'Sunday Showdown' women's basketball preview: CAL at No. 10 Oregon State
Who: Cal at Oregon State
When: Sunday, February 26 at 11 a.m. PT/ 6 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Bay Area and Pac-12 Oregon.
On the call: Ann Schatz and Mary Murphy
On the home side: No. 10 Oregon State (26-3, 15-2)
With a thrilling 50-47 win over Stanford Friday night, the Beavers clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title and also clinched the number one seed in the Pac-12 Tournament for the third-straight season. A win against Cal would make the Beavers the outright Pac-12 regular-season title champions- their first outright title since 2015.
The Beavers average 67.2 points per game but are most well known for their defense. Oregon State sits at number one in the conference only allowing their opponents to average 54.4 points per game. They also sit atop the conference in field goal percentage defense (34.3%) and second in three-point field goal percentage defense (28.5%).
Beavers to watch:
SYDNEY WIESE: A three time All-Pac 12 First Team member, the guard who leads her team with 15.2 points (seventh in the conference) and a 47.0% three-point field goal percentage has had a great senior season. This season, Wiese has set the Oregon State record for career assists with 597 and broke the Pac-12 career 3-pointers record. She now has 357 career three-pointers, tying her for 16th in NCAA history.
GABRIELLA HANSON: A Pac-12 Defensive Honorable Mention last season, Hanson is best known for her defense but still contributes heavily to the Beavers’ overall success. Hanson has played in 109 Oregon State victories, the most by any player in Oregon State history. The senior guard is tied for seventh in Oregon State history with 121 career 3-pointers.
On the visiting side: Cal (18-11, 6-11)
The Bears enter into Sunday’s game off a big 55-49 win against Oregon Friday night. A win for the Bears would not only be their third win over a Top 20 Opponent, it would put them in a better seeded position for the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament that begins March 3.
As a team, the Bears average 71 points per game, fifth in conference, and own a 46.4% field goal percentage, putting them at second in conference. The Bears also own the number three spot for three-point field goal percentage defense with 29.7%, right behind Oregon State.
Bears to watch:
KRISTINE ANIGWE: The sophomore forward leads her team with 20.8 points per game (second in conference) and 9.3 rebounds (third in conference). Anigwe is second in the conference in field goal percentage with 59.0%. and third in conference averaging two blocks a game, while tied for fifth in Cal’s record book for most blocks in a single season with 51.
ASHA THOMAS: Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention last season, the sophomore guard has had a great sophomore season averaging 9.4 points for the Bears. Thomas has started all 29 games for the Bears this season and leads the team with 39.3% three-point shooting and averages 3.6 assists a game.
Story to watch:
In the final weekend of play before the Pac-12 Tournament begins, both teams have something big to play for. A win for Oregon State secure their sole ownership of the regular-season Pac-12 title, while a win for Cal would put them in a better-seeded position for the Pac-12 Tournament.
Oregon State has won four-straight over California. A fifth-straight win over the Bears would tie their longest winning streak since their 1993-95 season. In the teams’ most recent meeting (January 6), Oregon State won 66-56. The Beavers outshot the Bears from field-goal range (48.4% to 38.3%), however the Bears won the battle beyond the arc, shooting 22.2% from three-point range to the Beavers 21.4%.
With no regular-season games left after this, expect both teams to leave everything they have on the court.