Jan. 13, 1998
Cal Travels to UCLA & USC
Fri. Jan. 16 at UCLA, Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA 7:00 p.m. Sun. Jan. 18 at USC, Lyon Center, Los Angeles, CA 2:00 p.m.
BEARS HIT THE ROAD: After enjoying an extended seven-game homestand over the holidays, the Cal women's basketball team (5-8, 1-2) embarks on its first road-trip in nearly two months. The Bears head to southern California this weekend to face the UCLA Bruins on Friday, Jan. 16 and the USC Trojans on Sunday, Jan. 18. Cal will be looking for its first win in Los Angeles since 1990, a skid of 15 straight losses to those two teams combined.
ABOUT UCLA: The Bruins are in second place in the Pac-10 with a 3-1 conference mark, and stand 8-5 overall. After losing their conference opener to Top-10 ranked Arizona, the Bruins have won three straight Pac-10 games over Arizona State, Oregon State and Oregon. Sophomore center Maylana Martin ranks third in the Pac-10 in scoring (21.0 ppg), fourth in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and first in free throw percentage (79%), while sophomore guard Erica Gomez ranks second in the conference in assists (5.1 apg) and Melanie Pearson ranks second in three-point shooting percentage (48%). As a team, UCLA ranks second in the league in scoring average (81.9 ppg), but last in scoring defense (77.8 ppg).
ABOUT USC: The Trojans are tied for ninth place in the Pac-10 with a 1-3 conference record, 6-7 overall. USC won its Pac-10 opener against Arizona State, and then dropped three straight conference games to Arizona, Oregon and Oregon State. Tiffany Washington is the team's leading scorer (10.7 ppg) and rebounder (6.5 rpg), while guard Kristin Clark leads the Pac-10 in steal average (3.2 spg). The Trojans lead the conference in steals (12.6 spg) and turnover margin (+6.0), and rank second in scoring defense (65.2 ppg)
SERIES RECORDS: The Bears have not won a game in Los Angeles over UCLA or USC since 1990, and Cal has never swept the two teams in L.A. UCLA leads the series with Cal, 24-5, including five straight victories. Cal's last win over the Bruins was Jan. 28, 1995 in Harmon Gym (97-84). The Bears last win at UCLA was March 5, 1998 (71-68). USC leads the series with Cal, 20-8, including nine straight wins. The Bears last win over USC was Jan. 21, 1993 in Harmon Gym, and Cal's last win at USC was Jan. 18, 1990 (55-50).
ROAD WARRIORS: After going 0-13 away from home last year, and winless in the last 17 games on the road, Cal has won two consecutive games away from home (at USF Dec. 3 and Marshall Nov. 30 in Hawaii. The Bears victory at USF was the first true road win (on an opponents home court) since Feb. 24, 1996. The Bears win over Marshall technically counts as a neutral victory, rather than a road win. The last time Cal won three consecutive games away from home was during the 1992-93 season, when the Bears accomplished the feat twice. Cal last won four straight away from home at the tail end of the 1986-87 campaign.
EARLY SUCCESS: Since the inception of Pac-10 women's basketball play 12 years ago (1986-87), the Bears have at least split their opening weekend of conference games 11 times, including this season (W-OSU, L-UO). The only blemish on that record is the 1993-94 season, when the Bears opened up 0-3 in the Pac-10, falling on the road to Washington State and Washington, and at home against Arizona.
SECOND TRY IS GOOD: In each of the past three seasons, the Bears have fallen in their Pac-10 opener, but rallied to win the second game of conference play. This season, Cal lost the opener at home against Oregon (71-54), but rallied to win the second game against Oregon State (77-64). Last season, Cal lost on the road to Arizona in the conference opener (79-59), but came back to defeat Arizona State (88-58) in the second game of the trip. In the 1995-96 season, the Bears also lost to Arizona in the Pac-10 opener (102-66), this time at Harmon Gym, but rallied to win the second game of the weekend against Arizona State (101-79).
THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM: In a season already full of last-minute cliffhangers, sophomore Paige Bowie has developed into the Bears go-to player. In the Bears two one-point losses, Bowie came up short on game-winning shots. But given a third chance, Bowie came up big, hitting a three-point basket with three seconds remaining in double overtime to give Cal a thrilling 70-69 victory over George Mason Dec. 19 in the Oakland Tribune Classic.
CLOSE CALLS: The Golden Bears struggled to stay competitive last season, playing in only two games that were decided by three points or less. This season, however, Cal has battled to the end in nearly every game, with five contests decided by a three-point margin or less (2-3 record in those games). The Bears have suffered three of their losses by a grand total of five points: 64-63 at UOP, 59-58 to Wisconsin-Green Bay, and 62-59 loss to Saint Mary's.
DEFENSE WINS GAMES: The Bears are showing a marked improvement in several statistical areas this season, particularly on defense. Last year, Cal ranked at or near the bottom of every Pac-10 defensive category, but this year they are among the best in the league in several categories. The Bears have improved from last in rebounding margin (-4.6) to fourth, outrebounding their opponents by 3.3 rebounds per game this year. Head coach Marianne Stanley's squad has limited the opponents to just 41.4 percent field goal shooting, which ranks second in the Pac-10, and the Bears are allowing just 67.2 points per game, fifth-best in the conference and a noticeable improvement over last season's 72.3 points per game yield.
BACK-TO-BACK: With consecutive wins over Marshall Nov. 30 and USF Dec. 3, the Bears won back-to-back games for the first time since winning three consecutive games early last season (Dec. 7-20, 1996), all at home. Cal won back-to-back games only once last year, once during the 1995-96 season and just twice in the 1994-95 season. In addition, the wins over USF and Marshall are the first back-to-back wins away from home for the Bears since March, 1993.
THE THREE IS GONE: When the Bears went 0-for-4 from three-point range against Wisconsin-Green Bay Nov. 29, it snapped a streak of 53 consecutive games with at least one three-pointer made. The streak spanned nearly two years, beginning Dec. 8, 1995. The Bears have been shut out from long distance in two subsequent games this season, in the Pac-10 opener Jan. 4 against Oregon and against #14 Stanford on Jan. 9. This season, the Bears are just 18-for-117 from three-point land (.154), after averaging five three-pointers made per game and shooting 29 percent from long range last season.
INJURY UPDATE: Junior point guard Sherrise Smith is out 3-5 weeks after suffering a dislocated left elbow in the win at home against Oregon State Jan. 4. Smith had just re-joined the starting lineup after fully recovering from a recurring knee injury, and had started three straight games at point before the injury. Last season, Smith started 24 games at point guard and ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in assist average.
FRESH START: Thanks to the addition of the 14th-ranked recruiting class in the nation (according to Blue Star Scouting Service) and senior transfer Amber Lacey (Alabama), the Bears have sported an entirely different look this season. Lacey and 6-1 freshmanguard Masa Radovic, who did not join the team until late August, have started every game for the Bears, and are the team's top two scorers. In the backcourt, freshman Courtney Johnson has made nine starts at shooting guard and freshman Tamara Inoue has made one start at point guard and should continue to handle that role with the injury to junior Sherrise Smith. In addition, the first players off the bench for the Bears have been freshmen Lauren Ashbaugh on the frontline and guard Kenya Corley, giving the Bears six first-year players among their top eight in the rotation. The two "veterans" in the lineup are three-year starting center Jennie Leander, a junior, and sophomore Paige Bowie at wing, a player who missed the final 11 games of the season a year ago with ligament damage to her left hand.
LAST TOP 25 WIN: Cal's last win over a Top 25-ranked team was March 4, 1995, when the unranked Bears upset #19 Oregon State in Harmon Gym, 77-75.
MAKING A POINT: Before arriving at Cal this season, 6-1 freshman Masa Radovic had never played point guard in her career. A member of the Yugoslavian Junior National Team, Radovic was primarily a wing and shooting guard, but once the Cal coaching staff saw her ball-handling skills and court awareness, they quickly moved her to the point. Radovic has started all 13 games for the Bears, nine at point guard, and the past four at shooting guard. She leads the team in scoring (11.0 ppg) and ranks eighth in the Pac-10 in assists (3.8 apg).
NEXT UP: The Bears return home to continue Pac-10 play against #7 Washington on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 2:00 p.m.CAL PLAYER UPDATES:
LAUREN ASHBAUGH, Freshman, 6-2, Forward/Center, Redmond, WA-Has played in all 13 games, averaging 4.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game-one of the first players off the bench, she is averaging 13.8 minutes per game-scored a career-high 10 points and grabbed three boards in 13 minutes against #14 Stanford-grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds and scored seven points in the double-overtime win over George Mason-leads the team in field goal pct. with an impressive 63.9 percent (23-for-36) and hitting 71.4 percent from the free throw line (10-for-14).
PAIGE BOWIE, Sophomore, 5-11, Forward/Guard, Fresno, CA-Has started all 13 games at the wing-is the team's third-leading scorer (9.8) and the team leader in blocked shots (8)-also leads the team in free throw shooting (76%)-leads Cal in three-point shooting (21%)-made a game-winning three-point basket with three seconds remaining in double overtime against George Mason (70-69) in the first round of the Oakland Tribune Classic-has scored in double figures six times this season, including a season-high 19 points in the win over Marshall in the Hawaii tournament-had a season-high and team-high eight rebounds in the 64-63 loss at Pacific-missed the final 11 games of last season following surgery to repair ligament damage to her left pinky finger-also plays shortstop for the nationally-ranked Cal softball team.
JAMILLA CHURCHILL, Junior, 6-1, Forward, Oakland, CA-Has played in all 13 games, averaging 8.2 minutes per game-has grabbed 31 rebounds (2.4 rpg), more than the number she totaled last season (25) or her freshman year (22)-scored a season-high five points and grabbed four rebounds against Saint Mary's-scored four points and snagged a career-high six rebounds against #10 Virginia-an outstanding jumper, she is a two-time Pac-10 qualifier in the high jump for the Cal track and field team-best jump at Cal is 5-9 3/4, which ranks her 5th on the all-time list at Cal.
KENYA CORLEY, Freshman, 5-8, Guard, Lancaster, CA-Has played in all 13 games-usually one of the first players off the bench, averaging 10.9 minutes per game-one of six Cal freshman making a significant contribution this season-in her first game at Cal, scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds in just 18 minutes of action in the Bears win over Cal Poly SLO-scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds in just nine minutes in Cal's loss to #10 Virginia-outstanding leaper who can dunk a tennis ball, despite standing just 5'8--averaging 4.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
MARIE FOLSOM, Senior, 5-8, Guard, Chandler, AZ-One of only two seniors and Cal's only four-year player, she has appeared in 10 games-scored a season-high five points in the loss at Hawaii-has started 12 games at point guard during her career.
TAMARA INOUE, Freshman, 5-6, Guard, Laguna Hills, CA-Played in 12 games-made the first start of her career at point guard against #14 Stanford, contributing four points and three steals-averaging 3.5 points and 1.5 assists per game-turned in the best game of her young career in the win over Oregon State, scoring nine points, dealing five assists and grabbing three steals in 22 minutes, all career highs-scored eight points against both George Mason and #10 Virgina-shooting 91 percent from the free throw line (10-for-11)-honorable mention prep All-American, she led Laguna Hills HS to the Calif Div. II state title last season and a 31-3 overall record.
COURTNEY JOHNSON, Freshman, 5-8, Guard, Antioch, CA-Another of Cal's many freshmen earning significant playing time, she has played in every game and made nine starts at shooting guard-a versatile player, she puts up solid numbers across the board, averaging 4.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game-has scored in double figures twice, putting up 12 points in the season opening win over Cal Poly SLO and 10 points against Saint Mary's-outstanding rebounder for her size (5'8-), she has grabbed six or more rebounds in six of Cal's games, and ranks third on the team in rebounding (4.6 rpg)-grabbed career-best nine rebounds against both Hawaii and Saint Mary's-season-best of five assists also came against Saint Mary's-a good defensive player, she lead the team in steals (1.7 spg) and ranks second on the team in blocked shots (6)-named third team Parade All-American as a senior at Antioch HS, averaging 22.9 points per game-set an AAU single game scoring record in 1996 by scoring 51 points.
KOBIE KENNON, Junior, 6-0, Forward, East Palo Alto, CA-Became academically eligible prior to the Oakland Tribune Classic Dec. 19-20-has played in three games this season, scoring two points against #14 Stanford-started 19 games for the Bears last season at power forward, averaging 3.3 points and 3.0 rebounds per game- named Cal's defensive MVP the past two seasons.AMBER LACEY, Senior, Forward, 6-0, Altadena, CA-First year at Cal after transferring from Alabama-started every game at power forward, and is the team's leading rebounder (7.0 rpg) and second-leading scorer (10.2 ppg)-team co-leader in steals (1 spg)-ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in rebounding-scored in double figures in eight games, including a career-high 19 points against both Cal Poly SLO and Ohio State-posted two double-doubles this season, with 19 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Cal Poly SLO and 11 points and 11 rebounds at Hawaii-named to the All-Tournament team at the Oakland Tribune Classic, with 29 points and 13 rebounds in two games-played two seasons at Howard County College in Big Spring, Texas-attended Berkeley HS, leading the team to the 1992 state title.
JENNIE LEANDER, Junior, Center, 6-3, Tigard, OR-Has started every game at center this season-has started 66 of her 67 games at Cal over the past three seasons-ranks13th in the Pac-10 and second on the team in rebounding (6.3 rpg)-has scored in double-figures five times this season, including a season-high 20 points against Ohio State-averaging 9.6 points per game-has one double-double this season, with 13 points and 15 rebounds in the double-overtime win over George Mason-named to the All-Tournament team at the Oakland Tribune Classic, totaling 33 points and 21 rebounds in the two games.
GENEVA MCDANIEL, Sophomore, 6-5, Center, Sausalito, CA-Played in 10 games, averaging 4.9 minutes per game-made her most significant contribution of the season in the win over Oregon State, scoring eight points and grabbing three boards in 13 minutes of action-scored five points and grabbed two rebounds in the season-opening win over Cal Poly SLO-one of the tallest players in Cal history, behind 6-8 Charlotte Lusschen (1982-86) and 6-6 Sarah Thamer (1980-82)-last season as a freshman, led the team in field goal percentage (.545) and blocked shots (25)-ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in blocked shots (1.0 bpg).
MASA RADOVIC, Freshman, 6-1, Guard, Belgrade, Yugoslavia-Has started all 13 games, including the first nine games at point guard-has started the past four games at shooting guard, her more natural position-had never played point guard before coming to Cal fom the Yugoslavian Junior National Team, but earned the position with her court awareness and ball-handling ability-leads the Bears in scoring (11.0 ppg) and assist average (3.8 apg)-in the win over Oregon State, she scored a team-high 16 points, grabbed a career-best seven rebounds and dished out a career-high 10 assists-made the game-winning layin in the 62-61 win at USF Dec. 3-shooting an impressive 48.4 percent from the field-has scored in double figures eight times this season, including a career-high 20 points in the USF win and 19 points in the loss at UOP.
SHERRISE SMITH, Junior, 5-5, Guard, Los Angeles, CA-Has played in 10 games this season, including three starts at point guard-suffered a dislocated left elbow in the win over Oregon State Jan. 4 and will be sidelined 3-5 weeks-prior to that injury, Smith was finally back to full strength, after being hampered by a recurring knee injury that limited her action-averaging 3.9 points and 1.5 assists per game-scored 11 points off the bench against Ohio State in the championship game of the Oakland Tribune Classic-in her first start against #10 Virginia, she scored nine points, grabbed four rebounds and dished four assists-started 22 games last season at point guard, and ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in assist average (4.0).
LINDSAY TOSCANO, Freshman, 5-9, Guard/Forward, Sonoma, CA-Appeared in only one game, playing one minute in the season-opening win over Cal Poly SLO-first-year walk-on player-three-time all-county player at Justin Siena HS.BERMIE DYER, Junior, 5-7, Guard, San Jose, CA-First year walk-on player-has not yet appeared in a game for the Bears-also a member of the Cal track and field team, competing in the triple jump-played basketball and competed in track for two seasons at San Jose City College before transferring to Cal.