Cal Returns Home to Face Pac-10 Leaders UCLA, USC

Dec. 27, 2005

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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***A complete release will be posted by the end of the day on Dec. 27.***


Coming off its first Pac-10 win over Washington State, California (9-3, 1-1 Pac-10, T5th) returns home to host UCLA (7-4, 2-0, T1st) Friday Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. at Haas Pavilion in its Pac-10 home opener. The Golden Bears then open 2006 vs. USC (8-3, 2-0, T1st) Sunday, Jan. 1 at 2 p.m.

At 9-3, Cal has equaled the 1992-93 season for the program's best start in the last 14 seasons. That year, the Bears posted their last winning record (19-10) and earned their last postseason berth, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

After falling at Washington, 62-55, Dec. 20, Cal rebounded to defeat Washington State, 53-47, Dec. 22 in a game that was decided in the final minute.

Cal boasts the No. 1 defense in the Pac-10, surrendering only 53.0 points per game, while Oregon is second at 53.0 ppg. Only two opponents have recorded over 58 points against the Bears this season. Friday's game pits the Pac-10's No. 1 defense in Cal against the conference's No. 1 offense in UCLA (82.4 ppg).

The Bears, however, are only eighth in the conference in scoring at 64.9 ppg with three local freshmen leading Cal in scoring. Freshman forward/center Devanei Hampton leads the Bears at 14.1 ppg, followed by forward/center Ashley Walker (13.0 ppg) and guard Alexis Gray-Lawson (12.7 ppg).

Forward Reneé Wright, the team's only senior, paces Cal in rebounding at a career-best 7.3 rpg and averages 7.4 ppg. Rounding out the Bears' current starting lineup is redshirt junior guard Sarah Pool, who is third in the conference in assists at 4.50 apg and fourth in three-point field goal percentage (44.4).

Cal first-year head coach Joanne Boyle typically utilizes an eight-player rotation, with five of those players being freshmen and one being a sophomore (forward Krista Foster, 4.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg).

Walker paces the Pac-10 in blocked shots per game (2.17) and total blocks (26). Freshman guard Jené Morris is fourth in the Pac-10 in steals per game (2.80).

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