Surging Bears Welcome No. 14 Arizona State
Jan. 3, 2009
Arizona State Sun Devils (12-1, 1-0) at California Golden Bears (12-2, 1-0)
Sunday, Jan. 4, 5:00 p.m., Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: KYOU (1550 AM) TV: Comcast SportsNet California
Riding a six-game wining streak, California (12-2, 1-0) concludes a six-game homestand against No. 14 Arizona State on Sunday, Jan. 4, at 5 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears, who won six of their seven games in the month of December, defeated Arizona, 69-55, in the Pac-10 opener last Friday. In a matchup of the nation's top two three-point shooting squads, the Cal defense held the Wildcats to just three three-pointers in 13 attempts, while the Bears connected on seven of 15.
A big reason why Cal opened the conference schedule with a victory was the play of junior G Patrick Christopher. Matching his season high of 23 points, Christopher also added four rebounds and four assists in helping the Bears start the Pac-10 in the win column. Christopher is currently averaging 14.6 ppg, which is second best among the Bears. He is also third on the team in rebounds with 53, averaging 3.8 per game.
Also boasting a strong night was sophomore F Harper Kamp. Kamp put up career bests in rebounds (7) and assists (5). Harper, a native of Mesa, Ariz., also put up five points, shooting a clean 2-for-2 from the field.
The Bears continue to pace the nation in three-point accuracy, connecting on just over half of their attempts (50.3%). Junior F Theo Robertson is currently No. 2 in the nation in three-point percentage at 61.4 percent (min 1.5 made per game), while junior G Jerome Randle is No. 4 in the NCAA in the same category at 55.7 percent.Randle paces the squad with 19.1 ppg and has led the Bears in 11 of 14 games. He was Cal's leading scorer for nine games in a row before junior F Jamal Boykin's impressive day against Portland back on Dec. 28. Randle matched his career high with 26 points vs. Florida State on Nov. 29. He is dishing out 4.7 apg and owns a team-best 14 steals.
On the defensive end, the Bears are holding opponents to 63.6 ppg, far fewer than the 75.1 ppg Cal allowed last year. The 55 points that Cal gave up against Arizona tied for the third fewest points the Bears have allowed this season.