No. 9/9 Cal Faces Arizona Saturday
Feb. 16, 2008
BERKELEY, Calif. -
Riding a five-game winning streak and in pursuit of its first-ever Pac-10 title, No. 9/9 California (22-3, 13-1 Pac-10, 1st), hosts Arizona (9-15, 3-10 Pac-10, 8th) Saturday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Cal looks to sweep Arizona State and Arizona at home for the first time since 1994-95 and sweep the four regular-season games over those schools for the first time.
Saturday is the third of four Kids' Days during the season. All youth 12th grade and under are admitted for $1, and there are fun activities before the game outside Haas Pavilion, beginning at 11:30. It's also the NCAA's Pack the House Challenge, with the Bears looking to break their attendance record of 5,027 fans.
Cal, which holds a one-game lead over Stanford for first place in the Pac-10, is coming off a 70-60 victory over Arizona State Feb. 14. Juniors Devanei Hampton (21 points, 12 rebounds) and Ashley Walker (15 points, 11 rebounds) led Cal to their 15th straight home victory and to its first regular-season sweep of Arizona State since 1998-99.
Cal, which leads the Pac-10 with a +8.7 rebounding margin, utilized a +15 rebounding edge (43-28) to secure the win over the Sun Devils. In addition to rebounding, defense is been a huge contributor to the Bears' success this season. The Bears surrender a Pac-10-best and school-record 53.1 ppg, which is on pace to break Arizona State's Pac-10 record of 54.7 ppg from the 2004-05 season. At a school record of 34.3, Cal also leads the conference in field goal percentage defense. The Bears began the week fourth in the nation in FG percentage defense and sixth in scoring defense.
All-American candidates Walker (F/C), Hampton (F/C) and junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson continue to lead Cal. Sophomore guard Natasha Vital has also come up with several recent big games for Cal, including 13 points against Arizona State. Walker leads Cal in scoring (15.6 ppg, 4th Pac-10) and rebounding (9.4 rpg, 1st Pac-10). Hampton is second on the team in scoring (13.2 ppg) and in rebounding (7.8 rpg) but hasn't played in 75 percent of Cal's games to qualify for the Pac-10 leaders charts.
Gray-Lawson is third on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg, 13th Pac-10) and first in three-point field goal percentage (40.4%, 3rd Pac-10). In Cal's game at Arizona Jan. 19, Gray-Lawson sank a career-high five three-pointers (5-6). Vital has seen her scoring average rise to 7.8 ppg after averaging 11.4 ppg over the last five contests. Rounding out the Bears' starting unit is sophomore guard Lauren Greif, a starter in all 57 of her games at Cal.
Sophomore forward/center Rama N'diaye, freshman guard/forward Kelsey Adrian, junior forward Shantrell Sneed and senior forward Krista Foster have seen the most minutes off the bench. Freshman guard Rachelle Federico, who hails from Tucson, has entered 13 games.