The Cal women, although not ranked in the Associated Press or USA Today Coaches top-25 polls, appear on their way to possibly hosting first- and second-round NCAA tournament games.
The NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Committee revealed its preliminary list of the top 20 seeds Wednesday, and the list included Cal as one of the programs in contention to serve as an NCAA tournament host.
The NCAA uses a hosting model that will allow the top 16 seeds who meet championship hosting requirements to host first- and second-round games on March 20-23.
The Bears (18-5, 10-2 Pac-12) were among five Pac-12 teams listed on Wednesday’s top 20 reveal, along with Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington.
Cal, 17th in the latest RPI report, is riding a seven-game winning streak – five more than the next current active streak in the Pac-12. Four of the Bears’ five losses came when All-Pac-12 selection Courtney Range was out due to injury.
“It’s important to keep in mind that (Wednesday’s) announcement has no bearing on the final bracket,” said Dru Hancock, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, “but we were able to identify those institutions that are a possible top-20 seed so that they can begin preparations to host first- and second-round play, while also building momentum towards the upcoming championship.”
The selection show will take place on Monday, March 16 at 4 p.m. (PT) and will air on ESPN.
California returns to action Thursday against UCLA at Haas Pavilion. Tip-off is 8 p.m. and the game will air on the Pac-12 Networks.
Freshman forward Penina Davidson scored a layup at the buzzer and the Golden Bears posted their first win over a top-10 team in two seasons with a 50-48 road conquest of No. 10 Arizona State.
Cal won despite playing the final 4:19 without senior point guard Brittany Boyd, injured in a hard collision.
Freshman Mikayla Cowling finished with a game-high 16 points to lead Cal (18-5, 10-2), now tied for second in the Pac-12 Conference. Reshanda Gray added 10 points and Boyd had nine before leaving the game.
The Bears finished the game with three freshmen and two sophomores on the floor.
Cal held ASU, the league’s third-best shooting team, to 32 percent from the field.
Cal women’s signee Kristine Anigwe has been named a 2015 McDonald’s All-American and will represent the West in the 14th edition of the McDonald’s High School All-American game.
The Phoenix native becomes the 13th Golden Bear signee to be named a McDonald’s All-American.
Anigwe, named one of 16 nominees for the Naismith High School Player of the Year award earlier this week, is one of 24 girls selected for the McDonald’s game that will take place April 1 at the United Center in Chicago.
Anigwe is the third McDonald’s player recruited to Cal by coach Lindsay Gottlieb.
California Women’s Basketball McDonald’s All-Americans
Kristine Anigwe – 2015
Mikayla Cowling – 2014
Gabby Green – 2014
Reshanda Gray – 2011
Justine Hartman – 2011
Afure Jemerigbe – 2010
Lindsay Sherbert – 2010
Gennifer Brandon – 2009
Eliza Pierre – 2009
Tierra Rogers – 2009
DeNesha Stallworth – 2009
Alexis Gray-Lawson – 2005
Devanei Hampton – 2005
Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray of Cal are among five Pac-12 players included on the John R. Wooden Award women’s mid-season top-20 list.
Cal joins Connecticut and South Carolina as the only teams with two players on the list.
Nicknamed “Cornflakes and Milk” because of their chemistry on the floor, Boyd and Gray have been consistently productive as seniors.
Boyd is one of the nation’s most versatile guards, averaging 13.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 3.2 steals. She had a school record 16 assists in one game, 19 rebounds in another, and is the NCAA’s active career leader in steals with 324.
Gray averages 19.1 points and 7.1 rebounds and is shooting 59 percent from the floor. She scored 37 points in a game vs. Sacramento State, most by any Pac-12 player this season.
Also nominated from the Pac-12 are Stanford’s Amber Orrange, Washington’s Kelsey Plum and Oregon’s Jillian Alleyne.
Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike won the 2014 women’s Wooden Award.
Cal sophomore forward Courtney Range, who sustained a left knee sprain in the Golden Bears’ game at Kansas, is out indefinitely but expected to return to play this season, the school announced.
Range will be evaluated throughout her rehab, although no timetable was set for her return. She started the team’s first eight games and averages 14.3 points and 8.1 rebounds.
The 18th-ranked Bears return to action Saturday at Long Beach State.
Cal seniors Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray both have been included on the 50-player Naismith Trophy watch list, announced by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club.
Cal is one of eight schools in the country with two nominees for the award.
Both were named to the preseason Wooden Award and Wade Watch Lists earlier this season. It is the second consecutive season that Boyd has been selected to the Naismith Trophy watch list.
Boyd is averaging 13.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, an NCAA-best 9.1 assists and 3.25 steals per game. She is the only player in the country to have registered two triple-doubles this season.
Gray leads the Bears with a 21.1 scoring average while adding 5.6 rebounds per game. She ranks No. 3 in the NCAA in field goal percentage at .677.
Both Cal point guards were honored by the Pac-12 on Monday, as senior Brittany Boyd of the women’s team joined Tyrone Wallace as Players of the Week in the conference.
Boyd averaged a triple-double for two games, posting numbers of 11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 10.0 assists.
The Berkeley High grad had her second career double vs. Sacramento State, totaling 11 points, 19 rebounds and a school record-tying 16 assists. In a loss at Kansas on Sunday, Boyd had five steals to become the school’s career record-holder with 296.
She leads the nation in assists at 9.1 per game and is the only player in the country two triple-doubles.
Expect the No. 10 Golden Bears to tumble in the rankings this week after a 62-39 loss at Kansas, their first of the season.
Cal (8-1) shot 24.2 percent for the game, just 18.2 percent in the second half. The Jayhawks (7-2) led 36-20 by halftime.
Senior guard Brittany Boyd had 12 points, five steals, four rebounds and four assists to lead Cal. She set the all-time Cal steals mark with 296, surpassing Mazetta Garrett’s career total of 295 set during the 1979-84 seasons.
Cal had a season-low six assists. The Bears entered the game ranked second nationally at 23.6 assists per game.
Seniors Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray put up huge numbers and the No. 10 Cal women (7-0) posted a 107-94 win over Sacramento State (1-5) on Wednesday at Haas Pavilion.
Boyd had her second triple-double of the season (the third of her career) with 11 points, a career-high 19 rebounds and 16 assists, matching a Cal school record in the latter category. She also had four steals.
Gray scored a season-high 37 points to go with 10 rebounds, six blocked shots and four steals.
The Bears, who are averaging 103.7 points over their past three games, also got 21 points from Courtney Range and 14 each from Mercedes Jefflo and Brittany Shine.
Cal returns to action on the road Sunday against Kansas at famed Allen Fieldhouse. Tipoff is 3 p.m. on FoxSports1.
More than 2,000 East Bay elementary and middle school students will make a special field trip to Haas Pavilion on Wednesday morning for “School Haas Rock,” an educational assembly preceding the 10th-ranked Cal women’s 11 a.m. game against Sacramento State.
Doors will open at Haas at 9:30 a.m. in advance a pre-game assembly at 10:20 a.m. Scheduled to appear at the event are David Surratt, Associate Dean of Students at UC Berkeley, former Golden Bear and current WNBA player Layshia Clarendon, members of the Cal spirit groups and the Cal Steel Bridge Team.
“It’s a really important part of our mission as a program to be involved with our community,” California head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “’School Haas Rock’ is going to be an amazing event that allows our team to impact and inspire the youth of Berkeley, Oakland and the surrounding areas.
“Our student-athletes love getting out into the community and interacting with our fans, particularly kids. Wednesday will allow us to bring the kids into our environment, have them see campus, cheer on some exciting Cal Bear basketball, and walk away having had an experience that will continue to impact them positively even after the game is over.”