Jan. 7, 2013
Haas Pavilion| Berkeley, Calif.
BERKELEY - The 2013 edition of the "Battle of the Bay" will feature two games in five days between No. 7 California and No. 5 Stanford, beginning with a Tuesday night showdown at Haas Pavilion. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. with the game airing live on the Pac-12 Networks. Krista Blunk (play-by-play) and Mary Murphy (analyst) will handle the call as the two Bay Area teams jockey for the top position in the conference.
The Bears (12-1, 2-0 Pac-12) are in the midst of the best start in program history at 12-1 and will look to end Stanford's 80-game Pac-12 winning streak. The Bears are the last team in the conference to defeat the Cardinal, a 57-54 win at Haas Pavilion on Jan. 18, 2009.
Stanford (13-1, 2-0 Pac-12) will look to continue their streaks against both the Bears (nine consecutive) and against Pac-12 competition overall. The Cardinal's only loss this season came at home to then-No. 2 Connecticut.
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 VS STANFORD WOULD:
GAME RECAP: Unable to hit free throws with any consistency down the stretch, No. 7 California still found a recipe for success with some old-fashioned defense and rebounding. Brittany Boyd scored 15 points, Reshanda Gray and Afure Jemerigbe both rebounded missed free throws in the late going and Layshia Clarendon figured in a defensive stop that prevented a last-second shot as Cal hung on to beat No. 20 Colorado 53-49 Sunday. Jemerigbe and Gray added 10 points apiece for Cal, which is off to its best start ever. The Golden Bears won their sixth straight since their only loss of the season, a 77-63 setback at No. 3 Duke.
IN THE RANKINGS: California holds steady at No. 7 in the Associated Press poll (The USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll releases Tuesdays). The Bears are nearing the highest rankings since the 2008-09 team climbed as high as No. 3 in the country, a program-best mark. That team, led by Alexis Gray-Lawson, went on to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 with a 27-8 final record. Five teams on this year's schedule - Stanford (5), Duke (4), UCLA (14), Kansas (17) and Colorado (23) - are ranked this week.
NATION'S TOUGHEST STRETCH?: The Bears open Pac-12 play with possibly the toughest eight-game stretch in the country. California roughed out a win at Utah in the Pac-12 opener and hung on to defeat No. 20/25 Colorado Sunday before taking on No. 5 Stanford Tuesday - all in a span of five days. The Bears then play at Stanford five days later before hosting USC, No. 14 UCLA, No. 23 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. Three Bears average double figures scoring, and the third through sixth leading scorers all average between 7.6 and 9.8 points. Six different Bears have led the team in scoring this season - marking half of Cal's games that a different player has led the team in scoring.
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 two weeks ago. At 12-1, California looks to continue the run against Stanford.
DON'T OVERLOOK GEN: Junior Gennifer Brandon's numbers would hardly be called modest at 12.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. However, given Cal's depth, the forward has averaged just 25 minutes per game. Spread her numbers out over the course of a 40-minute game, and Brandon averages 19.5 points and 16.2 rebounds.
CLARENDON MOVES TO 10th ALL-TIME: Senior Layshia Clarendon surpassed Kesha Martin for 10th on the California all-time points list with her 12 against GWU. Clarendon currently sits at 1,399 career points, and is on pace to score 1,615 at the end of the regular season - a mark that would be good for sixth all-time.
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. She backed it up with a 10-point performance at Colorado to pace the Bears on a tough road weekend.
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 828 rebounds, and Brandon is not far behind at No. 4 on the active list with 777 boards. No other duo in the league combines for over 1,300 rebounds, let alone the 1,606 by these two.
CALDWELL JUMPS UP THE BOOKS: Senior Talia Caldwell continues to climb California's all-time rebound list with each passing game for the Bears. Caldwell currently sits 7th with 828 career rebounds all-time at Cal, 27 behind Cynthia Cooke for 6th all-time. Caldwell is also just 63 points shy of becoming member No. 23 of the 1,000-point club at Cal.
BRANDON'S DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Junior Gennifer Brandon's has posted six double-doubles in Cal's 13 games to open the 2012-13 season. Her double-double (17p-10r) against Lehigh in the opener was the 16th of her career, and she followed that effort with double-doubles against Saint Mary's (14p-14r), Cal Poly (18p-11r), Georgetown (13p-13r), Northwestern (11p-10r) and Kansas (17p-10r). The Sylmar native collected six double-doubles as a freshman in 2009-10 and nine double-doubles as a redshirt sophomore in 2011-12.
BECOMING ELITE: The Bears speak this season of becoming one of the "elite" teams in NCAA women's basketball after seeing flashes in 2011-12 but not quite making the jump with close losses to No. 2 Stanford, No. 12 Ohio State, No. 16 Rutgers, No. 24 Texas and No. 4 Notre Dame. The first test in 2012-13 was a Georgetown team that was on the fringes of the top 25, and the Bears responded with a 72-56 victory. The Bears couldn't overcome a slow first half at No. 4 Duke in the next test, a 71-65 road victory at Northwestern and 88-79 victory over No. 19 Kansas provided those non-conference marquee victories that eluded the team last season. Cal opens Pac-12 play with a streak where 5 of 8 games are against ranked opponents - led by Sunday's 53-49 win at No. 20 Colorado.
RPI: California clocks in at No. 4 in the first RPI report of the season. The Bears have played one of the country's toughest non-conference schedules and played a balanced mix of home and away games at this point in the season.
BRACKETOLOGY: ESPN.com's Charlie Creme projects California as a No. 2 seed in his latest Bracketology report of the 2012-13 season. Creme anticipates four Pac-12 school making the field of 64.
IN THE NCAA (as of Jan. 7): Cal stands at No. 21 in the NCAA in scoring offense (74.3 ppg), No. 14 in field goal percentage (.463), No. 4 in rebounding margin (+13.2) and No. 14 in scoring margin (+18.9) entering Friday and Sunday's games.