Nov. 18, 2012
BERKELEY - No. 12 California hosts Cal Poly Monday at 5 p.m. in the first game of a double-header with the California women's volleyball team at Haas Pavilion. Fans with a ticket to the women's basketball or volleyball game (8 p.m.) will gain admittance to both Golden Bear events.
The Golden Bears are fresh off an 89-41 rout of East Bay rival Saint Mary's and will look to improve to 3-0 on the season with a win.
Since the 2003-04 season, the Golden Bears have gone 29-1 in non-conference games against schools from California, the lone blemish being a 68-66 stunning loss to San Jose State during the 2009-10 season.
Cal Poly comes to Berkeley after a 69-50 victory over San Diego Saturday afternoon in San Luis Obispo. The Mustangs hold a 2-1 record that includes a 72-62 win at Pac-12 foe Oregon State last week.
BEARS ON THE AIR: Fans can listen to Dave Lewis's live call of the game on CalBears.com's premium All-Access player for a monthly fee. The game will also be streamed live for free on the Pac-12 Platform at http://pac-12.com/live/calbears.aspx.
A CALIFORNIA WIN WOULD:
GAME RECAP: California's official colors are blue and gold, but the No. 12 Golden Bears unveiled a bit of "silver" Thursday night in an 89-41 rout of East Bay rival Saint Mary's Thursday night. Lindsay Gottlieb's club unleashed a previously unused pressure defense - titled "silver" - to force the Gaels into six turnovers in the opening two minutes to allow the Bears to jump out to a 13-0 lead, a margin that would grow to as many as 36 in the first half and 50 overall against a team that opened its season with strong showings in a split weekend against fellow Pac-12 schools Washington and Oregon. Six California players hit double digits in what is promising to be one of the most balanced offensive teams in the country. Junior Afure Jemerigbe led all scorers with 15 points, just two shy of her career best, and classmate Gennifer Brandon posted her second double-double in as many games with 14 points and rebounds, 12 of which came on the defensive end. Brandon, who also matched her career best with three steals, went 7-of-8 from the field.
IN THE RANKINGS: California closed the week ranked No. 12 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Polls. The Golden Bears were previously ranked No. 13 and No. 15, respectively, in the preseason polls, the highest preseason rankings since the 2008-09 team was picked No. 9 overall. That team, led by Alexis Gray-Lawson, went on to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 with a 27-8 final record. Four teams on this year's schedule - Duke (3/3), Stanford (4/4), Georgetown (25/rv), Kansas (rv/25) - are ranked this week in addition to UCLA receiving votes in both polls.
A LOOK AHEAD: California hosts the Cal Classic by Doubletree this weekend with Eastern Washington, Georgetown and Cal State Fullerton all coming to Haas Pavilion for the two-day post-Thanksgiving tournament. The Bears take on EWU Friday at 1 p.m., with the consolation and championship games to be played Saturday.
BRANDON'S DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Junior Gennifer Brandon's has posted back-to-back double-doubles to open the 2012-13 season. Her double-double (17p-10r) against Lehigh in the opener was the 16th of her career, and her double-double (14p-14r) against Saint Mary's was her 17th. The Sylmar native collected six double-double's as a freshman in 2009-10 and nine double-double's as a redshirt sophomore in 2011-12.
PIERRE STEALS THE LIST: Count senior Eliza Pierre as one of the top defensive players in Cal history. Pierre stands at No. 5 in the Cal history books with 208 career steals after her three-steal effort against Lehigh pushed her past Laura Baker's 204 along with two against Saint Mary's. The record of 295 steals is held by Mazetta Garrett (1979-84). Pierre also stands at No. 2 in the Pac-12 active career list behind Chucky Jeffery of Colorado (216).
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 756 rebounds, and Brandon is not far behind at No. 4 on the active list with 667 boards. No other duo in the league combines for over 1,200 rebounds, let alone the 1,423 by these two.
BALANCED ATTACK: 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 hit double figures in Cal's 80-48 victory against Lehigh in the opener, and six Bears hit double figures against Saint Mary's. Six Bears average double figures scoring in the early going of the season.
CLARENDON NAMED TO NAISMITH LIST: Senior guard Layshia Clarendon was selected as one of 50 players to watch in the early Naismith Watch List. Clarendon is the fourth Golden Bear to be selected to the list in the past 10 seasons for the prestigious national player of the year award.
CAL ADDS FOUR FOR THE FUTURE: Head coach Lindsay Gottlieb's first signing class at California consists of Hind Ben Abdelkader (Bruxelles, Belgium / Sint-Katelijne Waver), Mercedes Jefflo (Compton, CA / Centennial Senior HS), Courtney Range (Stockton, CA / Manteca HS) and Kendall "KC" Waters (Oakland, CA / Bishop O'Dowd HS). With two players considered among the top 55 players in the country according to ESPN HoopGurlz rankings, the incoming group gives California its fourth top 20 recruiting class in the last five years - the lone exception being last season when the Golden Bears did not sign any players. The incoming group is ranked No. 13 by the All Star Girls Report and No. 20 by the BlueStar Basketball Report.
BEARS ON THE SCREEN: California will make a minimum of 13 TV appearances this season with the emergence of the Pac-12 Networks broadcasting a majority of conference games. The Bears will play in their first televised game on a road trip to Old Dominion that will be broadcast regionally (Norfolk, Va.) on Cox 11. Once the Bears hit conference play, 12 of 17 games will be broadcast by either the Pac-12 Networks or the ESPN family of networks, beginning with the conference opener at Utah on Jan. 4, 2013.