Game #16 No. 15/15 California (12-3, 4-0) at No. 19/24 Arizona State (14-2, 3-1) Wells Fargo Arena • Tempe, Ariz. Friday, Jan. 17 • 10 a.m. PT Series Record: Cal leads, 32-30 Last: Cal 76, ASU 53 (February 8, 2013 in Berkeley) TV: None Live Stream: Pac-12 Digital
BERKELEY – No. 15/15 California takes on its second top 20 opponent on the road in as many weeks when the Golden Bears travel to face No. 19/24 Arizona State Friday morning at Wells Fargo Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 10 a.m. (PT) as part of ‘Sparky’s Kids To College Field Trip Day’. The game will be streamed live on TheSunDevils.com.
The Golden Bears (12-3, 4-0 Pac-12) are coming off a successful road trip to the mountains where the team defeated No. 17 Colorado (57-55) in Boulder and knocked off Utah (68-59) in Salt Lake City to move to 4-0 in conference play.
Winners of five straight, California will look to improve to 5-0 in Pac-10/12 play for the first time since the 2008-09 team rattled off 11 straight conference victories. Since California joined the Pac-10/12 in the 1986-87 season, only twice have the Bears began the year with a 5-0 conference record: 2007-08 (eight straight wins) and 2008-09 (11 straight wins).
Cal has won three consecutive games against the Sun Devils (14-2, 3-1 Pac-12), including last year’s 66-53 victory in Berkeley and a 67-62 win in Tempe in Lindsay Gottlieb’s first season.
A CALIFORNIA WIN OVER ARIZONA STATE WOULD: * Improve California’s regular season Pac-12 winning streak to 20 games, dating back to a 67-55 win over Stanford at Maples Pavilion on January 13, 2013 - the longest active in the conference. * Continue Lindsay Gottlieb’s perfection against Pac-12 schools outside the state of California in regular season and postseason games * Keep the Bears tied atop the conference standings at 5-0 in Pac-12 play * Make this the third California team to start Pac-10/12 play with a 5-0 record * Move Lindsay Gottlieb to 35-6 in ALL Pac-12 regular season games at California * Move Lindsay Gottlieb to 16-4 in AWAY Pac-12 regular season games at California
A LOOK AT NO. 19/24 ARIZONA STATE (14-2, 3-1 PAC-12): Arizona State enters the weekend with a 3-1 record in conference play after opening with a loss at Washington State before bouncing back with wins against Washington, USC and UCLA. The Sun Devils, who also boast a 94-81 win over No. 9 North Carolina, use a balanced offense to win games, led by senior Deja Mann’s 11.6 points per game. Seven players average between 7.3 and 11.6 points per game for Arizona State, and freshman Sophie Brunner is the leading rebounder at 6.5 boards per game.
CALIFORNIA-ASU SERIES HISTORY: California leads the all-time series 32-30 and holds a three-game winning streak in the series. The Bears knocked off Arizona State 67-62 in Berkeley last season and also won a 67-62 decision in Cal’s last trip to Tempe in the 2011-12 season. Arizona State’s last victory was a 45-44 thriller in Tempe on February 5, 2011.
GAME RECAP (Cal 68, Utah 59): Brittany Boyd scored 24 points to go with a team-high seven rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead No. 19 California to a 68-59 victory over Utah. The Bears remain unbeaten in Pac-12 play and were bolstered by a 13-of-17 effort from the free throw – setting a new high for the Lindsay Gottlieb era. Reshanda Gray added 15 points as California led for all but 1:57 of the game.
ANATOMY OF A STREAK: California is in the midst of a conference-best 19-game Pac-12 regular season winning streak, dating back to a 67-55 win over Stanford at Maples Pavilion on January 13, 2013 that coincidentally ended Stanford’s 81-game conference winning streak.
GOTTLIEB VS THE PAC-12: California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb has solidified her mark as one of the sport’s brightest young coaches since taking over the California women’s basketball program prior to the 2011-12 season. Gottlieb has been a perfect 30-0 against Pac-12 schools not from the state of California and will look to make it 31-0 with a win against Arizona State. In the streak, she has the most victories of her victories against Oregon, Oregon State, Colorado and Utah at five wins each.
GIVE IT TO GRAY: Junior forward Reshanda Gray currently is second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at .604 through 15 games and ranks 11th nationally in the category. 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.
RPI: The second RPI report of the 2013-14 season was released with California No. 12 in the overall rating, an increase of two spots from the first report. The Bears have played or are scheduled to play 14 teams in the RPI top 100, and Cal is currently 6-3 against top 100 RPI teams. Additionally, the Bears are the only team in the country to have each of the top three RPI teams (1 Stanford, 2 Duke, 3 UConn) on their schedule.
GENNIFER BRANDON RETURNS TO ACTION: Senior Gennifer Brandon returned to action against Oregon after missing California’s last 10 games since playing nine minutes against then-No. 2 Duke on Nov. 10. Despite two months out of game action, Brandon scored nine points with eight rebounds in 22 minutes - in the process becoming the 24th Golden Bear to score 1,000 career points.
BOYD’S THEFTS: Junior Brittany Boyd has always been on track to take over the California record for career steals after already holding the single-game record of 10 thefts - a feat she has achieved twice in her first two seasons. Boyd is currently just 66 steals shy of tying Mazetta Grant’s Cal record of 295, and the Berkeley native is well on her way with an average of 3.5 steals per game that ranks No. 2 in the NCAA this season.
BOYD APPROACHES HER OWN MARKS: Junior Brittany Boyd cracked the California top-10 list for steals after her nine-steal effort at Georgetown, and her eight-assist effort against Idaho pushed her into the top-10 list in assists. Boyd currently sits sixth on the steals list at 233 and is fourth on the assists list at 404. With a season and a half still remaining, Boyd has a shot to become just the second Golden Bear to sit in the top five in both categories (Mazetta Grant - No. 2 in assists at 521 and No. 1 in steals at 295 from 1979-84.)