GW Women's Hoops Heads West for Road Test at No. 8 California on Friday
Colonials, Golden Bears Face Off for First Time Since 2008 NCAA Tournament
Dec. 27, 2012
WHO: GW Women's Basketball (6-5)
WASHINGTON - The George Washington women's basketball team heads west following a six-day layoff for the holidays to take on No. 8 California on Friday. Tip-off from the Golden Bears' Haas Pavilion is set for 10 p.m. ET.
The only previous time these two teams met GW's Sarah-Jo Lawrence scored the game-winning putback as time expired in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, as the sixth-seeded Colonials upset the third-seeded Bears, 55-53, to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season and the fourth overall. That contest also featured all-time GW greats Jessica Adair, Whitney Allen and Kimberly Beck.
Cal is GW's first ranked opponent this season. GW has defeated 24 ranked opponents in its storied history, with seven wins against top-10 foes. The last Top 25 team the Colonials faced was No. 11 Rutgers on Dec. 30, 2011. The Colonials have not defeated a Top 25 team since knocking off No. 10/8 California in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
GW (6-5) is coming off its second straight victory - a 60-52 win over local rival George Mason on Saturday. Senior Danni Jackson scored a season-high 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting and added seven assists and five rebounds. GW shot 44.3 percent in the game and held the Patriots to just 29.0 percent from the floor, the fourth time this season the Colonials have held an opponent below 30 percent shooting. Jackson was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for her efforts.
Senior Megan Nipe paces the Colonials with 10.3 points per game this season, followed closely by graduate student Tara Booker with 10.2 ppg. Grad student Sara Mostafa is GW's top rebounder with 6.1 rpg, and Jackson leads the team in assists (5.5 apg) and steals (2.9 spg).
Cal (9-1) is ranked eighth in both national polls following an 88-79 win over No. 19 Kansas on Saturday, its third straight victory. Layshia Clarendon, a preseason Naismith Award candidate, led five Bears in double figures with 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting, while Gennifer Brandon posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Five Golden Bears are scoring in double figures for the season, led by Brittany Boyd's 14.4 points per game. Boyd also ranks second in the Pac-12 in assists (5.4 apg) and third in the league in steals (3.1 spg). In addition, Brandon is averaging a double-double with 14.0 ppg and 10.9 rpg, ranking fourth in the Pac-12 in rebounding. Talia Caldwell leads the Pac-12 in field goal percentage, shooting a sizzling 69.1 percent from the field.
Cal averages a league-best 78.8 ppg on the season - the 11th-best scoring average in the nation - and is outscoring its opponents by an average of 21.0 points. In addition, the Bears are shooting 47.5 percent on the year, the second-best mark in the conference, and their +15.0 rebound margin ranks third nationally.
GW first-year head coach Jonathan Tsipis is familiar with California as he was the associate head coach at Notre Dame last season when the Fighting Irish defeated the Golden Bears in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Colonials next travel 12 miles east from Berkeley, Calif., to close out the 2012 portion of their schedule at Saint Mary's (Calif.) in Moraga, Calif., on Sunday.