No. 6 California Hosts Oregon, Oregon State
Feb. 17, 2009
Thursday, Feb. 19, 8:00 p.m.: Oregon at No. 6 Cal (Radio: KALX 90.7-FM, TV: CSN-California)
Saturday, Feb. 21, 6:00 p.m.: Oregon State at No. 6 Cal (Radio: KALX 90.7-FM, TV: FSN)
The California Golden Bears (20-3, 11-1 Pac-10) look to stay atop the conference standings as they host the Oregon Ducks (9-15, 5-8 Pac-10) on Thursday night at 8 p.m. and the Oregon State Beavers (14-7, 6-7 Pac-10) on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Cal has defeated Oregon seven times in the teams' last eight matchups and Oregon State in nine of the last 10 meetings.
In the first meeting of the year with Oregon, the Ducks scored just 10 first-half points with Cal holding on for a 65-50 victory. The Cal/OSU game was a much closer contest, with the Bears holding just a one-point halftime lead, 27-26, with the Bears hanging on for a 77-72 victory.
Thursday's game will be the annual Pink Zone game focused on raising breast cancer awareness. All fans wearing pink can purchase $3 tickets for the game. Bank of the West will also be sponsoring a pink t-shirt giveaway with 3,000 pink t-shirts to be distributed to fans. The game will be carried live on Comcast-California.
The Bears remain in first place in the Pac-10 standings, but now share that honor with the Stanford Cardinal. Both teams hold identical 11-1 records in conference games and have a half-game lead over the Arizona State Sun Devils (11-2).
Saturday, Feb. 14th's 58-41 loss to the Cardinal dropped the Bears a few spots in the national rankings, but they kept their top-10 status in both polls. The Bears are ranked No. 6 in both the AP poll and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll. The Bears have been ranked in the top-10 all season in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll and for ten of the 15 rankings this season in the AP poll. Last season, the Bears closed out the season ranked in the top-10 in the AP poll for the final 13 weeks of the year and in 12 of the final 13 weeks of the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Since January 2008, the Bears have been ranked in the top-10 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll 25 of 26 weeks. The only time the Bears have not been in the top-10 was the final poll of the 2007-08 season when they dropped to No. 18 after their second round NCAA tournament loss to George Washington.
INJURY UPDATEJunior guard Natasha Vital suffered a contusion to her forehead when she collided with Stanford guard Jeanette Pohlen on the court in the final two minutes of Saturday's game at Stanford. Vital appears to be fine with no further after effects from the collision and is fully expected to play Thursday against Oregon. Pohlen, who required nine stitches after the game, is also expected to play for Stanford.
RECORD-SETTING STREAKCal's record-setting winning streaks have come to an end. Cal had won 12-straight games, the longest win streak in program history, prior to Saturday's loss at Stanford. The Cardinal snapped what was the sixth-longest active streak in the nation. Cal's 11-straight conference wins were the most by a Bears team to begin conference play and the longest overall conference winning streak in the history of the program.
DEFENSECal is holding its opponents to just 53.4 points per game, the fewest points allowed among Pac-10 teams this season and currently ranks No. 12 in the country. Kansas State's defense allows just 50.4 points per game to pace the nation. Cal has kept opponents' scores below 40 points twice this season, the first in the opener when it only allowed Albany to score 39 points, and again when Washington only managed 34 in their first meeting of the season with the Huskies.
Both Washington and Oregon set new records for fewest points scored in a half when playing Cal this season. Cal held UW to just nine first-half points. Oregon scored just 10 in its first 20 minutes of play. Cal held Stanford to just 18 first-half points, the lowest total of the season for an offense ranked No. 9 in the nation in points scored per game.
The Bears are 17-0 when holding their opponents to 55 or fewer points. They have held their opponents to 50 points or less in eight of the last 13 games. Pac-10 opponents are averaging 52.3 points against the Bears.
The Bears are holding opponents to a 28.0 three-point efficiency (116-of-414) best in the Pac-10. The Bears have held opponents to two or fewer made-threes in a game five times this season, including Washington State's 1-for-19 performance earlier this season and Washington's 2-for-14 showing.
CAL ALL-TIME LEADING REBOUNDERSenior forward Ashley Walker is 20 rebounds away from becoming the Cal career rebounding leader, passing current record-holder Colleen Galloway (1978-81, 1,029). Walker and Galloway are the only two players in program history to have over 1,000 rebounds. There have been eight players in Pac-10 history to reach the 1,000 rebound mark. Walker's currently ranks sixth on the Pac-10 career list. Walker enters the game with 1,010 rebounds.
PAC-10/NATIONAL LEADERSAshley Walker continues to leads the Pac-10 in scoring average. Her 20.1 ppg paces the conference and ranks her 18th among all DI players. Alysha Clark of Middle Tennessee leads the nation, averaging 25.8. Walker is third in the Pac-10 and 20th in the country in field -goal shooting percentage (56.3 percent).
Natasha Vital's 43.7 percent three-point shooting efficiency is second best in the Pac-10. She has hit 31 treys in 71 attempts this season.
Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is third in the Pac-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 1.6 ratio. Gray-Lawson ranks No. 47 in the nation in this stat.
Senior center Devanei Hampton is averaging 7.8 rebounds per game in Pac-10 games this season, sixth best among all conference players. Walker, averaging 7.9 rebounds per game in Pac-10 contests, ranks fifth.
DEVDevanei Hampton is averaging 9.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game since returning to the starting lineup. In Hampton's first nine games of the season, she averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds.
MORE NOTES ON WALKER
** Walker has scored in double digits in all but three games this season.
** Walker has hit 10 or more field goals in a game five times this season.
** Walker has shot 50.0 percent or better in all but five games this season. She has a career-best 56.3 field-goal percentage this season, third-best in the Pac-10 and ranking her No. 19 in the country.
** Walker has 33 career games scoring 20 or more points. This season, she has topped 20 points 14 times and has done so seven times already in Pac-10 play.
** Walker was a nominee for WBCA Player of the Month in December, a month in which she averaged 22.6 points per game and shot 61.4 percent from the floor.
** Walker was a nominee for WBCA Player of the Month in January, a month in which she averaged 18.1 points per game with 7.4 rebounds per game.
** Walker has started every game since her freshman year and has scored in every game since her freshman year. The closest she ever came to being shut put was in the Pac-10 finals last season against Stanford when she scored her first, and only, basket with 6:20 remaining in the game.
** Walker's name was added for the ninth and tenth times in the Cal record book in cumulative career stat categories when she became No. 10 in career steals with 159 and No. 10 in games played. She now ranks No. 5 in career games played with 119.
** Walker has seven games with multiple blocks this season.
** Walker has been named a John R. Wooden Award midseason top-20 candidate.
COUNTDOWN TO 2,000Ashley Walker needs 67 points to become the second player in the history of Cal and the 11th player in Pac-10 history to score 2,000 career points.
COUNTDOWN TO 1,500Devanei Hampton scored the 1400th point of her career against UCLA. Hampton is 38 points shy of joining Walker in the 1500 point club.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME SCORING: WALKER No. 14Ashley Walker's name will also be written into the Pac-10 history books. Walker moved into the top-20 in career scoring in the Pac-10 in the Stanford game. Walker passed former Washington player Giuliana Mendiola (2001-04, 1,928 pts.), to move up to No. 14 on the list. She needs 24 points to move past Oregon's Stephanie Kasperski (1987-90, 1,956) and into 13th place on the list. Walker became the 39th player to score 1,500 points as a member of the Pac-10.
PAC-10 ALL-TIME REBOUNDERS: NO. 6 Ashley WalkerWalker entered the season ranked No. 21 on the Pac-10 career rebounding list. She moved up to No. 6 on the career list, passing Ebony Hoffman of USC (2001-04, 1,003) and Amber Hall of Washington (1996-99, 1,003). The No. 5 ranked player on the list, Val Whiting of Stanford (1989-93), has 1,134 career rebounds.
GRAY-LAWSON'S 1000 POINT MEMBERSHIPAlexis Gray-Lawson became the 20th member of Cal's 1,000 point club on Nov. 29 in the third game of the Paradise Jam Tournament against Iowa, with 1:26 left in the first half on a runner through the lane. Gray-Lawson needs 11 points to move into the top-10 on the career-scoring list. She also needs just three three-pointers to become the second most-prolific three-point shooter in Cal history. Gray-Lawson has 132 made-threes in her career. Liz Rizzo (1994-97), who is currently No. 2 in the Cal record books, made 135 treys in her career.
THIS WEEK'S PAC-10 OPPONENTS
SCOUTING OREGONThe Oregon Ducks (9-15, 5-8 Pac-10) are coming off a come-from-behind victory against Washington on Saturday, Feb. 14 on in Eugene, Ore. Junior guard Micaela Cocks scored 17 points in the second half, going four-for-four from three-point range, to help the Ducks erase a 10-point deficit to earn a 77-69 victory. They shot 56.8 percent from the field overall in the game and had a span where they connected on 13 of the 19 field-goal attempts (68.4 percent). The victory snapped a string of six straight Pac-10 losses for the Ducks. Earlier in the week, Oregon struggled from the floor, making just six of their 17 field goal attempts in the second half in their 58-45 loss to Washington State. The Ducks have scored fewer than 50 points in three of their last five games.
Cocks leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.3 ppg. Junior guard Taylor Lilley is the only other Oregon player to average double figures, scoring 10.4 ppg.
Oregon leads the all-time series 36-20 and 30-18 in Pac-10 play. Cal has won the last five straight meetings.
Oregon's Probable Starters (2008-09 per-game averages)
No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown PPG RPG2 Micaela Cocks G 5-8 Jr. Aukland, NZ 14.2 2.71 Taylor Lilley G 5-6 Jr. Newhall, Calif. 10.4 2.930 Jasmin Holliday F 6-0 Fr. Chino Hills, Calif. 5.6 3.845 Lindsey Saffold G 5-10 Jr. Tacoma, Wash. 3.5 3.34 Ellie Manou F 6-3 So. Sydney, AUS 7.7 4.8
SCOUTING OREGON STATE
The Oregon State Beavers (15-8, 6-7 Pac-10) have won four of their last five games including a sweep of the Washington schools in Corvallis last week, guaranteeing a winning regular season for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign. Oregon State has been almost unbeatable this season when taking a lead into halftime. The Beavers are 15-1 when leading at the half this year, and 0-7 when trailing. Oregon State is the top free-throw shooting team in the Pac-10, making 74.3 percent of its shots from the charity stripe.
Senior Brittney Davis enters the week having made her last 22 free-throw attempts. She has gone 12-for-12 and 8-for-8 in her last two games. Davis went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in the first game against the Bears this season.
Sophomore guard Talisa Rhea leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.0 ppg. However, in conference games it is Davis who paces the team, averaging 14.2 ppg.
The all-time series is tied 28-28, but Cal leads, 24-21 since the two teams joined the Pac-10. Cal has won the last five meetings between the two teams.
Oregon State's Probable Starters (2008-09 per-game averages)
No. Player Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown ppg. rpg.1 Mercedes Fox-Griffin G 5-7 Sr. La Jolla, Calif. 8.8 2.73 Tiffany Ducker C 6-2 Sr. Stockton, Calif. 6.4 7.011 Talisa Rhea G 5-11 So. Juneau, Alaska 14.0 4.320 Brittney Davis G 5-10 Sr. Portland, Ore. 13.6 3.232 Kirsten Tilleman F 6-1 Fr. Bozeman, Mont. 4.0 3.8