California Closes Out Homestand Saturday vs. UCLA

Feb. 5, 2010


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The California Golden Bears (12-9, 6-4 Pac-10) close out a four-game homestand on Saturday, Feb. 6 when they host the UCLA Bruins (14-7, 7-3 Pac-10).

After Thursday night's 61-55 victory over USC, Cal remains tied for fourth place with the Arizona State Sun Devils in the Pac-10 standings. However, a Cal victory over UCLA and a loss by USC at Stanford on Sunday could leave as many as three teams, including Cal, tied for second place at the end of this week. A victory by ASU over Washington State Saturday combined with losses by USC and UCLA would leave four teams tied for second.

Cal began the second half of Pac-10 play with a strong defensive effort against the Trojans. The Bears outrebounded the Trojans by 19, 49-30, tying the largest rebounding margin for Cal in a game this season. They also outrebounded Southern by 19 early in the season. Cal had 23 offensive rebounds that led to 31 second chance points. USC had 11 O-Boards for 11 second-chance points.

Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth had a career-high 10 rebounds and posted the first double-double of her Cal career, scoring 14 points. Freshman forward Gennifer Brandon continued her rebounding tear, pulling in 14 boards. Brandon has logged double-digit rebounds in three of her last four games and is averaging 12.25 pre contest over that span.

Freshman guard Layshia Clarendon, who was a very consistent scoring presence in the Arizona series, broke out with an 18 point performance, hitting seven field goals.

The Bears will be supporting two charities with activities during Saturday's game. They will be hosting a silent auction 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.

Also, Joanne Boyle and her staff will coach in their bare feet as part of the 'Bearfoot for Barefeet' Coaches Initiative to raise awareness and money to purchase shoes for the impoverished children affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti. UCLA's staff, led by head coach Nikki Caldwell, will also coach without shoes in Saturday's 2 p.m. game to aid Haiti's children, who suffer from foot-borne diseases and infections due to a lack of shoes.

Saturday is also a Cal Kids Day with all youth tickets (grades 12th and under) just $1. In case of rain, the pregame activities such as face painting and poster making will be moved indoors to 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 19.1 ppg with Gray-Lawson averaging 18.2. Gray-Lawson still leads the pack in Pac-10 games, averaging 22.5 ppg. Davellyn White of Arizona is second with 21.4.

Gennifer Brandon, who has been the Bears top defensive force in recent games, has moved up to fifth in rebounding in Pac-10 games, averaging 8.2 boards in Conference contests. She ranks seventh overall, averaging 7.7 rebounds per game this season. DeNesha Stallworth is 11th with a 6.3 per game average.

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 1,722 career points, 44 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 three games this season. She did not make a three against USC.

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-DOUBLES Freshman forward DeNesha Stallworth posted the first double double of her college career with 14 points and 10 rebounds against USC. Stallworth was the fifth different Cal player to post a double-double in a game this season. 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 seventh different starting lineup of the season against USC. The Bears have reverted back, for the time being, to two seniors and three freshmen. They have used three different mixes that feature four freshmen in the starting lineup and two different versions of the two seniors, three freshmen. Every single eligible Cal player but junior guard Rachelle Federico has 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.

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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