Cal Women Compete at Nassau Knockout
Dec. 31, 2001
For the first time in the history of the program, the Cal women's basketball team travels out of the United States this week to play two regular season games at the Nassau Knockout in Nassau, Bahamas. The Golden Bears face Lipscomb (4-10, independent) Friday, Jan. 4 in the opening round at 3 p.m. PT and then play either Bucknell (5-6, 0-0 Patriot) or IP-Fort Wayne (3-10, independent) in the championship or consolation game Jan. 5.
The Golden Bears look to break a seven-game losing streak against the Lady Bison. The season started so promising for the Bears (4-7, 0-4 Pac-10) at 4-0, but a series of close losses and some injuries have hurt them. Four of Cal's seven losses have been by six points or less.
On a positive note, Cal's stagnant offense will be given a boost this week with the expected return of starting power forward Leigh Gregory. Gregory averaged 10.9 ppg through seven games before missing the last four games with a knee injury.
Senior center Ami Forney, the only returning starter from last season, has been the Bears offensive leader this season. She is averaging 15.6 ppg and 6.5 rpg after posting her third double-double of the season (18 points, 10 rebounds) and 10th of her career in the loss to UCLA Sunday. She is shooting possibly a league-best 58.3 percent from the floor.
Sophomore guard LaTasha O'Keith has started to emerge as a go-to player for the Bears. In the last two games, she posted a career-high 17 points vs. USC and followed that up with 15 against UCLA.
While Cal's team scoring average has slipped to 58.2 ppg, the Bears defense has remained solid, giving up only 58.7 ppg. They have yet to give up 70 or more points to a team this year. Junior forward Amber White and O'Keith are the defensive catalysts for the Bears. White, at 6-0, is capable of guarding all five positions. The two have combined for 43 of the team's 115 steals this year.