Game #21 No. 21/19 California (14-6, 6-3 Pac-12) vs No. 4/4 Stanford (20-1, 9-0 Pac-12) Haas Pavilion • Berkeley, Calif. Sunday, Feb. 2 • 1 p.m. PT Series Record: Stanford leads, 62-18 Last: Stanford 70, California 64 (Jan. 30, 2014 in Palo Alto) TV: ESPN2 (Brenda VanLengen pxp, LaChina Robinson analyst)
BERKELEY – The “Battle of the Bay” Part II will be held Sunday, Feb. 2 with No. 21/19 California looking to even the season series with No. 4/4 Stanford after dropping a 70-64 final Thursday night.
Tip-off between the Bears (14-6, 6-3 Pac-12) and Cardinal (20-1, 9-0 Pac-12) is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT and will air live on ESPN2 with Brenda VanLengen (play-by-play) and LaChina Robinson (analyst) on the call.
The two teams played an unexpected thriller Thursday night in Maples. Stanford led by as many as 30 points (59-29) with just 13:35 remaining in the second half, but the Bears ignited on a furious rally to cut the deficit down to just five points (69-64) with 17 seconds remaining before Stanford took the 70-64 win.
PROMOTIONS * Receive $1 admission by wearing a Marshawn Lynch jersey, bringing a Super Bowl themed sign or showing a ticket stub from Saturday night’s California-Arizona men’s basketball game. * KIDS DAY! All youth receive free admission
A CALIFORNIA WIN OVER STANFORD WOULD: * Be California’s first win over Stanford at Haas Pavilion since a 57-54 victory on Jan. 18, 2009 - led by Alexis Gray-Lawson’s 37 points, the most by a Golden Bear against Stanford in program history. * End Stanford’s conference-best 26-game winning streak against Pac-12 foes (regular season and postseason) - the last loss coming at the hands of California at Maples Pavilion * Be the second win over an AP Top 5 program in Lindsay Gottlieb’s tenure * Be California’s second win over a ranked opponent this season * Prevent California from dropping back-to-back conference games for the first time since falling to UCLA (60-55, Dec. 29, 2011) and USC (74-54, Dec. 31, 2011) in the 2011-12 season. * Move Lindsay Gottlieb to 37-9 in ALL Pac-12 regular season games at California
CALIFORNIA-STANFORD SERIES HISTORY: Stanford leads the all-time series 62-18 and hold a 26-11 advantage in Berkeley. The teams split the 2012-13 season series with Stanford claiming a 62-53 win in Berkeley and California taking a 67-55 win at Maples Pavilion to end Stanford’s 81-game conference winning streak. Three of Cal’s last four wins over Stanford have come at Maples (2000-01, 2006-07, 2012-13). California’s last two-game season sweep over the Cardinal came in the 1981-82 season when the Bears took an 80-69 win in Palo Alto and a 96-65 win in Berkeley. Those two victories came in the middle of a program-best six-game winning streak over the Cardinal stretching from 1980-81 to 1984-85.
GAME RECAP (Stanford 70, California 64): California rallied from 30 points down (59-29) with 13:35 to go in the second half and fell just shy of completing one of the biggest comebacks in NCAA history after dropping a 70-64 final at No. 4 Stanford. Brittany Boyd scored a season-high 25 and Afure Jemerigbe had a career-high 18.
THE 1,000 CLUB: Earlier this season, Gennifer Brandon became the 24th (vs Oregon) and Brittany Boyd (at ASU) became the 25th members of the California 1,000-point club. Junior Reshanda Gray (969 pts) is just 31 points shy of becoming the 26th member of the club, and with an average of 17 points per game is on pace to break the barrier in one of this week’s two matchups against the Cardinal. Once Gray hits the plateau, California will be the only team in the Pac-12 with three 1,000-point scorers on their current roster. The last time the Bears had three concurrent 1,000-point scorers was at the end of the 2009 season when Alexis Gray-Lawson, Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton all were at the mark.
CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: Sunday’s meeting against No. 4 Stanford marks the fourth game for California against an AP Top 4 team this season. No other team in the country has played as many games at this point against teams currently in the AP Top 4. The Bears played No. 1 Connecticut in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden, No. 2 Duke in the season-opening weekend at Haas Pavilion, and back-to-back games against No. 4 Stanford this week.
GOLDEN BEAR REDEMPTION: Reshanda Gray was held scoreless for just the second time in her career after going 0-for-3 at Stanford Thursday - coincidentally mirroring her previous scoreless effort which was an 0-for-3 game at Stanford last season. Gray will look to follow the example set by teammate Brittany Boyd earlier this season. Against Northwestern, Boyd was held scoreless for the first time in her career after going 0-for-5 with three rebounds, two assists and 1 steal before fouling out in 14 minutes of play. Boyd bounced back from that outing to win the Nugget Classic Tournament MVP honors by averaging 14 points, 5.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in wins against Wake Forest and Idaho.
BEARS FINDING THEIR STROKE: Cal began the season with an offensive output towards the lower end of the conference and as a result on the season are averaging 68.8 points (8th in Pac-12) while shooting .392 from the field (9th), .251 from beyond the arc (12th) and .670 from the free throw line (7th). However, since the start of conference play, the Bears have been one of the league’s better-shooting teams. In Pac-12 play, Cal is averaging 71.0 points per game (3rd) while shooting .418 (3rd), .289 (10th) and .671 (6th), respectively.
JEMERIGBE’S JUMPER: Senior Afure Jemerigbe has been an improved scorer for the Golden Bears this season and has been one of the most clutch performers for Cal since the start of Pac-12 play. Against Colorado, Jemerigbe hit the game-winning field goal with six seconds remaining, and the Stockton native scored 16 points at Arizona State Friday with Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray in foul trouble. Last week against USC, Jemerigbe matched her then-career-high with 17 points before upping it with 18 against Stanford Thursday night.
SIGNEES COWLING AND GREEN NAMED MCDONALDS ALL-AMERICANS: Wednesday brought good news about the future of the California program with signees Mikayla Cowling (Benecia, Calif. / 6-2 / Winger) and Gabby Green (Oakland, Calif. / 6-1 / Guard) both named McDonald’s All-Americans. Cowling and Green of St. Mary’s in Berkeley are the only high school teammates to earn the prestigious honor this season. Twenty-four girls were selected Wednesday for the game that will take place April 2 at the United Center in Chicago, and California was one of six programs with at least two selections.