Bears Host UCLA, No. 22 USC This Week
Feb. 18, 2002
UCLA Bruins (17-8, 9-5) at California Golden Bears (18-6, 9-5)
Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
TV: No television
Radio: KABL (960 AM)
USC Trojans (18-6, 10-4, at Stanford Feb. 21) at California
Saturday, Feb. 23, 3 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA
TV: Fox Sports Net
Radio: KABL (960 AM)
A Quick Look at the Golden Bears
Cal plays its final two games in Haas Pavilion this season when the Bears host UCLA Thursday and No. 22 USC Saturday. There is no television for the contest against the Bruins, while the Cal-USC game will be on Fox Sports Net. As of Monday morning, the UCLA game is sold out and less than 200 tickets remain for the USC match-up.
The Bears are coming off a disappointing performance at Washington last Saturday when they dropped a 75-60 decision to the Huskies. As a result of the loss, Cal fell 13 spots in the RPI from 26th to 39th. The Bears are 33rd in the Sagarin ratings.
However, Cal is still tied for the best overall record in the Pac-10 (18-6) and has been nearly unbeatable at home, posting a 15-1 record, including wins over Stanford, Oregon, Fresno State and New Mexico. Over their past 36 games, the Bears are 32-4 in Haas.
For the season, Cal has led the Pac-10 in both scoring defense and field goal percentage defense most of the year. So far, the Bears have limited 12 teams, including seven Pac-10 schools, to 60 points or less for the first time since 1984-85 - the year before the shot clock was introduced.
With two 6-11 starters in senior Solomon Hughes and freshman Jamal Sampson, the Bears pose an intimidating presence in the paint. Hughes is second all-time at Cal with 115 blocks, while Sampson has 43 swats this year, including seven in the last two games.
Offensively, junior forward Joe Shipp has paced Cal all year, now averaging 14.6 ppg with a high of 31 vs. Fresno State in December. Last month at USC, Shipp scored 20 points and tied a personal best with nine rebounds. With 911 career points, Shipp could become the 31st player in school history to reach 1,000 points by the end of this season.