In my last Women’s Week in Review column, I highlighted how Arizona and Arizona St. are dangerous teams, and that winning both games this weekend will be a difficult challenge. Well, after looking over Arizona’s schedule and results, I’m beginning to think that maybe that only applies to the Sun Devils.
After a promising non-conference run that indicated that Arizona might be poised to compete in the top half of the conference, things haven’t gone well in Pac-10 play. Arizona owns just four Pac-10 wins – all at home, all against the four worst teams in the conference standings, and three of the wins by 6 points or less. Meanwhile, against the five best teams in the conference, Arizona has lost each game by at least 9 points. To be fair, all five of those games were on the road, but as Cal can attest, you won’t be taken seriously until you can compete with the top of the conference away from home. Arizona hasn’t done that yet, and so it’s hard to take them seriously.
The Bears badly beat the Wildcats in Berkeley by bottling up Davellyn Whyte and Shanita Arnold in the half court set, by getting every single rebound not grabbed by Ify Ibekwe, and because Lindsay Sherbert went off from 3 point range. Although counting on Sherbert (or anybody else) to go 6-8 from behind the arc isn’t realistic, every other part of Cal’s win should be repeatable. DeNesha Stallworth and Talia Caldwell should be able to slow down Ibekwe, and Ibekwe won’t be able to guard both Cal posts at the same time. If the Bears can just reduce their 21 turnovers from last time there’s no reason not to anticipate Joanne Boyle's 200th win.