Women's Hoops Seeks Second Win

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Noted philosopher and ballplayer Yogi Berra once said, "Baseball is 90 percent mental, the other half is physical."

This skewed maxim holds true for any team in any sport, and the Cal women's basketball team is no exception. Mental preparedness and execution are keys to the Bears' success.

After winning its first Pac-10 game of the season at Washington last week, Cal (6-11, 1-6 in the Pac-10) comes home to take on USC Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and No. 15 UCLA Saturday at 1 p.m. The two games will go a long way toward possibly salvaging a Pac-10 season that started with six straight losses.

"(The win against the Huskies) was a long time coming," junior guard Courtney Johnson said. "We just finally put it in our minds that this is embarrassing how we are losing, and there is no way we should be doing this. We had been talking about how we know we should play and we (finally) just did it."

Cal will have to play with the same intensity if it hopes to have a successful weekend against the Trojans (8-9, 3-4) and the first-place Bruins (12-5, 6-1).

USC is the team Bears coach Marianne Stanley has scouted the heaviest this week. Stanley said a win over the Trojans Thursday would do a great deal for her team's chances against UCLA Saturday.

"We haven't thought too much about UCLA," Stanley said. "The USC game is important because we'd like to get on a roll and get some momentum going.

"It is important for us that emotionally we come out fired up and play well and play smart (against the Trojans). If we can do that, we stand a good chance of winning the game and then we talk about winning two in a row. (As a result) you are more confident and you have a better mental approach to the UCLA game."

Stanley said USC will bring a very athletic team to Haas Pavilion, and the Bears will have to contain the Trojans' post players in order to be successful.

Six-foot-two senior Danielle Golay is USC's leading scorer at 12.4 points per game and also leads the team in rebounds with 5.6 per game.

Stanley also mentioned Richmond, Calif. native Denise Woods, who transferred to Southern Cal after playing two years at San Francisco. Woods usually comes off the bench, and is averaging 7.6 ppg in 19.4 minutes. The 6-foot-2 center is also a threat from behind the arc, having hit 35.3 of her shots from downtown.

The Bears will attempt to counter the Trojans' inside game with Shavaki Jackson and Lauren Ashbaugh, who are coming off stellar performances against Washington. The two players combined for 36 points and 33 rebounds in the win, and Jackson was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for her efforts.

Jackson and Ashbaugh have had to increase their productivity due to the Bears depleted frontline. Ami Forney is getting over a stress fracture in her left foot and will not play this week, and Genevieve Swedor is listed as probable for this week's games with back trouble.

"Both (Jackson and Ashbaugh) have to understand how critical it is that they play smart and stay out of foul trouble until we get Ami Forney back," Stanley said.

As crucial as post play will be against USC, its importance will increase tenfold against the Bruins, who boast the returning Pac-10 Player of the Year, senior forward Maylana Martin. Martin averages 16.8 ppg and 9.1 rpg.

"There is no question that they have tremendous talent," Stanley said. "They've got depth at every position, but as we've seen lately, everybody is beatable. They lost to Oregon (at home). They're not invincible, but clearly you have to play well against them."


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