No. 3-Seeded Cal Plays No. 6-Seeded George Washington in NCAA Second Round

March 23, 2008

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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After defeating 14th-seeded San Diego, 77-60, for its first NCAA Tournament win in 15 years, third-seeded California (27-6, 15-3 Pac-10) faces sixth-seeded George Washington (26-6, 12-2 Atlantic 10) in the second round Monday, March 24, at 5 p.m. PT at Maples Pavilion on Stanford's campus. The game can be seen live on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Debbie Antonelli (color) and Heather Cox (sideline reporter) handling the broadcast duties. In the Bay Area and on the Internet, the game can be heard live on KALX 90.7 FM. The winner of the Cal-George Washington game will advance to the Greensboro Regional and a March 30 date with the winner of the No. 2-seeded Rutgers-No. 7-seeded Iowa State second-round game.

CAL'S PROBABLE STARTERS#44	F	Ashley Walker	    15.2 ppg	9.3 rpg	  2.4 apg#20	C	Devanei Hampton	    13.9 ppg	8.0 rpg	  1.2 apg#2	G	Natasha Vital	    7.8 ppg	3.1 rpg	  4.2 apg#10	G	Lauren Greif	    5.9 ppg	4.1 rpg	  2.0 apg#21	G	Alexis Gray-Lawson  11.5 ppg	3.7 rpg	  2.5 apg

Cal defeated San Diego, 77-70, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament March 22 at Stanford to advance to the second round for the second time in program history. The victory was Cal's second in the NCAA Tournament and first since 1993 when the ninth-seeded Bears upset eighth-seeded Kansas, 62-47, in Lawrence, Kan. Before this season began, Cal set a goal for itself of advancing to at least the Sweet 16 this year, and now the Bears stand one win away from reaching that objective. This year's No. 3 seed is the best by Cal, which is 2-5 in its six trips to the Big Dance.

While California and George Washington are meeting for the first time, Cal head coach Joanne Boyle is familiar with GW. In three years as head coach at Richmond of the Atlantic 10, Boyle was 0-7 against the Colonials. Rutgers is the only common opponent for Cal and GW, and the Scarlet Knights defeated both squads this season. Cal lost at then-No. 4/3 Rutgers, 56-51, Dec. 10 in Piscataway, N.J., and the Colonials dropped a 67-42 home decision to then-No. 6/7 Rutgers Nov. 18. The last time Cal faced an Atlantic 10 team was Rhode Island Jan. 2, 2007, in Berkeley, and the Bears earned a 65-53 win.

Cal and George Washington boast superior team defenses. George Washington has allowed 55.8 ppg overall and limited Atlantic 10 opponents to 52.8 ppg. The Colonials held Forham to 27 points Jan. 23, which tied the fewest points allowed in conference history and is the fewest permitted by GW in an A10 game. Similarly, Cal has only surrendered an average of 54.2 ppg overall and 52.4 ppg in the Pac-10. The Bears' season low for points allowed was 34 at Oregon Feb. 9. Cal looks to break Arizona State's Pac-10 scoring defense record of 54.7 ppg (2004-05).

Cal has shown an ability to win close games this season, posting a 10-3 record in games decided by 10 points or fewer. George Washington has had some bad luck in close contests this season. Four of the Colonials six losses have been by one, two, three and four points. Overall, GW is 12-4 in games decided by 10 points or less.

Cal is ranked No. 10 this week by the Associated Press and No. 8 in the USA Today-ESPN coaches' poll. George Washington is ranked No. 20 by AP and No. 16 by the coaches.

At 27-6, Cal has surpassed the 1983-84 Bears (24-8) for the school record for wins in a season. In Cal head coach Joanne Boyle's inaugural 2005-06 season, the Bears went 18-12, and in 2006-07, the Bears posted a 23-9 mark. The 27 wins also are the most a Boyle-coached team has ever posted in one season.

Junior posts Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton combined for 43 points to lead third-seeded California to a 77-60 victory over 14th-seeded San Diego in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Maples Pavilion. The Bears, who won their second NCAA Tournament game and first since 1993, improved to 27-6 overall, and the Toreros ended their season at 19-13. Walker posted 21 points and 12 rebounds for her Pac-10-leading 14th double-double of the season and 34th of her career. The Modesto, Calif., product is the only player in school history to record two double-doubles in the NCAA Tournament. Hampton led Cal with 22 points, her best effort in three career NCAA games. Cal jumped out to a 14-2 lead with 15:43 to play in the first half behind six points from Walker and four from Hampton. Cal made its first four shots and nine of its first 10 attempts. After the Toreros cut Cal's lead to 18-14 and 28-22, Walker posted five consecutive points to ignite a 14-0 Bears' run that put them in control of the game at 42-22 with 1:29 to go in the half. Cal led by as many as 22 points in the second half, and all 10 players saw action for the Bears. The Toreros couldn't get any closer than 14 points in the second half. Sam Child paced USD with 14 points.

Ashley Walker has played some of her best basketball in the NCAA Tournament. In three NCAA games, the two-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection is averaging 20.7 ppg and 10.7 rpg. Walker posted 21 points and 12 rebounds vs. San Diego to become the first Cal player to record two double-doubles in the NCAA Tournament. Walker paced Cal the past two years in the NCAA Tournament, scoring 20 points against Notre Dame in 2007 and 21 points against St. John's in 2006. Walker leads the Pac-10 in double-doubles for the second consecutive season with 14 and has 34 in 95 career games (35.8 percent). Walker leads Cal in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.3 rpg), and has posted 20 or more points eight times this season.

Cal set several NCAA Tournament school records against San Diego. The Bears established a record for steals with 17 (previous record - 13, vs. Santa Clara, 3/18/92). The 17 steals are also a season high for Cal, surpassing the previous best of 15 vs. Loyola Marymount, also of the WCC, Nov. 28, 2007. Cal began the game eighth in the Pac-10 in steals at 6.31 spg. By beating San Diego by 17 points, the Bears earned their largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament appearance (previous record - 15 points (62-47) vs. Kansas, 3/17/93). Cal equaled last year's Notre Dame game record for free throws attempted (24). Cal was just shy of setting a program record for highest field goal percentage by shooting 48.4 percent. The current record for Cal field goal shooting is 50.0 percent, set vs. Long Beach State on March 14, 1990. Sophomore guard Natasha Vital tied the school NCAA Tournament assist record of eight, matching Monica Wiley who had eight vs. Long Beach State March 14, 1990.

Devanei Hampton paced Cal against San Diego in the first round of the NCAA Tournament with a game-high 22 points. Hampton has now scored in double-digits 17 times this season, including five with at least 20 points, and has led Cal in scoring eight times. Hampton's 22 points was the second-highest point total she has had during the 2007-08 season. The Oakland, Calif. product is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13.9 ppg. Hampton is ninth in career scoring at Cal with 1,297 points.

Natasha Vital dished out eight assists against San Diego to tie Cal's school record for assists in an NCAA Tournament contest. The eight assists were her third highest this season after she recorded a career high of 12 against Arizona Feb. 16, 2008, and had nine in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals versus Oregon. Vital now has 138 assists this season, putting her four assists shy of the school's top 10 list. Eliza Sokolowska was the last player to join the top 10 list, recording 186 assists in 1995-96. Vital has 266 career assists, which is 26 assists from cracking the Bears' top 10 list. Vital is on pace to finish second in school history in career assists. Karen Smith holds the record of 667 (1981-84). As a team, Cal has 462 assists in 2007-08, which is the most by a Bears team since the 1986-87 squad had 619.

Cal's bench combined for 17 points and nine rebounds against San Diego. Freshman guard/forward Kelsey Adrian contributed seven points and sophomore forward/center Rama N'diaye added four points, two rebounds, one assists and one steal. Senior forward Krista Foster, who has found success in NCAA Tournament games, had four points, one board, one assist and one steal. Foster contributed eight points and six rebounds vs. Notre Dame in 2007 and six points and six rebounds against St. John's in 2006. Junior forward Shantrell Sneed, who saw her first minutes in the NCAA Tournament, scored two points on a fast break, grabbed four rebounds and tallied two steals.

After grabbing 12 rebounds versus San Diego, Ashley Walker climbed from sixth to fifth place on Cal's all-time rebounding list with 815 boards. She surpassed Jennifer Bennett's 812 rebounds from 1984-87. Walker is now tied for seventh for field goals made with 532 following her eight field goals in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Walker is currently in seventh place in Cal career points with 1,451 and is the only player in Cal women's basketball history with at least 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 100 blocks. Walker has led Cal in scoring and rebounding in 15 games this season. Walker jumped from third to second in season rebounds with 308 and needs only five rebounds to move past Colleen Galloway (312, 1977-78) for the school record.

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