Dec. 26, 2012
Haas Pavilion | Berkeley, Calif.
BERKELEY - No. 8 California ends the 2012 calendar year and the non-conference portion of their schedule Friday night when George Washington visits Haas Arena for a 7 p.m. tip.
The Bears are coming off an 88-79 victory over then-No. 19 Kansas last Friday in a win that matched the best start in program history at 9-1. Coach Lindsay Gottlieb's team will look to improve to 10-1 for the first time with a victory over George Washington.
GWU enters with a 6-5 record having defeated George Mason 60-52 last Saturday. The Bears and Colonial have met once, a 55-53 GWU victory in the 2007-08 NCAA Second Round courtesy of a buzzer beater at Maples Pavilion.
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 GWU WOULD:
GEORGE WASHINGTON (6-5, 0-0 ATLANTIC 10): George Washington is 6-5 after their most recent 60-52 victory over George Mason. The Colonials are led by post players Megan Nipe and Tara Booker who average 10.3 and 10.2 points, respectively.
GAME RECAP: Layshia Clarendon scored a season high 28 points to help lead No. 8 California to an 88-79 victory against No. 19 Kansas, a win that matches the best start in program history at 9-1 and gives the Bears another marquee victory in the non-conference season. Only once had California begun a season 9-1 - the 1992-93 squad was the lone team to accomplish that feat - and the win gave the Bears their first victory over a top 20 opponent at home since knocking off then-No. 9 Stanford, 57-54, at Haas Pavilion on Jan. 18, 2009. Gennifer Brandon added 17 points and 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season, and Talia Caldwell went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field for 12 points, her second double-digit outing of the week for Cal.
IN THE RANKINGS: California holds steady at No. 8 in the Associated Press poll and moves up one spot to No. 8 USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll. 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. Five teams on this year's schedule - Stanford (1/1), Duke (4/4), UCLA (17/18), Kansas (22/20) and Colorado (23/rv) - are ranked this week in addition to Utah receiving votes in the AP poll.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Bears open Pac-12 play next week with trips to Utah and Colorado. Both games will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.
TOP BEAR STARTS: California matched the 1992-93 team for the best start in program history at 9-1 with their win over Kansas last week. No team at California has begun a season 10-1, a task that the Bears will look to accomplish against GWU.
CLARENDON PEGGED: Senior Layshia Clarendon was pegged as an honorable mention for the espnW National Player of the Week award this week after her efforts in defeating Northwestern and Kansas in a span five days. Clarendon scored nine points in the final 45.5 seconds at Northwestern on Monday before tallying a season and game-high 28 points against No. 19 Kansas on Friday.
CLARENDON APPROACHES 10: Senior Layshia Clarendon is five points shy of passing Kesha Martin for 10th on the California all-time points list. Clarendon currently sits at 1,364 career points, and Martin scored 1,368 points from 1989-93.
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 808 rebounds, and Brandon is not far behind at No. 4 on the active list with 752 boards. No other duo in the league combines for over 1,250 rebounds, let alone the 1,560 by these two.
CALDWELL HITS 10: Senior Talia Caldwell moved past Ingrid Dixon for No. 10 in the California all-time record book after her 10-rebound effort against Old Dominion Friday night. Caldwell currently sits 8th with 808 career rebounds all-time at Cal, four behind Jennifer Bennett for 7th all-time.
BRANDON'S DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Junior Gennifer Brandon's has posted six double-doubles in Cal's 10 games to open the 2012-13 season. Her double-double (17p-10r) against Lehigh in the opener was the 16th of her career, and she followed that effort with double-doubles against Saint Mary's (14p-14r), Cal poly (18p-11r), Georgetown (13p-13r), Northwestern (11p-10r) and Kansas (17p-10r). The Sylmar native collected six double-doubles as a freshman in 2009-10 and nine double-doubles as a redshirt sophomore in 2011-12.
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 but not quite making the jump with close losses to No. 2 Stanford, No. 12 Ohio State, No. 16 Rutgers, No. 24 Texas and No. 4 Notre Dame. The first test in 2012-13 was a Georgetown team that was on the fringes of the top 25, and the Bears responded with a 72-56 victory. The Bears couldn't overcome a slow first half at No. 4 Duke in the next test, a 71-65 road victory at Northwestern and 88-79 victory over No. 19 Kansas provided those non-conference marquee victories that eluded the team last season. Cal opens Pac-12 play with a streak where 7 of 8 games are against opponents either ranked or receiving votes in the polls.
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 7.2, and a different Bear has led the team in scoring in six of 10 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).