Bears Look For Split Vs. No. 3 Stanford Saturday

Jan. 31, 2002


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California (6-14, 1-10, 9th) looks for a split of the season Stanford (21-1, 11-0, 1st) series when the two teams hook up for the second time ever in a week on Saturday. Game time is a 3 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The game can also be seen in the Bay Area on KRON-TV (channel 4).

The Bears hung with the third-ranked Cardinal for the first half Wednesday, trailing only 37-23 at the break and even led 10-8, but the Cardinal pulled away early in the second half to claim a 79-52 win. Cal is 0-2 this year vs. ranked teams.

Sophomore guard LaTasha O'Keith paced Cal with 14 points against Stanford, marking her fifth-straight game with double-figure points. Junior forward Amber White, who has always been known for her defense, had 11 points for her third double digit game in the last four contests.

Despite Cal's record, conference teams know not to underestimate the young Bear squad. Cal began the year with nine newcomers, including six true freshmen, and are still growing as a team. There couldn't be a better year for the first ever Pac-10 Tournament for Cal.

The Bears have relied on their defense this season, as they have been ranked first or second for scoring defense in the Pac-10 all season. They began the week ranked second in that category at 61.2 ppg. After holding eight opponents under 60 points last season, Cal has already limited nine opponents under that mark this year.

Cal held Stanford to a 43.8 field goal percentage on Wednesday, Stanford's worst shooting percentage in eight games. The Cardinal began the game as the Pac-10's field goal percentage leader at 48.6. Another positive for Cal coming out of the Stanford game was that it had under 20 turnovers (18) for the fourth-straight contest.

However, the Bears' offense has often struggled as they are only 4-5 in games they've held opponents under 60 points, 2-6 in games decided by eight points or less and 0-12 when failing to score 60 points.

Senior center Ami Forney (12.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Cal's only returning starter from last season, had been struggling for a few games but posted her 11th career double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) in Cal's 76-68 loss to Arizona last Saturday.

The Bears leaders off the bench include redshirt freshman forward Kiki Williams, junior forward Audrey Watler and sophomore center Olga Volkova. Williams had 14 points off the bench vs. Arizona.

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