Cal Women (6-4, 12-9) vs. UCLA (7-3, 14-7)
Time: 2:00 PM PST
TV: CSN Bay Area
Streams: No official streams
Scroll down to the thread below to discuss the Cal-UCLA men's hoops game. This thread is for the women's game.
It's odd that Cal's most important regular season game is coming just past the halfway point in the Pac-10 season, but that's the situation the Bears are in. If Cal beat UCLA, Stanford beats USC (very likely) and ASU beats WSU (very likely), there will be a four way tie for second with Cal, UCLA, USC, and ASU - all at 7-4. If Cal loses the Bears will fall all the way down to 5th. But beyond conference standings, UCLA is a potential NCAA team and if the Bears notch a win they can start thinking about (admittedly unlikely) scenarios that would lead to the NCAA tournament. So how will the Bears beat UCLA? Hit the jump and we'll break it down!
Cal looks for a better result against UCLA after losing in LA.
Cal's previous game against the Bruins may have been the low point of the season - they shot 28% from the field, 50% from the line and turned the ball over 23 times in a truly horrific offensive performance. Some of the credit for those numbers must go to a Bruins team that plays excellent defense, but nobody would argue that the Bears played up to their potential in Los Angeles. Even worse, freshman Markel Walker had a nose injury and was effectively taken out of the game - she should be back and ready to redeem herself today. UCLA's big gun is transfer Jasmine Dixon, but Darxia Morris and Doreena Campbell are also key contributors in UCLA's balanced offensive attack.
Season totals: Four Factor percentages. Bold = statistical advantage
Key: eFG - effective field goal. ORB = offensive rebounding.
TOV = turnover margin. FT/FGA = free throws per field goal attempts.
At first glance Cal seems to have the advantage in most statistical categories, but that's a tad misleading. Cal's rebounding advantages are very small and UCLA has a pretty sizeable advantage in field goal efficiency offense and defense, which is the single most important stat. UCLA plays the best defense in the Pac-10 outside of Palo Alto and they made Cal's life miserable on the offensive end earlier in the year. Cal needs to come out on a mission to prove they have improved immeasurably since their 57-46 loss in January. It shouldn't be difficult for the Bears to shoot better and improve their ball security compared to their last game against the Bruins. Hopefully that will be enough for the Bears to notch a crucial sweep and secure a 3-1 home stand. Comment away and GO BEARS!