IN DEBUT: Junior forward Kyra Dunn made her Golden Bear debut against UConn at Madison Square Garden and did not disappoint with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks in 17 minutes of action. A transfer from Pittsburgh, Dunn averaged 5.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game at Pitt in 2011-12. She led Pitt with 36 blocks as a sophomore in 2011-12 and had at least two blocks in nine games.