Dec. 19, 2012
Haas Pavilion | Berkeley, Calif.
BERKELEY - No. 8 California hosts a nationally-ranked team at Haas Pavilion for this first time this season when No. 19 Kansas comes to Berkeley Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Bears are coming off a tight 71-65 victory over Northwestern Monday morning that moved the team to 8-1 for just the sixth time in program history. Coach Lindsay Gottlieb's team will look to match the 1992-93 team for best start to a season with a victory against the Jayhawks.
Kansas enters with a 9-1 record after most recently defeating Prarie View A&M 72-60. Their lone loss of the season came at Arkansas. The two teams last met exactly five years ago when the Bears claimed a 74-41 decision in Berkeley.
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 VS KANSAS WOULD:
KANSAS (9-1, 0-0 BIG 12): Kansas sits 9-1 and is ranked #19 in both polls with their lone loss coming on the road at Arkansas. Carolyn Davis and Angel Goodrich are both on the watch lists for the Wade Trophy, the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award, as two of the top players in the nation.
GAME RECAP: Layshia Clarendon scored nine points in the final 45 seconds to help No. 8 California outlast Northwestern, 71-65, Monday morning at the Welsh-Ryan Arena. Brittany Boyd led the Bears in scoring for the third consecutive game with 18 points, and Gennifer Brandon posted her fifth double-double season of the season, but it was Clarendon's clutch free throws in the final minute that allowed the Bears to breakaway from the Wildcats. The senior hit 7-of-8 and scored nine of her 11 points in the climactic finish to make the Bears just the sixth squad in program history to begin a season 8-1. Talia Caldwell had a season-high 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go with six rebounds, and Brandon finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
IN THE RANKINGS: California moves up on spot to No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and cracks the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll Top 10 for the first time this season at No. 9. The Bears are nearing the highest rankings since the 2008-09 team climbed as high as No. 4 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. Four teams on this year's schedule - Stanford (1/1), Duke (4/4), UCLA (14/17), and Kansas (22/21) - are ranked this week in addition to Colorado receiving votes in the AP poll.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Bears host George Washington next Friday, Dec. 28, in the non-conference finale at Haas Pavilion.
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. Five Bears average double figures scoring with a sixth averaging 6.9, and a different Bear has led the team in scoring in six of nine games* (Gennifer Brandon and Talia Caldwell both scored 15 points vs EWU and Brittany Boyd and Brandon both scored 19 vs CSUB - making Brandon, Boyd and Layshia Clarendon the lone Bears with the top output in 2+ games).
TOP BEAR STARTS: After becoming just the sixth Bears team to begin a season 8-1, California will look to match the 1992-93 team for the best start in program history with a victory. The `92-93 team is currently the lone team to begin a year 9-1. The other teams to start 8-1 were the 2008-09 NCAA Sweet 16 squad in addition to the `86-87, `92-93, `06-07 and `07-08 teams.
IN THE NCAA: Cal stands at No. 11 in the NCAA in scoring offense (78.6 ppg), No. 9 in field goal percentage (.476) and No. 3 in rebounding margin (+16.4) entering the week. Individually, Gennifer Brandon ranks 20th in the country with 11.0 rebounds per game.