Women's Basketball Hosts 10th-Annual Oakland Tribune Classic

Nov. 27, 2000


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After opening the season with four road games, California has its home opener Sat., Dec. 2, against Cal State Northridge as host of the Oakland Tribune Classic. The 10th-annual Oakland Tribune Classic also features Loyola Marymount and Florida International playing at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Cal entertains one of those teams at 3 p.m. Sunday on FOX Sports Bay Area, with CS Northridge facing the other at 12:15 p.m. Brian Webber has play-by-play duties, while Mary Murphy is the analyst.

Cal is in search of its 21st-straight home opening win. Last year, the Bears defeated Nevada, 74-52, in its home opener the first game of the year. This season is Cal's latest home opener since the 1992-93 season when Cal defeated Santa Clara.

Cal began the year 0-3 before posting its first win of the Caren Horstmeyer era against South Alabama, 70-59, in the consolation game of the UIC Thanksgiving Tournament. Kenya Corley and Lauren Ashbaugh paced the Bears with 22 points (career high) and 15 points, respectively. The Bears lost in the opening round of the Chicago tournament to Alabama, 76-63, with Courtney Johnson leading the way with a career-high of 27 points.

A different player has led Cal in scoring in each of its four games this season with Ashbaugh joining Johnson with a team-high of 11 points vs. Rutgers and Ami Forney leading the way by tying her career-best of 17 points against Fairfield.

An honorable mention All-Pac-10 honoree as Cal's top scorer as a junior, Johnson has picked up where she left off last season. She leads the Bears with 12.0 ppg. Ashbaugh has stepped up her 8.5 ppg average as a junior to 10.3 this season. Corley also is averaging in double figures for Cal at 10.0.

The Bears health is gradually improving. Freshman forward Kiki Williams is out at least two more weeks. Nicole Ybarra still is nursing a sprained ankle but can play some minutes. There is a 50-50 chance junior guard Janet Franey could play for the first time this week.

Caren Horstmeyer begins her first season as head coach at California after posting a 221-124 record in 12 seasons at her alma mater Santa Clara. The winningest coach in West Coast Conference history, Horstmeyer guided the Broncos to six postseason appearances, including four NCAA Tournament selections and the 1991 WNIT championship, along with six WCC regular season titles and two WCC Tournament crowns. In the 1990s, Horstmeyer led SCU to four-consecutive WCC regular season titles from 1991-94, and her teams only once finished lower than third in league play.While at SCU, Horstmeyer coached 33 All-West Coast Conference selections, four WCC Players of the Year, one Kodak All-American, one WCC Defender of the Year and one WCC Freshman of the Year. She also has been recognized for her coaching abilities, earning NCAA District VIII Coach of the Year in 1999 and WCC Coach of the Year in 1991 and '93.Caren and her husband, Bill, welcomed into the world their first child, Arend, July 22, 2000.Horstmeyer is assisted by Sue Phillips-Chargin, Shaunice Warr and Camille Burkes.

A Look at Cal State Northridge (1-2 overall, 0-0 Big Sky)Cal State Northridge has a lot of new faces on this year's team, as it lost seven letterwinners from last season's squad, including four starters. The Matadors are 1-2 after posting their first win of the year vs. Nichols State (90-54) Nov. 25. CSNU hosts Cal State Fullerton Nov. 28 before travelling to Berkeley this weekend. Kristi Rose leads the club with 15.0 ppg and 8.3 rpg.

Cal-Cal State Northrdige Series History
The series is tied at 2-2 with Cal winning the last two contests. The last time these two teams met was in 1979-80 in Berkeley, and the Bears won 87-66.

CS Northridge Head Coach Frozena Jerro (Arizona State, 1993)
Jerro is in her third season at Cal State Northridge and overall as a collegiate head coach. She boasts a 40-20 record.

Cal State Northridge's Probable Starters 
POS NO NAME HT YR PTS REBF 31 Myesha Saleem 5-10 Jr. 7.5 9.5C 44 Kristi Rose 6-4 Sr. 15.0 8.3G 21 Monica Hernandez5-7 Jr. 5.0 2.0G 23 LaShaunda Fowler5-6 Sr. 7.0 3.0G 25 Reshawnda Richardson5-9 Sr. 5.9 1.3

A Look at Loyola Marymount (2-1 overall, 0-0 WCC)LMU has opened the season with a 2-1 record with victories against San Diego State (69-59) and Stony Brook (69-54). In its last game Nov. 25 vs. No. 23 Xavier, the Lions lost 84-69. Taryn Reynolds leads LMU with 17.0 ppg and 5.7 apg.

Cal-Loyola Marymount Series History
This is the first meeting between these two programs.

LMU Head Coach Julie Wilhoit (Marian College, 1985)
Wilhoit is in her seventh season at LMU and her 14th campaign as a collegiate head coach. Her record with the Lions is 43-97, and her overall mark is 164-167.

Loyola Marymount Probable Starters 
POS NO NAME HT YR PTS REBF 22 Kate Murray 6-0 So. 13.3 7.0C 23 Adriane Slaughter6-2 Fr. 5.7 6.3G 05 Taryn Reynolds 5-7 Sr. 17.0 3.7 5.7 apgG 14 Raelen Self 5-6 Fr. 3.7 1.7G 25 Bryn Britton 5-11 Jr. 13.7 5.7

A Look at Florida International (2-1 overall, 0-0 Sun Belt)
FIU comes to Berkeley with a 2-1 mark. The Panthers have defeated Florida Atlantic (93-65) and Youngstown State (84-68) and lost to Villanova (52-50). With seven players on FIU's roster being at least six feet tall, It's not surprising the Panthers hold a 46.3-35.7 rebounding edge over their opponents. Six of 11 players also hail from outside the U.S. Mandy Shafer leads the team with 17.0 ppg, while Cheryl Moody is the top rebounder at 10.7 rpg.

Cal-Florida International Series History
Cal and Florida International have never played each other.

Florida Int'l Head Coach Cindy Russo (Old Dominion, 1975)
Russo is a legend in women's collegiate basketball, as she is in her 21st year at FIU and 23rd season as a collegiate head coach. She boasts a lifetime record of 481-186 and a 441-164 mark with the Panthers.

Florida Int'l Probable Starters 
POS NO NAME HT YR PTS REBF 12 Gergana Slavcheva6-1 Jr. 15.7 6.3 6.7 apgF 42 Cormisha Cotton 6-2 So. 7.3 5.7F 55 Cheryl Moody 6-1 Jr. 9.7 10.7G 23 Mandy Shafer 6-0 So. 17.0 2.0G 45 Ivelina Vrancheva5-8 So. 4.7 4.3 7.3 apg

OAKLAND TRIBUNE CLASSIC HISTORYCalifornia has been hosting a holiday tournament since the 1977-78 season. Originally called the Golden Bear Classic, this is the 10th year which the Oakland Tribune Classic is the title sponsor. Cal has won its tournament seven of the last 11 seasons, including in 1998 against No. 9 Colorado State (80-75). Last year, Florida defeated Cal in the championship game, 85-72. This is CSUN, LMU and Florida International's first OTC appearances. This also marks the earliest date of the Oakland Tribune Classic as it usually occurs closer to Christmas.

Home opening wins have become automatic for Cal. The Bears aim for their 21st-consecutive home opening win Saturday against Cal State Northridge. This is Cal's latest home opener since the 1992-93 season when it defeated Santa Clara, 80-67, Dec. 4. Overall, Cal is 23-4 in home openers during its history. Last season, the Bears routed Nevada, 74-52, in its home opener, Nov. 21.

Cal's offensive production is on the rise over the last three games, keyed by three players who average in double figures. Senior guard Courtney Johnson leads her team with 12.0 ppg, followed by senior forward Lauren Ashbaugh at 10.3 ppg and senior guard Kenya Corley at 10.0 ppg. Junior center Ami Forney is not far behind at 9.3 ppg. A different player has led Cal in scoring in each of its four games this season. Ashbaugh and Johnson shared team-high honors with 11 points at then-No. 7 Rutgers. Forney led Cal with 17 (tied career-high) at Fairfield. Johnson was the Bears leader vs. Alabama with a career-high of 27, and Corley led the way in Cal's 70-59 win vs. USA with a career-high of 22.

Senior guard Becky Staubes' role has increased since her junior season. After averaging about seven minutes a game as a reserve last year, Staubes has emerged as Cal's starting small forward in 2000-01. She has started all four games for the Bears and has averaged 5.8 ppg and 1.5 rpg in 27.3 mpg, which is a vast improvement from her 1.6 ppg and 0.5 rpg numbers as a junior. Staubes also has seen time at both guards spots. She leads Cal with 11 assists (2.8 apg), including a career-best seven vs. Fairfield.

Senior center Genevieve Swedor and sophomore forward Amber White have emerged as two of Cal's top reserves this year. Swedor, who posted 2.1 ppg and 1.6 rpg a year ago in 7.8 mpg, has seen her numbers climb to 4.5 ppg and 3.8 rpg in 15.3 mpg. She posted a career-best of six rebounds in Cal's 70-59 victory over South Alabama. White's playing time has risen from 10.8 mpg to 24.8 this year. The increased playing time and confidence has seen her production improve to 3.0 ppg and 4.3 rpg (up from 1.6 ppg and 2.3 rpg).

One key for Cal's success this year lies in the consistent play of post players Lauren Ashbaugh and Ami Forney. So far this season, each player has found ways to contribute in each game and has seen their scoring and rebounding averages increase from 1999-00. Ashbaugh is second on the team in both scoring at 10.3 ppg (up from 8.5 ppg as a junior) and rebounding at 6.8 rpg (up from 6.1 ppg as a junior). The Redmond, Wash., native tallied her fifth career double-double (11 points 10 rebounds) vs. No. 7 Rutgers. Forney also has shown improvement, providing 9.3 ppg (up from 6.6 ppg) and a team-best 7.8 rpg (up from 5.1 rpg) this year. The Newark native has led Cal in rebounding in three of four games, including posting her second career double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds) vs. Fairfield.

Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer announced the signing of four outstanding prep basketball players Nov. 15, including three of the top 20 seniors in Northern California. Leigh Gregory (6-0 forward), Kristin Iwanaga (5-6 guard), Alisa Lewis (6-0 forward) and Jackie Lord (5-8 guard) have all signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at Cal beginning with the 2001-02 season.

Cal defeated South Alabama, 70-59, for the first victory of the Caren Horstmeyer era Saturday in the consolation game of the UIC Thanksgiving Tournament. Kenya Corley rebounded from a scoreless game against Alabama to lead the Bears with a career-high of 22 points. Lauren Ashbaugh added 15 points and eight boards for Cal. Up 27-21 at the half, Cal utilized a 51.7 percent shooting effort in the second half to pull away from USA. Cal built a 15-point margin at 62-47 with 5:02 left when South Alabama mounted a final charge, cutting the Bears lead to seven with only 35 ticks on the clock.

Despite a career-high 27 points from Courtney Johnson, Cal fell to 0-3 with a 76-63 loss Friday to Alabama in the opening round of the UIC Thanksgiving Tournament. Alabama got out of the gate with a 16-5 lead five minutes into the game. With UA leading 32-21 at the half, Cal started the second half strong, cutting Alabama's lead to 35-29 with 15:51 remaining, but the Tide responded by increasing its lead to 15 at 57-42 with 7:43 on the clock. The Bears then cut the lead to seven points on several occasions, with the last being after a Brook Coulter three-pointer (59-52) at 4:12.

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