Bears Start Pac-10 Play at Arizona, ASU

Jan. 2, 2001

BERKELEY -

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Riding a seven-game winning streak, which ties for the longest of the Ben Braun era at Cal, the Bears kick off the Pac-10 season with visits to Arizona and Arizona State this weekend.

Now 8-3 on the year after a 1-3 start to the season, Cal enters conference action playing its best basketball to date. The Bears have shot at least 50 percent from the floor in each of their last five games, outscoring their opponents by a 82.4-61.0 margin during that stretch.

But it has been Cal's defense that has keyed the victory run. The Bears have not allowed more than 64 points in any of their last eight games or in nine of their last 10. For the season, Cal is giving up only 63.5 ppg and holding the opposition to 40.8 percent shooting from the floor.

However, the Bears face what has, historically, been their most difficult league road trip. Cal has not won at Arizona since 1995, and the Bears have lost their last 10 trips to Arizona State. Cal also needs to prove it can win away from home, as the Bears only victory outside of Haas Pavilion this year came against Georgia at the Arena in Oakland.

Individually, senior forward Sean Lampley continues to pace the team in scoring (17.9 ppg). Voted MVP of the Golden Bear Classic last week, he has led or tied for the team lead in points in seven consecutive games and in nine of 11 contests on the year. Lampley has also moved up to 11th on Cal's career scoring chart with 1,368 points. He had a season-best 25 points to go with 10 assists and just one turnover in the Georgia win and had 23 points in his most recent outing vs. LaSalle.

On the outside, point guard Shantay Legans has been playing solidly. He has made nine of his last 11 three-point attempts to climb to second on the team in scoring at 10.0 ppg. Legans also has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 49-20 is tied for the team lead with 15 steals.

In addition, sophomore Brian Wethers remains on his career-best surge, reaching double figures in each of his last five games. Named to the all-tournament team at the Golden Bear Classic, Wethers is shooting an even 50 percent from the field.

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