Cal Advances to NCAA Tournament Second Round
March 22, 2009
LOS ANGELES -
The California Golden Bears advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year and the third time in program history. The Bears will take on the University of Virginia Cavaliers Monday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2. It will also be available online on ESPN360.com.
The California Golden Bears defeated Fresno State 70-47 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It was just the third NCAA Tournament victory in program history. The Bears earned first round victories in 1993 and last season, but are still looking for their first ever trip to the Sweet 16.
The 23 points is the biggest margin of victory for the Bears in an NCAA tournament game, topping last season's 17-point victory, 77-60, over San Diego. It was the largest margin of victory for the Bears since their 84-42 victory over Oregon on Feb. 19.
Cal never trailed against Fresno State. Cal never trailed in last year's victory over San Diego and never trailed until the last shot by George Washington in their second round loss.
The Bears are one victory away from tying the program record for most victories in a season, set last year when the Bears posted a 27-7 mark.
The Bears lowered their points allowed average to 53.6. They are on pace to set the Pac-10 record for lowest opponent scoring average for a season, beating the previous mark of 54.3 set by last year's Bears team.
The Bears now have 14 games this season where they have held their opponent to under 50 points. Bears opponents in three of their last four games have failed to score 50 points. The Bears have 22 games where they have held their opponent to 55 or fewer points, all of which were Bears' victories.
Cal converted their final 10 free throw attempts of the game. Prior to that stretch, Cal was 7-for-14 from the line.
Cal scored 24 points off turnovers. Fresno State scored just 7.
After logging 10 first-half turnovers, the Bears only had three in the second half.
During the Bears 14-2 run to open the second half, Cal's defense held Fresno State to one made-field goal on 11 attempts. They also held the Bulldogs to just one made-three pointer in the first half and four total in the game.
Fresno State has just four treys in the game. They average over 9 makes per contest. The Bears defense allowed only 18 attempts for a team that averages 27 long-range shots per game.
Senior forward Ashley Walker scored 21 points with 8 rebounds. It was the fourth time in five tournament games that Walker scored more than 20 points in a game. Walker is now averaging 20.4 points and 9.8 rebounds in the five NCAA tournament games in her career. She has led the Bears in scoring in four of those five games.
Walker had a season-high three blocks against Fresno State. Walker is second on the Cal career blocked shot list with 173.
Walker scored 13 of Cal's first 16 points of the game, all within the first eight minutes of the game.
Between the two Pac-10 tourney games and Cal's first-round NCAA game, Walker is shooting 61.9 percent from the floor (26-of-42).
Junior guard Natasha Vital had five assists and zero turnovers. It was her second straight game that she did not turn the ball over.
Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson had her third double-digit scoring effort in four NCAA Tournament games. Gray-Lawson's 14 points brings her NCAA tournament average to 12.5 per points per game.
Vital logged her 100th assist of the season. She comes into the Virginia game with 104 this season and 373 in her career.
Junior forward Rama N'diaye scored six points, tying her highest single-game total of the season.
Senior forward Devanei Hampton, despite only scoring four points against Fresno State, is still averaging 11.2 ppg in the month of March. Two of Hampton's four double-doubles have come this month. Hampton has also accumulated four fouls in four of the Bears' six games since March 1 but has yet to foul out. She only has two DQ's this season.
Walker has 1,100 career rebounds and 2,089 career points. Walker needs 13 points to pass UCLA's Maylana Martin (1997-00, 2,101 pts.) and move into seventh place on the Pac-10 all-time scoring list. She ranks sixth on the Pac-10 career rebounding list. She is 35 rebounds shy of moving into the top-5.
Hampton moved into sixth place on the Cal career scoring list. Hampton's 1559 career points is tied for sixth with Karen Smith (1981-84). She needs one point to take sole possession of sixth place. She is 51 points shy of ranking among the top-5 scorers in Cal history.
Hampton is two rebounds away from passing Cynthia Cooke (1982-85, 855) and moving into fifth place on the Cal career rebounding list. Hampton has 854 boards in her career.
Cal improved to 5-1 at the Galen Center. Their only loss at the arena was the 69-67 Pac-10 semifinal game against USC. The Virginia game will be the fifth time this season Cal has played on that court.
Cal is 0-2 against the Virginia Cavaliers and 6-9 in program history against ACC schools.
Cal's last victory over an ACC school came Dec. 21, 1993 when they defeated Duke 72-66. Joanne Boyle was a first-year assistant coach for Duke at that time.
Cal has lost the last five meetings against ACC opponents including an 81-66 loss to Virginia Dec. 28, 1997 and a 70-55 loss at Virginia on Nov. 28, 1998.
The Pac-10 went 3-0 in the first round of the tournament with Arizona State advancing with a 58-47 victory over Georgia and Stanford winning 74-39 over former Cal assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb's UC Santa Barbara Gauchos.
Oregon State, the lone Pac-10 team participating in the WNIT, advanced to the third round with a 59-47 victory over Portland State.
Shortly after the Bears finished up their game against Fresno State, the California Golden Bears women's swim team was finishing up at the NCAA Championships where they won the first National Championship in the history of that program.
Monday's game will be the 11th time this season the Bears have played a televised game.
California assistant coach Jennifer Hoover spent a year as the Director of Operations for the Virginia Cavaliers before being promoted to Assistant Coach, a position she held for three seasons (2004-07). Hoover was an associate head coach at Memphis (2007-08) after leaving UVA and before coming to Cal. Cal women's basketball video coordinator James Rogol worked for UVA for six years.
The Golden Bears were sent off to the game by the California Straw Hat Band and the cheerleaders. The Bears walked to the bus as the band played their fight songs out front of the hotel. The cheerleaders lined both sides of the pathway ahead of the band.