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Cal Women's Basketball vs. Washington St. Gamethread

Time: 5:30 PM PT/8:30 PM ET
TV: FSN Northwest

Radio: KKGN 960 AM
Audio Stream:
Cal Bears All-Access ($)

The Bears will face a team that’s a bit of a mess right now in Washington State.  The Cougars enter with a 3-13 record, though they do come in riding a victory over equally-troubled Oregon St.  Simply put, this game is a must win if the Bears harbor NCAA hopes, as Washington St. would immediately qualify as their worst loss of the year by a wide mark.

WSU made some encouraging progress towards the end of the season last year with upset wins over USC and Arizona St., but whatever momentum the program had was lost with the transfer of Pac-10 All Freshman team honoree Kiki Moore and an early season injury to April Cook.  Now WSU doesn’t have a single player averaging double figures, nobody with an eFG percentage higher than 48%, and just one major contributor with more assists than turnovers.

Having said all that, the Cougars did play Cal tough twice last year by staying within single digits well into crunch time.  The Bears aren’t good enough to rest on their laurels, and they very much can’t afford a let down.

Usually this is the point when I tell you about which player Cal needs to stop on defense, but when looking at Washington St.’s stats I get the profile of a team that hasn’t found an identity and a coach who hasn’t figured out which players give them the best chance to win.  Eight players average between 9.2 and 5.8 points per game, and they all take a similar number of shots.  If Washington St. were winning games that might be a sign of depth and team cohesion, but I doubt that’s the case here. 

Sage Romburg is second on the team in scoring and first in rebounding and did go for 22 points in Saturday’s win over Oregon State.  Plus freshman that are getting comfortable in an offense tend scare me, so she’s as good a player to focus on as any.  Still, victory should just be a matter of successfully executing the things Cal should always do:  rebounding, getting the ball inside, and stifling half court defense.