California Heads North for Oregon Road Trip
Jan. 19, 2010
The California Golden Bears (8-8, 2-3 Pac-10) head north to the Willamette Valley to take on the Oregon Ducks (12-5, 3-2 Pac-10) Thursday, Jan. 21 in Eugene and the Oregon State Beavers (9-6, 1-4 Pac-10) Saturday, Jan. 23 in Corvallis. Both games will tip off at 7:00 p.m.
Cal heads off on the road after a sweep of the Washington schools at home last week. The Ducks were swept at the Arizona schools last week, their first back-to-back losses of the season.
Senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson is perhaps the hottest shooter in the Pac-10 right now. Gray-Lawson, in her last four games, is averaging 22 points per game and has made 48.4 percent of her shots (32-of-66). During a 3:13 span midway through the second period of the Washington State game, Gray-Lawson made five baskets on five attempts, scoring 11 points to put the Bears back into the lead. Gray-Lawson had back-to-back games of scoring at least 15 second-half points. She netted 22 in the final period against Washington State.
Gray-Lawson is averaging a career-best 15.9 points per game this season. In Pac-10 games this season, her average is now up to 19.4 points per game, ranking her fifth among all Pac-10 players.
Freshman guard Eliza Pierre had a great defensive weekend, grabbing 10 steals against the Washington schools. Pierre has 13 steals in Pac-10 games this season, ranking her only behind Taylor Lilley and Nia Jackson of Oregon who have 15 swipes apiece against Conference foes. Pierre also had eight assists and scored 13 points in the games against the Washington schools.
Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon had her best game since returning from a foot injury (stress reaction left fibula) against Washington State, scoring 12 points (matching her career high) with seven rebounds in 19 minutes on the court.
Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth had her 14th double-digit scoring game of the season. Stallworth has hit double-digits in scoring in all but two games this season. Stallworth, who is shooting 49.2 percent from the field is currently ranked 63rd among all NCAA I players in field goal percentage.
The Bears have two players with ties to Oregon. Senior guard Lauren Greif hails from Portland, Ore. where she was the all-time leading scorer at Lincoln High (1.961 pts). Freshman center Brenna Heater grew up in Southern Oregon, playing for Ashland High where she was a three-time second team All-State honoree.
GRAY-LAWSON IN THE RECORD BOOKS Alexis Gray-Lawson just passed a very familiar name while moving up the career scoring list. Gray-Lawson's 29 points against Washington State gave her 1,594, moving her into sixth place on Cal's all-time career scoring list. The name she just passed: her teammate of four seasons, Devanei Hampton who closed out her career with 1,588 points. Gray-Lawson needs just 17 points to pass Teresa Palmisano (1988-91) and move into the top-five among Cal's all-time leading scorers. Gray-Lawson needs six points to become just the 32nd player in Pac-10 history to score 1,600 points.
Gray-Lawson is already the Cal career leader in made three-pointers (177). She has hit at least one three-point bucket in all but two games this season. She is currently fifth on the Cal career games played list, but should end the season having played more games in the blue and gold than any other women's basketball player in program history. She needs one more steal to enter the career top-10 list in that category as well.
STEALS Eliza Pierre leads the Bears with 37 steals this season. Pierre already has more steals this season than Cal's team leader did at the end of the season in both 2002-03 (Nihan Ananz, 36) and 2004-05 (Sarah Pool, 36). Pierre is averaging 2.3 steals per game. If she continues at that pace, she will be just the second Cal player since 2001 to average more than two steals per game over the course of a season. Pierre has two six-steal games this season and has had at least one steal in all but three games this season.
REBOUNDING Cal has outrebounded their opponents in each of the last four games, averaging +11.5 in the rebounding column per game over that span.
PLAYING TIME Every single Cal player (except Rama N'diaye who has yet to play a game this season) is averaging double-digits in playing time this season.
OFF THE BENCH Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon scored 12 points coming off the bench against Washington State. It was the sixth time this season that Brandon scored in double-digits. Five of those double-digit scoring performances have come in games in which Brandon did not start. The Cal bench is averaging 19.2 points per game this season. They scored 26 against Washington State. The bench's best showing of the season was the 39 points the non-starters sored against Southern in the Ohio State Buckeye Classic Tournament over Thanksgiving.
LIVE STREAMING AUDIOThe California Golden Bear's Women's Basketball team will be streaming live action for their entire 2009-10 season as part of the Cal ISP Sports Network online through CalBears.com. The Cal ISP Sports Network will be providing the audio broadcasts for all games will be available free on the internet for fans to listen via the CalBears.com website. Bay Area broadcasting veteran Dave Lewis has been hired to call the play-by-play for the game broadcasts. U.C. Berkeley's student radio station, KALX-FM, which has carried women's basketball games for the past 27 years, will continue to broadcast most home games and select road games this season.
A LOOK AT OREGON The Oregon Ducks (12-5, 3-2 Pac-10), under first year head coach Paul Westhead, are currently ranked first in the NCAA in scoring offense, averaging 87.4 points per game. They are also last in the Pac-10 in scoring defense, allowing an average of 73.6 points per game. The 'run-and-gun' offense has helped turn around a team that has already won more games this season than they did all of last year (9-21 in 2008-09). The Ducks began the season 3-0 in Conference play but were swept last weekend in Arizona, including a 119-112 loss to the Wildcats in Tucson, the highest scoring game in women's Pac-10 basketball history.
The hot-shooting Ducks are second in the Pac-10 with a 45.4 percent field percentage. They are averaging 8.8 made three-pointers per game, ranking them No. 5 in the nation. Morehead State leads the country with 10.3 long-range makes per game.
The Ducks lead the Pac-10 in steals, averaging 11.2 per game. They also have more personal fouls per game (19.6) than any other Pac-10 team.
Guard Taylor Lilley leads the Ducks, averaging 16.4 points per game. Amanda Johnson is their leading rebounder with 9.9 boards per game.
Oregon leads the all-time series, 35-21. Cal has won the last six meetings between the two and eight of the last nine. Cal's last loss to the Ducks was a 62-42 loss in Eugene Feb. 15, 2007.
Last season, Cal held Oregon to just 10 first-half points when the two teams played Jan. 24 in Eugene, a game which Cal won 65-50. In their second meeting of the year, Cal earned a 42 point victory, doubling up the Ducks 84-42 on Feb. 19 at Haas.
A LOOK AT OREGON STATE The Oregon State Beavers (9-6, 1-4 Pac-10) are off to a slow start in Conference play, having dropped their last four games since opening with a victory against Washington State in Corvallis. Oregon State, a post-season WNIT participant in 2008-09, leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense, allowing just 54.7 points per game.
Oregon State is again led this season by junior Talisa Rhea who is averaging 20.8 points per game, ranking third in the Pac-10 in scoring. Rhea is averaging 2.2 made three-pointers per game. As a team, Oregon State is only averaging 3.0 made threes per game, with the rest of the team combining to add less than one made-trey per contest.
Last season at Gill Coliseum, Natasha Vital scored 14 of Cal's final 20 points to hold off a late charge by the Beavers and secure a 77-72 victory. Vital had 18 total points in the game. Alexis Gray-Lawson scored 19. Cal had an easier time in the second meeting of the season, cruising to a 62-40 victory at home. Gray-Lawson scored 11 points in that game, going 5-for-7 from the field.
Cal leads the all-time series, 29-28. Cal has won the last six matchups including a 67-61 double-overtime game in Corvallis, Feb. 17, 2007. The last victory for the Beavers was a 63-55 win in Berkeley Feb. 2, 2006. The last time the Beavers successfully defended the home court was a 68-37 victory Jan. 11, 2003. Joanne Boyle has never lost at Oregon State.