March 19, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The California Golden Bears (25-9, 13-5 Pac-12), the No. 8 seed in the Raleigh Region, will take on the No. 1 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish (31-3, 15-1 Big East) on Tuesday, March 20 at 4 p.m. Pacific Time (7 p.m. local time) at Purcell Pavilion in Notre Dame, Indiana. The game will be carried on ESPN-2 in the Bay Area.
Note about Television Coverage: The Cal/Notre Dame game will be shown in its entirety on ESPN2 in the Bay Area and in the state of Indiana. In other markets across the country, ESPN2 will be doing "whip around" coverage. For the first two rounds, multiple games (a maximum of four) will begin within one telecast window on ESPN2. During those windows, the networks will "whip-around" to the best action from different games for viewers in most of the nation, with the exception of the home markets of the competing teams. The networks plan frequent switches and updates from other games as action dictates. ESPN3 - also available online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and additionally through ESPN on Xbox Live - will once again deliver all 63 games of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championships. ESPN3 is also accessible through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members.
The Golden Bears advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in program history and in each of their last three tournament appearances. Sunday's 84-74 victory over Iowa joins Cal's 77-60 victory over San Diego in the 2008 Tournament and the Bears' 70-47 victory over Fresno State in 2009 in their string of first round tournament victories.
The Bears have only advanced to the Sweet 16 once in the history of the program with a 99-73 victory over Virginia in the 2009 NCAA Tourney.
The Bears will have to upset the top-seed in the region, Notre Dame, in order to advance to Raleigh. The Bears and Irish have only played each other once, with Notre Dame eliminating Cal in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament with a 62-59 victory in Pittsburgh.
The Bears advanced with a 84-74 victory over Iowa. Cal had five players score in double figures against Iowa, only the second time this season the Bears accomplished that feat. Cal also had five players in double figures in their 90-67 win over Oregon.
The Bears displayed the same even-scoring approach in their last two wins before the NCAA Tournament. Against Colorado in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament, Layshia Clarendon (12), Lindsay Sherbert (11), Talia Caldwell (11) and Reshanda Gray (10) each scored in double digits. In the semifinals against Washington State, it was Brittany Boyd (14), Gennifer Brandon (13), Caldwell (11) and Gray (10) in double digits. In the Iowa win, it was Clarendon (16), Boyd (15), Gray (14), Brandon (11), and Caldwell (11).
Redshirt sophomore forward Gennifer Brandon returned to the starting lineup against Iowa, her first start since Feb. 2. Brandon had started 20 games before being replaced by Reshanda Gray in the lineup. Gray had started the last 12 games before the switch against Iowa.
Coming off the bench, Gray scored 14 points in 13 minutes against the Hawkeyes, pulling in six rebounds. This season, Gray is averaging 10.4 ppg in just 19.3 minutes per game.
Brandon scored 11 points in 22 minutes, also pulling in six rebounds.
The Cal guards combined for 18 assists to five turnovers in the game (3.6 ratio). Boyd had eight assists and just two turnovers. Clarendon and Pierre each had five assists with Clarendon committing one turnover and Pierre two.
Clarendon All-Region Junior guard Layshia Clarendon was one of four players in Region 8 to earn All-Region honors from the WBCA in honors that were announced on March 15. Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike and Gonzaga's Kayla Standish are the other players in the region to earn the honor.
The four All-Region players from region eight are part of the pool of 52 finalists for the WBCA All-American team. The list will be narrowed to 40 later this week with 10 players earning All-American honors.
Aiming for the Sweet-16 The Bears are trying to become just the second No. 8 seed to ever defeat a No. 1 seed to advance to the Sweet-16. In 2006, No. 8 Boston College took out the No. 1 seed, Ohio State, 79-69. BC advanced to the Sweet-16 only to fall to Utah, 57-54. California assistant coach Daron Park was on the coaching staff of that Utes team which then lost in the Elite Eight.
The last time the then Pac-10 had an eight-seed facing a one-seed was in 2010 when No. 8 UCLA fell to No. 1 Nebraska.
Gottlieb's First Tourney Win The victory was the first for California Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb. She had previously appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2009 as the head coach of the Santa Barbara Gauchos, losing in the first round to Stanford.
She is the first coach in California history to win a game in the NCAA Tournament in her first year at the helm.
Gottlieb was the associate head coach at California when the team defeated San Diego in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
Assists Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd had eight assists against Iowa. It was the sixth time this season she has had eight or more assists in a game and the 15th time she had six or more assists in a game.
The eight assists tied the most assists in an NCAA Tournament game by a Cal player. It was the third time that a Cal player had eight in a tourney game with Natasha Vital being the last to hit the mark in the 2008 first-round victory over San Diego.
Boyd now has 164 assists this season, moving up to eighth in the Cal record book for single-season assist totals.
Eliza Pierre's five assists were the most she had in a game since she had six in the Jan. 5 game against Oregon State.
Steals Boyd had six steals against Iowa, her second-highest single game total of the season, trailing only her 10-steal performance at Arizona State.
The six steals was the most by a Cal player in an NCAA Tournament game. Three players have had five steals in Tournament games. Boyd has 88 steals this season, ranking her sixth on Cal's single-season steal list.
Junior guard Eliza Pierre had three steals, moving her up to sixth on the Cal career steal list (203). Pierre has had at least one steal in each of her last five games.
Boyd's Three-Point Shooting Brittany Boyd had gone ten games without making a three-point basket , an 0-for-13 stretch, before going 3-for-5 from three-point range against Stanford and hitting another (in four attempts) against Iowa.
Career Points With her 16 points against Iowa, Layshia Clarendon is nine points away from being alone in 11th place on Cal's career point list. Clarendon has 1,213 points and is poised to pass Jackie Lear (1,221 points, 1993-95).
Rebounding Margin The Bears won the battle of the boards against Iowa by 12 (41-29)., the 20th time this season the Bears have won the rebounding battle by double-digits.
The Bears have only been outrebounded by an opponent once this season with Stanford winning the Battle of the Boards during the first Battle of the Bay, 51-47.
The Bears remain in third in the nation with 13.2 more rebounds per game than their opponents. Liberty, who lost to Notre Dame yesterday, leads the nation at 16.4.
Rebounding The Bears are on pace to have the best rebounding year in program history. The team currently has 1,558 rebounds, tying the top single-season total (1,558 in 1980-81). One more rebound would give the Bears the best rebounding season in the history of the program. The Bears also currently have the highest per-game average in program history of 45.8 per game.
O-Boards The Bears had 19 offensive rebounds against Iowa, scoring 20 second-chance points. The Bears has 19 O-boards to Iowa's 22 defensive boards. In the opposite match-up the Bears had 22 defensive rebounds to Iowa's seven O-boards. Iowa scored just seven second-chance points.
Opponent Free Throws The Bears only sent the Hawkeyes to the line for ten free throw attempts. It was the third time in the last eight games that an opponent had ten or fewer free throw attempts. Oregon State and Utah each only shot six free throws. The lowest total of the season was the game at Colorado when the Buffs only had two free throw attempts in the game (making them both). The Hawkeyes did make nine of the ten attempts.