Men's Basketball Meets Georgia in Pete Newell Challenge
Dec. 13, 2000
Riding a three-game winning streak, Cal hopes to maintain its momentum when the Bears meet Georgia in the fourth annual Pete Newell Challenge Thursday, Dec. 21. Cal is also a perfect 3-0 in previous Challenges, with wins over BYU (68-64 in 1998), North Carolina (78-71 in '99) and Gonzaga (72-64 in '00).
However, the Bears must overcome the effects of a 10-day layoff for final exams before facing the Bulldogs. Earlier this season, Cal had a 14-day break between games (from Nov. 15-29) and came back with a pair of losses on the road at Saint Louis and UC Irvine.
This time, though, the Bears are essentially at home at the Oakland Arena, where they have won 17 of their past 20 games. In addition, Cal is playing its best basketball of the young season. The Bears held high-scoring Colorado to more than 31 points below its season average in a 75-63 win Dec. 9. Cal then shot a season-high 50.8 percent from the floor in a 95-61 victory over Albany two days later.
Individually, senior forward Sean Lampley continues to pace the team in both scoring (16.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.4 rpg). He has reached double figures in points six times in seven games to move up to 13th on Cal's career scoring chart (1,283 points). In addition, Lampley has shot 53.5 percent from the floor in his last four games.
The Bears are also getting strong inside play from centers Solomon Hughes and Nick Vander Laan. Hughes, who has come off the bench the last four games, leads the Pac-10 in field goal shooting at 71.9 percent (23-32) and has scored at least 10 points in all four home games. Vander Laan ranks second to Lampley in rebounding with 6.9 per contest and tallied a season-high 12 points vs. Albany.
On the outside, point guard Shantay Legans seems to have found his offensive rhythm, averaging 13.0 ppg and 5.0 apg his last two times out. During that span, he has made 50.0% of his field goal attempts, including 5-of-9 from three-point range.
Cal's best outside threat, though, is junior Ryan Forehan-Kelly, the Bears career leader in three-point percentage (44.3%). This season, Forehan-Kelly is 11-for-24 from behind the arc (45.8%) and is averaging 8.3 ppg.