Game #26 No. 18/19 California (18-7, 10-4) at UCLA (12-14, 6-8) Pauley Pavilion • Los Angeles, Calif. Friday, Feb. 21 • 8 p.m. PT Series Record: UCLA leads, 47-18 Last: Cal 69, UCLA 53 (Jan. 26, 2014 in Berkeley) TV: Pac-12 Networks (Anne Marie Anderson pxp, Tammy Blackburn analyst)
BERKELEY – Four games remain in the regular season, and No. 18/19 California travels to Los Angeles this weekend for a pair of games that will help decide the Pac-12 Tournament race.
The Bears begin the weekend by taking on UCLA Friday night at Pauley Pavilion. Tip-off between the Bears (18-7, 10-4 Pac-12) and Bruins (12-14, 6-8 Pac-12) is scheduled for 8 p.m. PT and will air live on the Pac-12 Networks with Anne Marie Anderson (play-by-play) and Tammy Blackburn (analyst) on the call.
California is riding a four-game winning streak and sits alone in second place in the Pac-12 standings after defeating then-No. 15 Arizona State Sunday afternoon. The Bruins have dropped five of their last seven games and sit eighth in the conference standings, but the team recently defeated Oregon 103-83 in Eugene.
A CALIFORNIA WIN OVER UCLA WOULD: * Keep California second in the Pac-12 standings at 11-4 * Improve Lindsay Gottlieb to 5-2 against UCLA as the head coach of California. * Move Lindsay Gottlieb to 9-11 against California-based Pac-12 schools in her tenure. * Move Lindsay Gottlieb to 41-10 in ALL Pac-12 regular season games at California
A LOOK AT UCLA (12-14, 6-8 Pac-12): UCLA enters Friday night eighth in the Pac-12 at 6-8 after Monday’s 103-83 victory at Oregon. The Bruins are led by the trio of Atonye Nyingifa (19ppg, 9rpg), Nirra Fields (17ppg, 6.3rpg) and Thea Lemberger (15.2ppg).
CALIFORNIA-UCLA SERIES HISTORY: UCLA leads the all-time series 47-18. Lindsay Gottlieb is 4-2 against the Bruins in her tenure, including four consecutive regular season matchups against the Bruins. The Bears have won six games in Los Angeles in program history, including last year’s 79-51 win over No. 15 UCLA. The last time California won in Los Angeles in back-to-back meetings was when the Bears claimed a 61-53 win LA in the 1999-00 season followed by a 58-57 win in LA in the 2000-01 season.
LAST MEETING (California 69, UCLA 53): Reshanda Gray scored 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in No. 19/16 California’s 69-53 win over UCLA. Her 32 points were one shy of her career-high of 33 set against Oregon earlier this season, and her 15 rebounds and two steals were both career-highs for the forward. Brittany Boyd had another typical triple-threat night with 18 points, five rebounds and six assists while adding three steals.
BOYD FIGHTS THROUGH ANKLE INJURY: Brittany Boyd left last Friday’s game against Arizona with 14:29 remaining after injuring her ankle when running into a screen. The Bears led 54-32 at the time, and Mercedes Jefflo helped take over point guard duties as the Bears rolled to a 65-49 victory. In Sunday’s win over No. 15 Arizona State, Boyd returned to action and started for the Bears, scoring 21 points to go with 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
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 is 35-1 against Pac-12 schools not from the state of California and is 8-11 against California-based Pac-12 schools in regular season and postseason action.
RPI: The seventh RPI report of the 2013-14 season was released with California holding steady at No. 18 in the overall rating. The Bears have played or are scheduled to play 23 teams in the RPI top 100, and Cal is currently 12-7 against top 100 RPI teams. Additionally, the Bears are the only team in the country to have three of the top four RPI teams (2 UConn, 3 Stanford, 4 Duke) on their schedule.
BRANDON BACK TO FORM: Senior Gennifer Brandon returned to action against Oregon after missing 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. After shaking off the two-months off rust, Brandon has returned to her All-American form beginning with Cal’s game against USC on Jan. 24. In California’s eight games since Brandon reclaimed her All-American form, the senior is averaging 10.1 points and 10.8 rebounds while shooting .403 from the field.
CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: Cal’s meeting against No. 4 Stanford marked the fourth game for California against an AP Top 7 team this season. No other team in the country has played as many games at this point against teams currently in the AP Top 7. The Bears played No. 1 Connecticut in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden, back-to-back games against No. 5 Stanford and No. 7 Duke in the season-opening weekend at Haas Pavilion.
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 with Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray in foul trouble. Against USC, Jemerigbe matched her then-career-high with 17 points before upping it with 18 against Stanford and matching the 18 at Washington State. In Cal’s victory over No. 15 Arizona State, Jemerigbe hit a new career-high and led all scorers with 23 points - 15 coming in the first half.
BEARS RISE PAC-12 ALL-TIME RECORD BOOKS: California’s Gennifer Brandon and Brittany Boyd are steadily rising up the Pac-12 all-time record books. With 1153 career rebounds, Brandon is just 15 shy of matching Tina Thompson (USC) for 7th all-time and 61 shy of Lisa Leslie (USC, 1991-94) for fifth all-time. Boyd is steadily approaching the top 10 lists for career steals. With 257 career thefts, Boyd is 17 shy of matching Nicole Anderson (UCLA, 1990-93) for 10th all-time and 31 shy of Michelle Greco (UCLA, 1999-03) for fifth all-time.