California Hosts USC Thursday

Feb. 2, 2010


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The California Golden Bears (11-9, 5-4 Pac-10) start the second half of Pac-10 play by hosting the LA schools this week at Haas. The Bears open on Thursday, Feb. 4 with a 7:05 p.m. game against USC (13-7, 7-2 Pac-10) and then follow with a Saturday, 2:05 p.m. game against UCLA (14-6, 7-2 Pac-10).

California starts the second half tied for fourth place in the Pac-10 with Arizona State. The two teams tied for second are coming to Haas this week.

Cal had a five-game win streak snapped on a last second shot Saturday, falling to the Arizona State Sun Devils, 63-61. Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon played her best game of the season, scoring 18 points while hitting seven of her nine field goal attempts. Defensively, she pulled in nine rebounds with a career-high four blocks. Brandon, who has played her way back into the starting lineup, is averaging 10.4 points 9.8 rebounds per game in her last five outings.

Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth had a strong second half against the Sun Devils. Stallworth scored 10 points in the second half, playing only 11 minutes in the period. She hit four of her six field goal attempts, pulling in three of the Bears five offensive rebounds in the half. Stallworth returned to double-digit scoring after scoring single figures against Oregon State and Arizona, the only time this season she had back-to-back games where she did not score at least ten points.

Freshman center Brenna Heater played just ten minutes in the game, but managed to score five points with four rebounds in her time on the floor.

Senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson snapped her string of back-to-back games of record-setting offensive explosions. After scoring 47 points against Oregon State and 39 points against Arizona, Gray-Lawson put up a quieter 14 against Arizona State. It closed out an impressive January for the fifth-year Bear who scored 216 points during the month (24.0 ppg average). She began the month averaging 14.3 points per game and leaves it averaging 18.7, the second-highest per-game average in the Pac-10. She scored in double-digits in eight of the nine games last month and hit at least one three-point basket in all but one game.

SILENT AUCTION On Saturday, February 6, 2010, the California Golden Bears women's basketball team will be auctioning one autographed team basketball, one autographed Joanne Boyle jersey, and two (2) courtside seats to home Stanford game on March 6. The items will be available for bid in a silent auction on Saturday, February 6 through the end of halftime. Starting bids for each item will be $100 with $10 bid increments allowed during the silent auction. The auction will be inside Haas between gates 4&5 in the south west corner. The intent of the auction is to help raise money for the We Assist, You Assist campaign with donations benefiting ARVD Research through the UCSF Medical Center Foundation. Cal Basketball's Tierra Rogers is being cared for and treated by renowned physicians at UCSF for her ARVD heart condition.

BEARS GO BAREFOOT FOR BARE FEETOn Saturday, February 6, 2010, head coach Joanne Boyle will be pacing the sidelines barefoot as part of the Bears Go Barefoot for Bare Feet promotion. The event, proposed and run by the California Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a fundraiser for Saratian Feet, an organization that provides shoes for children in 42 countries. They are currently focusing their efforts on assisting the children of Haiti, and Cal fans will have an opportunity during the game to donate to the cause at the arena or by using their cell phones. More details are available on

CAL KIDS DAYS Saturday, Feb. 6 is a Cal Kids Day with all youth (age 12th grade and younger) tickets priced at just $1. There will be pregame face painting and poster making in the plaza outside Haas (weather permitting. In case of rain, activities will shift into the club room).

STAT STANDINGS Alexis Gray-Lawson slipped to second in the Pac-10 scoring race. Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike leads the Conference, raising her average to 19.3 ppg with Gray-Lawson averaging 18.7. Gray-Lawson still leads the pack in Pac-10 games, averaging 24.0 ppg. Davellyn White of Arizona is second with 21.6.

Gennifer Brandon, who has been the Bears top defensive force in recent games, has moved up to sixth in rebounding in Pac-10 games, averaging 7.6 boards in Conference contests. She ranks seventh overall, averaging 7.3 rebounds per game this season. DeNesha Stallworth is 12th with a 6.2 per game average.

Freshman guard Eliza Pierre is tied for the lead in steals (2.4 per game) in Pac-10 games with Oregon's Nia Jackson.

GRAY-LAWSON IN THE RECORD BOOKS Gray-Lawson moved up to fourth on the Cal career scoring list. Gray-Lawson passed Devanei Hampton (1,588) with her 29-point performance against Washington State, Teresa Palmisano (1,610) with her 19 points at Oregon, and Cynthia Cooke (1,641) during the Oregon State game. She has 1,713 career points, 53 points behind Jennifer Bennett, who currently ranks third on the list.

Gray-Lawson is already the Cal career leader in made three-pointers (188). She has hit at least one three-point bucket in all but two games this season.

She is third 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 moved into the career top-10 in steals in the Oregon State game.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon logged her team-leading third double-double of the season against Oregon State. Brandon scored 11 points with 11 rebounds coming off the bench for the Bears. All three of Brandon's double-doubles have come in games where she is not a member of the starting lineup.

SISTER SISTER Brandon nearly had another double double against Arizona State, scoring a career-high 18 points and pulling in 9 rebounds. Brandon made the most of playing against her sister, Kimberly Brandon. This was the first time the Brandons played against one another after being teammates for a good portion of their lives. One of Gennifer Brandon's four blocks in the game was a rejection of a shot by sister Kimberly.

FRESH(MAN) LINEUP Cal used their sixth different starting lineup of the season against the Arizonas. The lineup was the third different mix to feature four freshmen in the starting lineup. Every single eligible Cal player but junior guard Rachelle Federico has now started at least one game this season.

PLAYING TIME Every single Cal player is averaging double-digits in playing time this season.

FINDING HER GROOVE Senior guard Natasha Vital had back-to-back double-digit scoring efforts against the Oregon schools. Vital was 8-for-18 from the field with six assists to just one turnover last week. She played 41 minutes in the Oregon State game. Vital has made seven consecutive freethrows and has only missed two from the stripe in her last six games. She leads the team with an 80.8 freethrow shooting percentage.

CONSISTENCY Prior to the Arizona game, DeNesha Stallworth was averaging 13.6 points per game overall this season and 13.6 points per game against Pac-10 opponents. The seven points she scored against Oregon State was only the third time this season she did not reach double-digit points in a game. She is shooting an even 50.0 from the field this season overall and 50.0 percent in Pac-10 games.

A LOOK AT USC Earlier this season against USC, Bears lost on a last-second shot, falling to the USC Trojans 67-64 in Los Angeles. Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Bears.

Cal's shooters got off to a blistering start, hitting six of their first eight shots to take a 13-6 lead over the Trojans. USC battled back, tying the game at 21 with 8:43 remaining. USC's Hailey Dunham hit a jumper 30 seconds later to give the Trojans a two-point lead. Dunham's basket was the last field goal that the Trojans would make in the half. Cal's defense clamped down while DeNesha Stallworth went to work on the offensive side. Stallworth scored eight points during a Cal 9-0 run to put the Bears back into the lead. Stallworth scored 14 points in the first period, with senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson right behind her with 13 points. Gray-Lawson and Stallworth combined to score all but eight of Cal's first half points. The Bears entered the locker room holding a 10 point advantage, 37-27. In the second half, USC outscored the Bears 13-2 in the first five minutes to take back the lead, 40-39. Six lead changes and three ties later, Cal edged out to a 59-54 lead with Stallworth scoring eight consecutive Bear points. The Trojans refused to give in, coming back to take a 60-59 lead with 1:23 remaining in the game.

A jumphook under the hoop by Stallworth gave Cal a one-point edge, 61-60, with a minute remaining. USC's Brianna Gilbreath made a pair of free throws to put the Trojans back in the lead, 62-61. Cal failed to score on its subsequent possession, committing a foul after a missed layup by Gray-Lawson. Gilbreath converted both free throws on the opposite end to put Cal in a three-point hole, 64-61, with 17 seconds to go and possession of the ball. A three-pointer by Gray-Lawson with 5.4 seconds remaining tied the game 64-64. USC's Ashley Coral tossed up a three-pointer that banked in with six-tenths of a second remaining to put USC up 67-64. Cal inbounded the ball but could not get off a shot before time expired.

Stallworth scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Bears. It was the first 30-point performance of the season for a Cal player. Gray-Lawson had her fourth 20 point performance of the season, scoring 20 points.

USC leads the all-time series 33-21. Cal has won eight of the last 10 meetings but has dropped the last two.

A LOOK AT UCLA Earlier this season, the Bears dropped the opening game of their weekend Southern California road trip, falling to the UCLA Bruins 57-46. Alexis Gray-Lawson led the Bears with 20 points.

Freshman guard Layshia Clarendon opened the game scoring the first four points for Cal, hitting her first two field goal attempts, but the Bears found themselves in a early 6-4 hole. Cal's offense was ignited by back-to-back three pointers by freshman guard Eliza Pierre and senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson, fueling a 9-0 run that puts Cal up 15-6. Cal held the lead through the remainder of the first half until UCLA grabbed a steal and scored a transition basket with four tenths of a second remaining in the period to go into the locker room with a 22-21 lead.

DeNesha Stallworth started the second half getting fouled on a made layup. She converted the and-one opportunity to put Cal back in the lead, 24-22. The two teams battled in the early portion of the second half with three ties and two more lead changes before UCLA put together a 9-0 run to build a comfortable 39-30 lead. The Bears would twice pull within six, 41-35, the second time on a three-pointer by Gray Lawson with 3:56 remaining, but that was as close as they would come the remainder of the game. The Bruins held on for their third-straight conference victory. Gray-Lawson led the Bears with 20 points. Clarendon scored 11. Both Gray-Lawson and Clarendon pulled in eight rebounds. Cal, as a team, outrebounded the Bruins by 15, 49-34.

UCLA leads the all-time series, 41-14. Cal has won four of the last six, but UCLA has won the last two.

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