After two grueling weeks on the road the Bears finally return to the friendly confines of Haas Pavilion, where they will immediately get the chance to atone for their worst week of basketball of the season. That begins tonight against the Washington Huskies, who gave Cal their second loss in the state of Washington back in mid January. In that game the Bears were outrebounded, turned the ball over 21 times, and shot a woeful 33% field goal percentage. Only the defense of Eliza Pierre and the three point shooting of Mikayla Lyles kept the game remotely close as the Bears were thoroughly outplayed in Seattle.
Since that loss the Huskies have continued the solid play – losing close games on the road in Arizona before beating rival Washington St. and Oregon. But Washington did rather shockingly stumble at home against previously winless-in-the-Pac-10 Oregon St. Just as the Bears will try to rebound from their loss to Washington, Washington will be trying to rebound from that tough loss to the Beavers.
To avoid another damaging loss Cal will need to focus on the glass. Washington has been a pretty good rebounding team this year, having held their own on the glass against Cal, UCLA and Arizona State already. In the earlier matchup Talia Caldwell had one of her worst games of the year – playing just 22 minutes and pulling down just 4 rebounds as she dealt with constant foul trouble. Getting a good game from her would go a long way towards erasing the advantages Washington had in Seattle.
Additionally the Bears will need better games from Lindsay Sherbert and Layshia Clarendon, who both really struggled offensively against the Huskies. Sherbert has shown more consistency lately, and will be playing with the home rims in Berkeley that seem to have been much kinder to her so far this year.
Cal’s defense wasn’t a huge problem the first time against Washington, but they’ll probably look to do a better job against Kristi Kingma and Sara Morton, who both found open looks from deep. Anther player to look out for is Regina Rogers, who has reached double figures in four of her last five games.