Cal Hosts WSU, Washington in Final Home Series

Feb. 21, 2006

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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Thu., Feb. 23	vs. WSU	Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA		7:00 p.m.   Radio: KALX 90.7 FM/  TV: none  Promotion: Dads free with 1 youth ticketSat., Feb. 25	vs. Washington	Haas Pavilion, Berkeley, CA		3:00 p.m.   Radio: KALX (90.7 FM)/  TV: Fox Sports Net Promotion: All youth free

Looking to improve on its best season in 13 years, California (16-10, 8-8 Pac-10, 6th ) returns home to face Washington State (8-17, 2-14, 10th) and Washington (18-7, 11-5, 3rd) in the final week of the regular season. Prior to the Washington game, Cal will honor its only senior - forward Reneé Wright (Antelope, Calif.) If the standings stay the same after this week's action, Cal will face Washington (the No. 3 seed) in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament Mach 4 at 11 a.m.

Cal is guaranteed to post its first winning record since the 1992-93 Bears finished 19-10 overall and tied for fourth in the Pac-10 at 10-8. That year, the Bears earned their last postseason selection, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

If Cal sweep this week's games, a strong showing in the Pac-10 Tournament March 3-6 may be enough to earn the Bears an at-large berth to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The last NCAA RPI lists Cal at No. 64.

Cal ranks second in the Pac-10 in scoring defense (59.4 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (37.1%), which puts the Bears on pace to break both school records. Freshman forward/center Ashley Walker (Modesto, Calif.) continues to lead the conference in total blocks (46) and blocks per game (1.77), while freshman guard Jené Morris (San Francisco) is second in the league in steals per game (2.29).

Cal showcases four freshmen and Wright (6.8 ppg) in its starting lineup, and may be the only team in the country to currently start four freshmen. Walker (12.9 ppg) and Morris (8.3 ppg) join freshmen Devanei Hampton (center from Oakland, Calif.) and Alexis Gray-Lawson (guard from Oakland, Calif.). Hampton leads the Bears in scoring at 15.2 ppg (7th Pac-10) and Gray-Lawson is second at 14.5 ppg (10th Pac-10).Hampton (7.9 rpg), Walker (7.7 rpg) and Wright (6.7 rpg) rank second, third and 10th, respectively, in the Pac-10 in rebounding. The Bears are the only school in the Pac-10 to have three athletes among the top 10 in rebounding.

Junior guard Sarah Pool (Central Point, Ore.), sophomore Krista Foster (Fair Oaks, Calif.) and freshman forward Shantrell Sneed (Fairfield, Calif.) provide a spark off the Bears' bench and were instrumental in the team's 73-56 win over Arizona last week. Foster matched her career highs of 13 points and seven rebounds. Sneed added a career-high nine points, and Pool recorded three points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

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