Here are links to several stories we have today that relate to current or former Cal athletes:
— Running back Marshawn Lynch is close to releasing his film, “Family First: The Marshawn Lynch Story.” Click here to see the movie trailer.
— Former Cal placekicker Giorgio Tavecchio signs with the Oakland Raiders.
— Cal and Stanford guards are the headliners among top women’s basketball players in the Bay Area.
Reshanda Gray had 17 points and nine rebounds, leading the Cal women to a 63-53 win over No. 18 Stanford at Maples Pavilion. The win ended Stanford’s 14-year reign as Pac-12 champion.
The victory also avenged a 59-47 defeat at Berkeley on Wednesday in which the Bears shot just 11 percent in the second half.
Mercedes Jefflo added 15 points and Brittany Boyd had 12 points and 13 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season as the Bears (20-7, 12-4) moved into a tie for third place in the Pac-12 standings with Stanford, clinching a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.
The Bears have beaten the Cardinal twice in three years on the road, including the 67-55 win in 2013 that snapped Stanford’s 81-game conference winning streak.
The victory was the 99th for Lindsay Gottlieb at Cal.
Cal outscored Stanford 13-2 at the free throw line and forced 17 turnovers.
Here is staff writer Elliott Almond’s preview of the two-game series this week between the Cal and Stanford women’s basketball teams.
The rivals clash tonight at Haas Pavilion, then again Sunday at Stanford.
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.