No. 16/16 Cal Hosts Third-Annual Contra Costa Times Classic

Nov. 28, 2006

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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No. 16/16 California (4-1) returns home to host the third-annual Contra Costa Times Classic Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 2-3, at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears face Harvard (0-4) Saturday in the first game at 5 p.m., and San Jose State (0-5) meets Arkansas State (3-3) at 7 p.m. Fans get in free Saturday by showing a ticket from the 2006 Big Game (Cal vs. Stanford football). Sunday, Cal will entertain either San Jose State or Arkansas State at 5 p.m., depending on if the Bears win on Saturday. Harvard opens Sunday's action at 3 p.m. against either San Jose State or Arkansas State.

Cal claimed the first two Contra Costa Times Classics. In 2004, Cal defeated Tennessee Tech, 65-41, in the title game, and in 2005, the Bears held off UNLV, 58-50, for the tournament championship.

With a No. 16 ranking by Associated Press and by the coaches, Cal continues to boast its highest ranking in both major women's basketball polls. After losing to No. 14 Vanderbilt, 67-55, Nov. 25, Cal stayed the same in the AP poll and moved up one spot in the USA Today-ESPN poll.

Cal ranks third in the Pac-10 in both scoring (71.0 ppg) and scoring defense (57.8 ppg). The Bears' scoring average is their best since 1995-96 (71.8 ppg). On the defensive front, Cal's scoring defense is ahead of last year's school record 60.4 ppg clip.

Sophomore forward/center Ashley Walker leads Cal in scoring (18.0 ppg, 2nd Pac-10), rebounding (7.2 rpg, T8th Pac-10), field goal percentage (60.4%, 2nd Pac-10) and blocked shots (1.40 bpg, 3rd Pac-10).

Sophomore forward/center Devanei Hampton is second on the team in scoring (11.6 ppg) and is listed as day-to-day after spraining her left ankle in the first half against Vanderbilt. Sophomore guard Alexis Gray-Lawson also averages in double figures (10.8 ppg) for the Bears. Walker, Hampton and Gray-Lawson each look to score their 500th career points this weekend.

With Hampton on the bench, freshman forward/center Rama N'diaye came up big against the Commodores, posting her first collegiate double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds).

Freshman guard Lauren Greif has started all five games this season and is averaging 8.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg. The Portland, Ore., product is third in the Pac-10 in steals at 3.0 spg. Senior guard Keanna Levy, who has already played more minutes this season than last year, has emerged as a starter over the last three contests. She averages 4.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg and is relied on for her defense.

Junior forward Krista Foster (6.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg) and freshman guard Natasha Vital (3.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg) round out Cal's typical rotation.

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