Cal Hosts WSU, Washington

Jan. 27, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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With heavy hearts, California (9-9 overall, 2-7 Pac-10, T8th) hosts Washington State (4-14, 0-9, 10th) on Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. and Washington (11-7, 4-5, T5th) on Saturday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. The game against the Cougars represents the Golden Bears' first home game since the death of teammate Alisa Lewis to bacterial meningitis on Jan. 19 and the start of the second half of the Pac-10 season.

More than 1000 people attended the Jan. 22 memorial service for Lewis on the floor of Haas Pavilion. Some of the qualities the 5-11 junior forward will be remembered for are her smile, optimism, work ethic and friendship she openly shared with many people. Later that day, the Bears left for Los Angeles to prepare for their games against USC and UCLA with the blessing of Lewis' family.

Cal looks to snap a five-game losing streak when they face Washington State. Three of those setbacks were by one, two and four points, and two of the outcomes came in the final five seconds, including the last contest against UCLA (67-66).

Overall, Cal is 3-6 in games decided by 10 points or less (1-5 in Pac-10 games) and has only lost once by more than 11 points this year - a 67-47 decision to USC in the Bears' first game without Lewis.

The Bears are in pursuit of their first winning season since they went 19-10 in 1992-93 and earned the program's last NCAA Tournament invitation.

Cal's offense and defense are still ahead of last year's numbers. The Bears are sixth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 66.3 ppg, +8.7 ppg more than last season. Cal is fourth in the conference for scoring defense at 62.6 ppg (1.6 better than 2002-03), marking the sixth straight year the Bears have ranked in the top five in the Pac-10 in that category.

Senior guard Nihan Anaz leads Cal in scoring at 16.2 ppg (5th Pac-10) after leading the team in scoring as a junior at 10.1 ppg. Junior forward Leigh Gregory and senior guard LaTasha O'Keith also average double figures at 11.0 ppg and 10.3 ppg, respectively.

Redshirt junior forward Kiki Williams is coming off a career-high 24 points against UCLA, shooting 6-of-9 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point range and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. The four treys equal the season high for a Cal player.

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