California Takes on 49ers of Long Beach State
Dec. 15, 2009
The California Golden Bears (4-4) end an 11-day break with a game Monday, Dec. 21 at Long Beach State, taking on the 49ers (3-7) at 5 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.
Head Coach Joanne Boyle will again try for her 100th career win as the Cal head coach. With a victory, Boyle will become just the second head coach in Cal history to achieve triple-digit wins with the Bears. She comes into the game with a Cal career mark of 99-39. Her overall career record is 166-68, including her three seasons as the head coach of the Richmond Spiders.
Long Beach State comes into the game looking to snap a four-game losing streak, including a pair of losses to Pac-10 teams. They lost 83-77 at home against USC and 102-70 at Oregon.
Cal is also looking to return to the victory column after dropping two straight games. The Bears have not lost three games in a row with Joanne Boyle as their head coach. The last time Cal lost three game is a row was the later portion of the 2004-05 season when they dropped back-to-back-to-back contests against Stanford, UCLA, and USC. The last time they lost three non-conference games in a row was earlier that season at the Rainbow Wahine Classic where they went 0-3 against TCU, Idaho, and Hawaii.
Cal fell out of the Top-25 rankings in both polls this week, ending a streak of 46 consecutive poll appearances in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and 42 in the AP Poll. The Bears have been ranked in the top-25 every week and in preseason polls in the USA Today/ ESPN Coaches' Poll since Feb. 26, 2007 and since the 2007-08 AP Preseason Poll.
Senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson became Cal's all-time career three-point shooter in Cal's game against San Jose State. Gray-Lawson drained a career-high six three-pointers in the game, but it was the first one that moved her into sole possession of first place on the Cal career list. Gray-Lawson scored 21 points in the game, her second 20+ point performance of the season, edging her closer to 1,500 career points. Gray-Lawson is 38 points shy of becoming the ninth player in Cal history to score 1,500 career points and the third in the last two years to reach that milestone.
Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth ended her streak of games scoring in double-digits. Stallworth had scored double-digit points in each of the first seven games of her collegiate career. She posted seven against San Jose State.FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGESFreshman center Talia Caldwell begins the week leading the Pac-10 in field goal percentage. Caldwell, who has made seven straight field goal attempts, improved her shooting percentage to 70.0 percent after going 6-for-6 against San Jose State. Caldwell currently does not have enough made-baskets to qualify for the NCAA national rankings in field goal percentage. She is averaging 3.5 makes per game. The minimum to be ranked in the NCAA national rankings is 5.0 per game. Tiana Hawkins of Maryland is the national leader with a 67.6 percent efficiency from the field. Fellow freshman DeNesha Stallworth is also making 51.3 percent of he shots (41-for-80), ranking her seventh in the Pac-10, but Stallworth's three-point accuracy is what is really impressive. Stallworth has hit seven three-pointers this season in ten attempts (70.0 percent).
STEALS Guards Eliza Pierre and Natasha Vital have each had a game this season where they have logged six steals. Vital opened the season with a six-steal performance against Idaho State. Pierre logged six against Southern. Six steals was the most by a Bear in a single game since the 2005-06 season when Alexis Gray-Lawson grabbed six at Washington on Dec. 20, 2005. Pierre leads the team with 20 steals and entered the week ranked fourth in the Pac-10 averaging 2.5 steals per game. She also ranks among the top-100 players in NCAA Division I for steals (No. 87). However, there are only five freshmen averaging more than 2.5 steals per game this season.
1500 POINTS Alexis Gray-Lawson is currently ranked No. 10 on the Cal career scoring list with 1,462 points. She is 38 points shy of becoming the ninth player in Cal history to score 1,500 career points. Former teammates Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton each reached the 1,500 point mark last season. Walker became the first Cal player to score 1,500 points since 1992, eventually going on to pass the 2,000 career point mark later in the season, including Kevi Luper of Orel Roberts, a freshman currently leading the nation in steals with 5.2 per game.
TAKING SHOTS Alexis Gray-Lawson took 25 shots against Texas A&M, the most field goal attempts in a single game by a Pac-10 player this season. Gray-Lawson is also ranked second on the list with the 24 shots she took against Ohio State. Gray-Lawson has already taken 117 shots this season, 37 more than the next closest player on the team (DeNesha Stallworth, 80).
ASSISTS Natasha Vital logged the 400th assist of her Cal career against San Jose State. She continues to move up the career assist rankings, currently with four fewer than Meme Fanner (1986-89, 404) who ranks third on the career list. Alexis Gray-Lawson is 7 assists away from moving into the career top-10 list.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: Long Beach State 49ers The Long Beach State 49ers (3-7) have played a tough non-conference schedule this year, taking on two Pac-10 teams, USC and Oregon, in addition to Cal. They opened their season with a victory over Prairie View A&M, a team that has advanced to the last two NCAA Tournaments, as well as San Diego and San Diego State.
The 2009-10 squad, picked to finish fifth out of nine teams in the Big West, includes eight seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen. LBSU returns 10 letterwinners and three starters from last year's squad. They are led by senior Karina Figueroa. Figueroa led the 49ers in scoring as a sophomore and junior before redshirting the 2008-09 campaign. The three-time All-Big West selection ranks among the LBSU career leaders in free throw percentage, three-point field goals attempted and three-point field goals made and is the program's 21st 1,000-point scorer. Anchoring a strong contingent of forwards is senior Whitney Fields. Fields was tops in the conference in rebounding (8.7 rpg), while leading the 49ers with 12.6 ppg last year. The secondteam All-Big West selection posted a team-high10 double-doubles, while hitting double figures in scoring 19 times.
Dating back to the 1978-79 season, Long Beach State holds a 10-3 advantage in the series between the two schools. Cal has won the last two meetings, the most recent showdown being Dec. 12, 2004 with Cal earning the 69-64 victory at Haas. Cal has never won in Long Beach, going 0-8 when facing the 49ers on the road, including falling 87-84 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Long Beach, March 14, 1990.
LIVE STREAMING AUDIOThe California Golden Bear's Women's Basketball team will be streaming live action for their entire 2009-10 season as part of the Cal ISP Sports Network online through CalBears.com. The Cal ISP Sports Network will be providing the audio broadcasts for all games will be available free on the internet for fans to listen via the CalBears.com website. Bay Area broadcasting veteran Dave Lewis has been hired to call the play-by-play for the game broadcasts. CLICK HERE to access the audio stream.