No. 6 California Hosts Oregon State Saturday Evening
Feb. 20, 2009
Saturday, Feb. 21, 6:00 p.m.: Oregon State at No. 6 Cal(Radio: KALX 90.7-FM, TV: FSN)
The California Golden Bears (21-3, 12-1 Pac-10) look to stay in a tie for the Pac-10 Conference lead as they host the Oregon State Beavers (14-8, 6-8 Pac-10) on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. It's a Cal Kids Day where all youth 12th grade and under can purchase $1 tickets for the game.
Cal edged OSU 77-72 when the two faced off earlier this season in Corvallis. Junior guard Natasha Vital scored 14 of Cal's last 20 points to help secure the victory for the Bears. Senior forward Ashley Walker had 20 points and seven rebounds, scoring16 of her 20 in the second half. Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson added 19 points and Vital had 18 points. The Bears have won nine of the last ten meetings between the two schools.
The Bears remain in first place in the Pac-10 standings, but now share that honor with the Stanford Cardinal. Both teams hold identical 12-1 records in conference games and have a game lead over the Arizona State Sun Devils (11-2).
In the national polls, the Bears dropped three spots this week, but maintained 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.
The team's 21 wins this season are already more victories than the Bears posted in the entire season in 29 of the 35 years of Cal women's basketball. Their 12 Pac-10 victories are already more than they posted in 19 of the 22 seasons they have been playing in the Pac-10. The Bears twice have posted 12 Pac-10 wins (1991-92 and 2006-07) and also had two seasons in the NorPac where they finished with an even dozen victories. The Bears have only won a 13th game in Pac-10 or any conference play once, last season when they finished 15-3.
RECORD WATCHSenior forward Ashley Walker is nine rebounds away from becoming the Cal career rebounding leader, passing current record-holder Colleen Galloway (1978-81, 1,029). Walker comes into the game with 1,021, meaning she needs eight rebounds to tie the record and nine to break it. 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 had 11 rebounds Feb. 19 against Oregon. In the first game of the season against Oregon State, Walker had seven.
COUNTDOWN TO 1,500Senior forward Devanei Hampton scored the 1400th point of her career against UCLA. Hampton is 28 points shy of joining Walker in the 1500 point club.
DEFENSECal is holding its opponents to just 53.0 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. Including the 42 points scored by Oregon in Thursday night's game
The Bears are 18-0 when holding their opponents to 55 or fewer points. The Bears have held their opponents to under 45 points in three of their last four games, with the loss at Stanford the only exception. The 72 points scored by The Oregon State Beavers in the first meeting of the year between the two teams was the most points scored by an opponent in a Bears victory this year and one of just four times that an opponent scored 70 points against the Bears this season.
The Bears are holding opponents to a 27.7 three-point efficiency (120-of-433) 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.
PAC-10/NATIONAL LEADERSAshley Walker continues to leads the Pac-10 in scoring average. Her 20.3 ppg paces the conference and ranks her 14th among all DI players. Alysha Clark of Middle Tennessee leads the nation, averaging 25.9. Walker is third in the Pac-10 and 20th in the country in field -goal shooting percentage (55.9 percent).
Natasha Vital's 43.8 percent three-point shooting efficiency is second best in the Pac-10.
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 7.4 rebounds per game in Pac-10 games this season, sixth best among all conference players. Walker, averaging 8.2 rebounds per game in Pac-10 contests, ranks fourth.
DEVDevanei Hampton is averaging 9.4 points and 7.4 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 each of the last eight games. There have only been three times this year Walker has been held to single-digit point totals** Walker has hit 10 or more field goals in a game six times this season, including Feb. 19 against Oregon** Walker has shot 50.0 percent or better in all but five games this season. She has a career-best 55.9 field-goal percentage this season, third-best in the Pac-10 and ranking her No. 19 in the country.** Walker has 34 career games scoring 20 or more points. This season, she has topped 20 points 15 times and has done so eight times 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 120.** Walker has been named a John R. Wooden Award midseason top-20 candidate.
COUNTDOWN TO 2,000Ashley Walker needs 43 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.
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 ten points to move past Arizona's DeeDee Wheeler (2002-05, 1,966) and into 12th 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 IN THE RECORD BOOKSAlexis 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 moved into tenth place on the career scoring list in the Oregon game and also moved into a tie for second place in career made three-point baskets with Liz Rizzo (1994-97). Both made 135 treys in her career.
SCOUTING OREGON STATEThe Oregon State Beavers (15-9, 6-8 Pac-10) have won four of their last six 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