Jan. 23, 2013
Haas Pavilion| Berkeley, Calif.
BERKELEY - No. 7/7 California takes on its fifth ranked team in its last six outings when No. 20/23 Colorado visits Haas Pavilion Friday night for an 8 p.m. Pac-12 Networks game. The Bears have gone 3-1 against ranked teams in its current difficult stretch that includes road victories at No. 20/25 Colorado and No. 5/5 Stanford along with Sunday's win against No. 14/15 UCLA. Krista Blunk (play-by-play) and Mary Murphy (analyst) will handle the call Friday night for the Pac-12 Networks.
California (15-2, 5-1 Pac-12) most recently swept the Los Angeles teams at Haas Pavilion with a 71-63 overtime win over USC and a 70-65 win over No. 14/15 UCLA. The Bears were paced by Gennifer Brandon who was named the espnW and Pac-12 Player of the Week after averaging 17.5 points and 20 rebounds on the weekend, including a 23-point, 26-rebound outing against USC.
Colorado (15-2, 4-2 Pac-12) is riding a four-game winning streak and is seeking revenge against the two Bay Area teams that are responsible for the only two losses on Colorado's schedule.
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 COLORADO WOULD:
GAME RECAP: The Golden Bears are sitting atop the conference standings with a share of first place following their third win over a Top 25 team in the past two weeks with a 70-65 victory over No. 14/15 UCLA. Layshia Clarendon led all scorers with 22 points and two Bears had double-doubles in Talia Caldwell (14p-11r) and Gennifer Brandon (12p-14r). Afure Jemerigbe had 10 points and four steals for Cal.
COLORADO (15-2, 4-2 PAC-12): The Buffs have won four straight since dropping the conference-opening weekend to Stanford and California. Colorado is coming off a 43-point win over Arizona (79-36). The Buffs are led by senior guard Chucky Jeffery's 13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in addition to freshman Arielle Roberson's 13.6 points and 5.8 rebounds. Jeffery is the current active Pac-12 leader in career assists (426) and steal (256).
CALIFORNIA-COLORADO SERIES HISTORY: Colorado holds a 5-4 series advantage, but the Bears have won the last four meetings between the two teams, including a 53-49 decision three weeks ago in Boulder. Last year, 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).
THE LAST TIME VS COLORADO (Jan. 23, 2013): With wins over Utah (55-50) and No. 20/25 Colorado (53-49), California has swept its Pac-12 opening weekend for the first time since the 2008-09 season ... Afure Jemerigbe and Reshanda Gray both scored 10 points for the Bears ... Brittany Boyd had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists ... Layshia Clarendon forced a Chucky Jeffery turnover with four second remaining to prevent a potential game-tying shot.
RPI: California clocks in at No. 4 in the third RPI report of the season, moving up one spot from the previous report. The Bears have played one of the country's toughest schedules and played a balanced mix of home and away games.
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.
DON'T OVERLOOK GEN: Junior Gennifer Brandon's numbers would hardly be called modest at 12.6 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. However, given Cal's depth, the forward has averaged just 27 minutes per game. Spread her numbers out over the course of a 40-minute game, and Brandon averages an outstanding 18.4 points and 16.6 rebounds. Backing up that assertion, in her first career 40 minute game Thursday vs USC, Brandon posted 23 points and 26 rebounds.
MORE ON GEN: Junior Gennifer Brandon's had a monstrous weekend for the Bears against their Southern California opponents, averaging 17.5 points, 20.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals against USC and No. 14/15 UCLA. Against the Trojans, Brandon broke a 19-year old Pac-12 record with 26 rebounds in a conference game - breaking the previous mark of 25 set in 1994 (UCLA's Natalie Williams vs Arizona State - 2/20/94). The game was her second career 20-20 performance, outdoing her 24-point, 24-rebound effort against Ohio State last season. For her efforts, she was named the espnW National Player of the Week and the Pac-12 Player of the Week.
STICKING TO THE SCRIPT: California has started the same starting lineup of Boyd, Brandon, Caldwell, Clarendon and Jemerigbe in every game this season, making the Bears the only program in the Pac-12 to use the same lineup in every game this season. California joins Oklahoma State, South Carolina and Michigan State as the only teams in the AP or USA Today/Coaches' Top 25 polls to use the same lineup in every game this season.
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 NCAA as Cal ranks third in the country with a +12.4 rebounding margin. Caldwell is second on the Pac-12 active list 854 rebounds, and Brandon is not far behind at No. 3 on the active list with 837 boards. No other duo in the league combines for over 1,400 rebounds, let alone the 1,691 by these two.
PROTECTING THE BALL: The Bears committed a season-low six turnovers in back-to-back games at No. 5 Stanford and vs USC before committing 18 against UCLA. Point guard Brittany Boyd has committed just seven turnovers in her 101 minutes of action in those three games. Boyd leads the Pac-12 with a +1.5 assists/turnover ratio.
IN THE NCAA (as of Jan. 20): Cal stands at No. 25 in the NCAA in scoring offense (72.2 ppg), No. 3 in rebounding margin (+11.9) and No. 21 in scoring margin (+15.4) entering Friday's game. Junior Gennifer Brandon is No. 9 in rebounds per game (11.4).
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 854 career rebounds all-time at Cal, one behind Cynthia Cooke for 6th all-time. Caldwell is also just 40 points shy of becoming member No. 23 of the 1,000-point club at Cal. She is on pace to become just the third Bear to join the 1,000-point, 1,000-rebound club beside Ashley Walker and Colleen Galloway.
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, and Cal's victory at Stanford may have been what was needed to join that discussion. After close losses last year to No. 2 Stanford, No. 12 Ohio State, No. 16 Rutgers, No. 24 Texas and No. 4 Notre Dame, the Bears have this season knocked off No 19 Kansas (88-79), No. 20 Colorado (55-50), No. 5 Stanford (67-55) and No. 14 UCLA (70-65) in addition to marquee non-conference wins against Georgetown (72-56) and Saint Mary's (89-41). Cal's lone losses this year are at No. 4 Duke and verse No. 5 Stanford.