Jan. 5, 2013
Coors Event Center| Boulder, Colo.
BERKELEY - No. 7/7 California concludes the Pac-12 opening weekend with a visit to No. 20/25 Colorado Sunday afternoon the Coors Event Center in Boulder, Colo. Tip-off is scheduled for 11 a.m. (PT)/12 p.m. (MT) with Anne Marie Anderson (play-by-play) and Ros Gold-Unwude (analyst) handling the call.
The Bears are in the midst of the best start in program history at 11-1 and will look to sweep the conference opening weekend for the first time since the 2008-09 team rattled off 11 straight wins to begin Pac-10 play. Colorado enters the game with a 11-1 record after dropping their first game of the season Friday night to No. 4/3 Stanford, 57-40.
Fans can listen to Dave Lewis's live call of the game on CalBears.com's premium All-Access player for a monthly fee.
A CALIFORNIA WIN AT COLORADO WOULD:
COLORADO (11-1, 0-1 PAC-12): The Buffaloes dropped their first game of the season Friday night against No. 4/3 Stanford. Colorado is led by freshman Arielle Roberson's 15.3 points per game to go with 5.8 rebounds per game. The three-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week has hit double-figures in every game this season. Senior Chucky Jeffery, the Pac-12 active leader in career steals, contributes 12.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
CALIFORNIA-COLORADO SERIES HISTORY: Colorado holds a 5-3 series advantage, but the Bears have won the last three meetings between the two teams, with all three victories coming last season. The Bears won a 68-55 decision in Boulder (1/12/12), a 64-43 decision in Berkeley (2/25/12) and a 68-59 decision in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament in Los Angeles (3/8/12).
GAME RECAP: California knew its opening stretch of Pac-12 games was going to be tough. Friday night was an indication as the No. 7 Golden Bears survived a furious Utah rally to hold on for a 55-50 victory in the teams' conference opener and what amounted to the program's 600th all-time victory. Layshia Clarendon led Cal with 18 points and Afure Jemerigbe had 13, including 11 in the first half when she hit 5-of-6 shots.
NATION'S TOUGHEST STRETCH?: The Bears open Pac-12 play with possibly the toughest eight-game stretch in the country. California travels to a 9-2 Utah team and No. 20/25 Colorado before taking on No. 4 Stanford in a span of five days. The Bears then play at Stanford five days later before hosting USC, No. 16/17 UCLA, No. 20/25 Colorado and Utah to close January.
PICK YOUR WEAPON: One thing Coach Gottlieb is preaching this season is the balanced options that her team possesses on the offensive end of the court, and the numbers back up that assertion. Five Bears average double figures scoring with a sixth averaging 7.4, and a different Bear has led the team in scoring in six of 12 games* (Gennifer Brandon and Talia Caldwell both scored 15 points vs EWU and Brittany Boyd and Brandon both scored 19 vs CSUB - making Brandon, Boyd, Caldwell and Layshia Clarendon the lone Bears with the top output in 2+ games).
TOP BEAR STARTS: California surpassed the 1992-93 team for the best start in program history at 10-1 with their win over George Washington last week. At 11-1, California looks to continue the run against Colorado.
FOOOO: Junior Afure Jemerigbe had a first half to remember at Utah Friday night. The winger had a 10-minute stretch where she scored 11 of California's 17 points to keep the Golden Bears ahead of the Utes. Jemerigbe finished with 13 points, two shy of her season high.
CAL ON THE BOARDS: Senior Talia Caldwell and junior Gennifer Brandon combine to make the Cal post players possibly the most dominant on the boards in the Pac-12. Caldwell is the active Pac-12 leader with 823 rebounds, and Brandon is not far behind at No. 4 on the active list with 766 boards. No other duo in the league combines for over 1,250 rebounds, let alone the 1,589 by these two.