Cal Looks for Season Sweep at No. 15/17 ASU Saturday
Feb. 17, 2006
BERKELEY, Calif. -
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS
California, which ranks second in the Pac-10 in scoring defense, looks to post its first Pac-10 road sweep of the season when the Golden Bears (16-9, 8-7 Pac-10, 6th) travel to No. 15/17 Arizona State (21-5, 12-4, 2nd) Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. MT. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net, with Jim Watson (play-by-play) and Mary Murphy (color) handling the broadcasting duties.
Cal is coming off a 73-56 victory at Arizona Feb. 16, marking the Bears' first win at the McKale Center since 1993. Thursday's victory also guarantees Cal its first winning season (factoring in postseason possibilities) since 1992-93 and keeps the Bears in NCAA Tournament contention. In 1992-93, Cal posted a 19-10 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the program's last postseason appearance.
In Berkeley last month, Cal defeated then-No. 13 Arizona State, 66-64. Saturday, the Bears hope to snap the Sun Devils 20-game home-winning streak, post their first sweep of the ASU season series since 1998-99 and earn their first Pac-10 road sweep since 2000-01 (USC/UCLA).
The Bears surrender only 59.3 ppg, which is on track to shatter the previous school record of 63.2 (2001-02). Opponents are shooting only 36.8 percent against Cal, which is on pace to break a 27-year-old school record (40.2, 1978-79).
Over the last four games, Cal has allowed 53.3 ppg but is only 2-2 during that span because the Bears have posted only 55.8 ppg. Freshman forward/center Ashley Walker (Modesto, Calif.) leads the Pac-10 in blocks/game (1.8) and ranks in the top five in the conference in five categories. Freshman guard Jené Morris (San Francisco) is third in the Pac-10 in steals/game (2.35)
Freshman center Devanei Hampton (Oakland, Calif.) leads Cal in scoring (15.5 ppg, seventh Pac-10) and rebounding (7.91 rpg, second Pac-10), and freshman guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is second at 14.6 ppg (ninth Pac-10).
Walker is third on the team in scoring at 12.9 ppg and second on the team and third in the Pac-10 in rebounding at 7.88 rpg. Morris is the fourth-leading scorer on the Bears at 8.3 ppg. Senior Reneé Wright (7.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg - 10th Pac-10), who tallied a season-high 13 points at Arizona, joins the above mentioned freshmen in the starting lineup.
Sophomore forward Krista Foster (4.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg) and redshirt junior guard Sarah Pool (3.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg) are the first two players off Cal's bench. In the Arizona win, Foster contributed career highs of 13 points and seven rebounds, while Pool added three points, five rebounds and four assists and is 23 assists shy of equaling Sherrise Smith (1996-99, 292) for 10th on the Cal career list. Freshman forward Shantrell Sneed notched a career-high nine points against the Wildcats.
Four of Cal's starters average at least 30 minutes per game, and the fifth (Hampton) logs 28.2 mpg.