Women's Basketball Opens Practice Oct. 14

Oct. 13, 2000

BERKELEY - The Caren Horstmeyer era of California women's basketball officially begins Saturday morning when she welcomes 10 returning letterwinners and three newcomers to the first official practice of the 2000-01 season.

Cal will practice in the Recreational Sports Facility on campus for the first seven to 10 days of practice until the new scoreboards are fully installed at Haas Pavilion.

Horstmeyer begins her first season as head coach at Cal after posting a 221-124 record in 12 seasons at Santa Clara. The winningest coach in West Coast Conference history, she takes over a Cal program which was on the brink of having its first winning season in six years last year before the injury bug struck about half the team.

After starting the 1999-2000 season with a 5-2 mark, Cal finished the year 11-17 overall and 6-12 in the Pac-10. When Cal was healthy again at the end of the season, it showed its potential by winning four of its final six games, including a road win against NCAA Tournament qualifier UCLA.

The Bears three returning starters - seniors Courtney Johnson (5-8 guard), Kenya Corley (5-8 guard), Lauren Ashbaugh (6-2 forward) - were among Cal's top five scorers last season.

Johnson emerged as Cal's offensive and defensive leader last season. The 2000 honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection led Cal in scoring (11.7 ppg) and assists (3.1 apg), and paced the Pac-10 in steals with 3.2 per game.

The Bears welcome three newcomers this season - freshmen Kiki Williams and Latasha O'Keith and senior Brook Coulter. Williams, a 6-1 forward from San Rafael, Calif., led Terra Linda High School to the 1999 Marin County Athletic League title as a junior, averaging 22 points and 11 rebounds per game. O'Keith, a 5-7 guard from Carson, Calif., hails from Narbonne High School, which was the No. 1 team in the nation in '99-00. Coulter, a 5-10 forward/guard, joins the Cal basketball team after earning honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors as a senior outside hitter on the Cal volleyball team last season.

Cal plays the first of two exhibition games Nov. 5, against a Bay Area Pro-Am team at 2 p.m., at Haas Pavilion. The Bears open the regular season Nov. 17 at Rutgers, a 2000 Final Four participant.

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