Cal Begins Practice for 2004-05 Season Saturday

Oct. 13, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. - The California women's basketball team officially begins practice Saturday, Oct. 16, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

The Golden Bears return nine letterwinners, including three starters, from last year's squad and welcome six talented newcomers. The returning starters are senior forward Leigh Gregory (11.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and Kiki Williams (6.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and senior guard Kristin Iwanaga (6.9 ppg, 2.4 apg ).

Cal benefits from the addition of junior college transfer Aminata Soumare (forward, Paris, France) and freshmen Jessica Lawson (center, Edgewood, FL), Krista Foster (forward, Fair Oaks, CA), Brio Rode (guard, Albuquerque, NM), Kelly O'Connell (guard, Lakewood, CO) and Seda Erdogan (guard, Istanbul, Turkey).

Fans have the opportunity to get better acquainted with this year's Cal team at the annual Meet the Bears event on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Haas Pavilion. The festivities run from 8 a.m.-noon and include pizza for lunch, watching the Bears practice, a fundamental skills clinic for students 12th grade and under and an autograph/picture session. Cal will practice from 8-10:30.

Cal opens the season at home at Haas Pavilion with exhibition games against Northwest Sports on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. and against a Bay Area Pro-Am team on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. The regular season tips off against Navy on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

In 2003-04, Cal raced to an 8-2 start, its best opening to a season in 11 years, before the team endured the tragic death of teammate Alisa Lewis to bacterial meningitis. The Bears won three of their final five games, highlighted by a 25-point opening round Pac-10 Tournament triumph over Oregon, and finished the season with a 12-17 overall record (4-14 Pac-10).

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