Feb. 27, 2013
Beasley Coliseum | Pullman, Wash.
BERKELEY - No. 6 California heads to the Pacific Northwest for the regular season finale with hopes of bringing home the first Pac-12 title in program history. The Bears begin with a Thursday night game at Washington State before concluding the season at Washington Saturday.
Cal (25-2, 15-1 Pac-12) has already clinched its fourth top two finish in the last six seasons and takes a Pac-12-best 13-game winning streak on the road after a weekend sweep of Oregon and Oregon State. Tied atop the conference standings, the Bears can earn their first Pac-12 title with wins to close the season.
Washington State (10-17, 6-10 Pac-12) went 1-4 in its recent two-week road trip and returns home for the first time since splitting a weekend series against USC (W) and UCLA (L).
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 WASHINGTON STATE WOULD:
GAME RECAP: California coach Lindsay Gottlieb had a simple plan once her team fell behind by 17 points against Oregon State. Get the ball to Layshia Clarendon. Clarendon scored 18 of her 26 points in the second half and Cal rallied to beat the Beavers 58-56 on Sunday, extending the longest winning streak in school history. It couldn't have worked out any better for the Bears, who were on the verge of losing for the first time in nearly seven weeks before Clarendon bailed them out.
WASHINGTON STATE (10-17, 6-10 PAC-12): Washington State returns home for the first time in two weeks for the season finale. The Cougars are led by freshman Lia Galdeira's 14.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game - both team highs. Sophomore Tia Pressley was the only other Cougar hitting double figures scoring at 13.3 points per game before a knee injury ended her season five weeks ago.
CALIFORNIA-WASHINGTON STATE SERIES HISTORY: California leads the all-time series 37-21 and won both meetings last season - a 60-55 win in Berkeley and a 64-49 win in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals at the Staples Center. The Cougars swept the series in the 2010-11 season, including a 77-63 win in Pullman.
THE LAST TIME VS WASHINGTON STATE (March 4, 2012): For the second time in program history, California advanced to the championship game of the Pac-12 Tournament with a 64-49 victory over Washington State. Gennifer Brandon set the single-season rebounding record after grabbing 15 rebounds to go with 13 points. Brittany Boyd again toyed with becoming the first Cal women's basketball player to log a triple double in a game, coming up one assist shy. She ended the game with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. The Bears, one of the top teams in the nation in rebounding margin, outrebounded the Cougars 59-25.
HISTORY SEEKERS - TWO TO GO: California is in search of the first Pac-12 championship in program history and are just two games away from reaching that feat as either sole champions or co-champions with Stanford. Since women's basketball became an official Pac-10/Pac-12 sport in the 1986-87 season, California's best finish has been second place (2007-08, 2008-09, 2011-12). The sole conference championships in program history were back-to-back NorCal titles in 1980-81 and 1981-82.
CHASING 14: California is now in the midst of a Pac-12-leading and program-best 13-game winning streak, surpassing the 12 consecutive overall and 11 consecutive conference game winning streaks that were set in the 2008-09 season.
BOYD RETURNS FROM INJURY: Sophomore point guard Brittany Boyd missed last Friday's game against Oregon due to a groin strain but made her return to the lineup in Sunday's come-from-behind victory over Oregon State. The two-year starter dressed and was available against the Ducks, but the Bears showed their depth with Eliza Pierre filling in on a 77-55 win. It was the first missed game of Boyd's career, but the sophomore started against the Beavers and put up nine points, six rebounds, one assist and two steals.
BREAKING HER OWN MARK: Junior Gennifer Brandon - sitting at 293 rebounds on the year - is 53 rebounds shy of her own single-season rebounding record of 346 set last season. Brandon, who at this point already owns three of the top seven single-season marks in Cal history, also has the opportunity to pass Colleen Galloway's 10.4 rebounds per game in 19778-78 as the all-time best mark. Brandon currently averages 11.3 rebounds per game.
MORE THAN JUST DEFENSE: Senior Eliza Pierre - a frontrunner for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors - is known as Cal's lockdown defender, but the guard has also stepped up in every other area. In the last three weeks, Pierre - known to set-up a play rather than shoot - has put up 37 points, 36 rebounds, 30 assists and 10 steals, highlighted by a season-best eight-rebound effort against Utah.
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 seventh in the country with a +11.1 rebounding margin. Brandon is second on the Pac-12 active list 936 rebounds, and Caldwell is not far behind at No. 3 on the active list with 935 boards. No other duo in the league combines for over 1,600 rebounds, let alone the 1,871 by these two.