No. 10/9 Cal Hosts USC, UCLA to Start Second Half of Pac-10 Play

Jan. 29, 2008

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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Heading into the second half of Pac-10 play with a one-game lead for first place, No. 10/9 California (17-3, 8-1 Pac-10, 1st) hosts UCLA (11-9, 6-3 Pac-10, T4th) Thursday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. and USC (13-7, 6-3 Pac-10, T4th) Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.

Saturday is the second of four Cal Kids' Days. Admission is $1 for all youth 12th grade and under, and fun activities are scheduled for outside Haas Pavilion beginning at 12:30 p.m. The first 500 fans will receive a 2007-08 Cal basketball yearbook.

Earlier this season, the Golden Bears swept USC (57-52 on Jan. 4) and UCLA (73-70 OT on Jan. 6) in Los Angeles for the first time since the 2000-01 season. Devanei Hampton led Cal with 21 points and 13 rebounds against USC and had 16 points and eight boards vs. UCLA to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week recognition.

At 17-3, Cal has matched the 1983-84 Bears for the best record in school history through 20 games. Cal is 9-0 overall at home this season (4-0 Pac-10) and boasts a 12-game home winning streak, dating back to last season.The Bears outscore their opponents 70.2 to 48.9 (+21.3 ppg) at home.

The Bears saw their nine-game winning streak snapped with a 72-52 loss to No. 7 Stanford in the first round of the Battle of the Bay on Jan. 26. Cal sits atop the conference standings at 8-1 - one-game ahead of Stanford and Arizona State, both of which own 7-2 league marks

Cal is led by a trio of preseason junior All-America candidates in Hampton (F/C), Ashley Walker (F/C) and Alexis Gray-Lawson (G). Hampton, who missed nine games this season following knee surgery, averages 12.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Walker ranks in the top five in the Pac-10 in six statistical categories in terms of overall stats, including first in rebounding (9.4 rpg) and third in scoring (16.3 ppg). Gray-Lawson tops the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage at 46.5 percent after a career-high five treys (5-6) at Arizona and three at Stanford.

As a team, Cal ranks in the top three in the conference in 14 of 19 categories, including first in five categories, such as scoring defense (54.0 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (34.0%). Cal ranks third in the Pac-10 in scoring at 67.1 pgg and leads the conference in three-point field goal percentage (38.4%).

Sophomore guard Natasha Vital has been a workhorse for Cal, averaging 34.85 mpg (3rd Pac-10), and dishing out a team-high 3.50 apg (6th Pac-10). Vital had a season-high 18 points against UCLA Jan. 6.

Sophomore Rama N'diaye (C), who shared team-high honors with 12 points against Stanford, and freshman Kelsey Adrian (G/F) are two of Cal's leaders off the bench.

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