Bears Visit USC Saturday 5 p.m.

Feb. 23, 2007

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California Golden Bears (14-13, 6-9) at USC Trojans (20-8, 10-5)
Saturday, Feb. 24, 5 p.m., Galen Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM)
TV: Comcast SportsNet

A Quick Look at the Golden Bears

  • California plays its final road game of the regular season when the Golden Bears visit USC Saturday at 5 p.m. The contest will be telecast in Northern California on Comcast SportsNet and in Southern California on Prime Ticket.
  • With 202 three-pointers made this year, Cal has established a school season record, breaking the old mark of 198 set in 2002-03.
  • After sinking 15-of-17 free throws (88.2%) at UCLA Thursday, Cal moved back into the national lead for free throw percentage, now sporting a 77.7 percent rate and just ahead of Villanova's 77.6 percent.
  • In Thursday's 85-75 loss at No. 4 UCLA, the Bears shot a season-high 60.5 percent from the floor (26-43) and 61.5 percent from three-point range (8-13). Cal is a combined 54-for-94 on field goal attempts its past two games (57.4%). Earlier this season, the Bears made 51.9 percent of their shots vs. USC - becoming the only team to make more than half its field goal attempts against the Trojans this season.
  • Freshman Ryan Anderson sank 4-of-6 three-pointers at UCLA after making just five of his previous 21 attempts. For the year, the 6-10 forward is 48-for-127 from behind the arc (37.8%). His 48 treys are the second-highest freshman total in school history, trailing only the 60 by Ryan Drew in 1988. Anderson needs just three more three-pointers to move into Cal's all-time season Top 10 list.
  • With 10 points against the Bruins Thursday, senior Ayinde Ubaka moved into 23rd place on Cal's career scoring chart with 1,115 points. Next up is Butch Hays, who scored 1,145 points from 1981-84.
  • Cal is 6-3 in its last nine regular-season visits to USC since 1998.
  • Freshman Patrick Christopher has averaged 16.7 ppg his last three games, shooting 60.0 percent from the floor (21-35) and reaching double figures each time. Included in his total is a career-high 24-point effort last Saturday vs. Oregon State. Prior to his current burst, Christopher had only scored at least 10 points one other time this season - when he had 10 vs. USC in Berkeley Jan. 27.

Probable StartersPOS  NO  NAME                 HT    WT   YR  PPG   RPGF    23  Patrick Christopher  6-5   210  Fr  5.6   2.3Averaging 16.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg last 3 games; 24 pts, 11 rebs vs. OSU F    24  Theo Robertson       6-6   225  So  8.9   4.3Career-high 21 points vs. Oregon State (6-8 FG, 1-1 3P, 8-10 FT) F    34  Ryan Anderson        6-10  235  Fr  16.6  8.021 points at UCLA Thursday; 48 three-pointers (#2 on Cal frosh list) G     1  Ayinde Ubaka         6-4   200  Sr  13.9  4.3 apg#23 in Cal history with 1,115 pts; 12 rebounds vs. Oregon 2/15G     2  Omar Wilkes          6-4   185  Jr  9.9   2.0Scored 14 points vs. USC Jan 27

Golden Bear Notes

Last Time Out: Big Second Half lead UCLA over Cal, 85-75
Cal battled UCLA (#4 AP/#4 ESPN/USA Today) to a virtual draw for 20 minutes, but the Bruins dominated inside during the second half on their way to an 85-75 victory Thursday to snap the Bears' two-game winning streak in Pauley Pavilion. Cal rushed out to a 14-4 lead less than five minutes into the contest. UCLA, though, used an 8-0 run to take its first lead at 32-30 and was up, 35-34, at the break despite allowing the Bears to shoot 66.7 percent from the floor in the first half. In the second half, UCLA scored 36 points in the paint to pull away, leading by as many as 26 points before Cal made a late run. The Bears shot season highs from the floor (60.5%) and three-point range (61.5) and were led by Ryan Anderson's 21 points.

Bears Break Three-Point Record vs. UCLA
When Patrick Christopher nailed a three-pointer with 6:18 left at UCLA Thursday, it gave the Bears their 199th three-pointer of the year, breaking the Cal mark of 198 set during the 2002-03 campaign. After making 8-of-13 from behind the arc against the Bruins, the Bears ended with night with 202 treys. Ryan Anderson leads the squad with 48 three-pointers, with Ayinde Ubaka tossing in 45 and Omar Wilkes 30. Three other Cal players have also sunk at least 20 on the season - freshman Jerome Randle (22), sophomore Theo Robertson (21) and junior Eric Vierneisel (20).

Cal Team Three-Pointer List1. 2006-07  202-556  36.3%2. 2003-03  198-530  37.4%3. 1989-90  196-507  38.7%4. 1994-95  189-530  35.7%

Bears Face One of Nation's Toughest Schedules in 2006-07
According to almost any measure, Cal is playing one of the most difficult schedules in the country this year. The highest ranking comes from the Sagarin Ratings, which put the Bears' strength of schedule at No. 3. Other high rankings are: collegerpi.com - #8, Ken Pomeroy's kenpom.com - #8, CBS Sportsline RPI - #8 and ESPN's InsideRPI - #7. Among the highly rated opponents for Cal (using the collegerpi.com list) are No. 1 UCLA, No. 13 Arizona, No. 23 Nevada, No. 25 Washington State, No. 26 Oregon, No. 43 Stanford, No. 51 USC, No. 54 San Diego State, No. 57 Kansas State and No. 58 DePaul.

Cal 15th in Country in Fewest Turnovers per Game
Cal, which led the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers last season (12.4 per game), is committing just 11.7 topg this year - second in the league to Washington State (10.4 topg) and 15th among all Division I schools. The Bears have committed more than 15 just three times and 11 or fewer on 13 occasions. Cal had a season-low seven turnovers vs. Stanford Feb. 3 and just eight TOs in a 78-48 victory over Kansas State Nov. 29. The Bears also committed nine total turnovers vs. Washington State Jan. 11 and 10 seven other times.

Bears on Record Free Throw Pace, Rank No. 1 in NCAA
Perhaps the greatest area of improvement for the Bears over the past couple of years has been at the free throw line. After ranking last in the Pac-10 in both 2004 (62.8%) and 2005 (62.7%), Cal not only leads the league this year, but is No. 1 in the country at 77.7 percent. The Bears have been perfect from the line three times this season - 11-for-11 vs. Loyola Marymount Nov. 25, 12-for-12 at Oregon Jan. 20 and 8-for-8 vs. USC Jan. 27. The Oregon performance set a school record for most attempts without a miss. In addition, Cal was 42-for-44 at the charity stripe in the Great Alaska Shootout. Freshman Jerome Randle made the first 12 tries of his career and paces the squad at 84.3 percent, while junior Omar Wilkes is at 83.3 percent. The school team record is 73.5 percent set in 1986-87.

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