Buffaloes, Dons Start Off Cal's Winter-Break Docket





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The Cal men's basketball team has picked a pretty good time to get things going in the right direction.

After the Bears' 62-54 win over Cleveland State on Tuesday, Cal is heading into a crucial stretch of its preseason and getting its first win in three games under its belt should prove valuable.

Daily Cal Staff/Carey Wagner
Kenya Corley helped Cal beat USF last season with a last-second running floater. The Bears face the Dons tonight.

The Bears (2-3) are set to face off against Colorado Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. For Cal, the game is a rematch of last year's 80-62 loss.

"Cal is going to be a big game," Buffalos coach Ricardo Patton said. "We know they'll be waiting for us after last year."

But Colorado (5-2) isn't going to be an easy win. The Buffalos reached triple digits in their 105-61 rout of St. Mary's Wednesday, and hit the 100-point mark two other times this season.

If this game is anything like last year's match, the Bears will have to watch out for sophomore center Richard Fox. His first collegiate start came against Cal last year, when Fox scored 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and tallied seven assists and three blocks.

After battling with Colorado, the Bears face the State University of New York-Albany (3-2), a game that marks a reunion with former Cal associate head coach Scott Beeten.

Beeten left the program in August to take over as the Great Danes' head coach. This is only Albany's second season competing as a Division I team.

Junior forward Will Brand led the Great Danes last year, averaging 11.2 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game.

The Bears take on Georgia in the Pete Newell Challenge on Dec. 21 at the Oakland Arena at 8:30 p.m., following the other match of the doubleheader - Stanford vs. Duke at 6 p.m.

Coppin State and Yale are next up on Cal's plate before hosting the Golden Bear Classic on Dec. 30.

Cal will take on LaSalle and Lafayette in the classic and hopes to claim the championship after settling for second place last year, falling to Pennsylvania, 74-71.

After all of the preseason hoopla, the Bears get down to business in their first Pac-10 game against Arizona, Jan. 4 at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.

The Wildcats were picked unanimously earlier in the season to claim the Pac-10 title and return all five of last year's starters.

Cal heads over to Tempe on Jan. 6 to take on Arizona State and test its strength against a squad that returns nine letterwinners, including four starters.

Oregon and Oregon State are the Bears' final two games before winter break ends. Cal hosts the Ducks on Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m and the Beavers on Jan. 13 at 5 p.m.

WOMEN'S HOOPS OPENS WITH USF

The Cal women's basketball team (2-4, 0-0 in the Pac-10) will face a myriad of teams during winter break, including some local competition and the beginning of its Pac-10 schedule.

Starting tonight, the Bears face off against Bay Area foes San Francisco (3-1) and Santa Clara (3-2). First-year Cal coach Caren Horstmeyer has an extra reason to want to win this weekend.

Horstmeyer began her coaching career with the Dons as an assistant after graduating from Santa Clara. She was the head coach of the Broncos for the last 12 years, becoming the winningest coach in WCC history. In addition, Horstmeyer played for Santa Clara while in college, so emotions will be running high.

But these games won't be easy victories for Cal. Last year's game against USF came down to senior Kenya Corley's basket with 2.9 seconds left to get the two-point victory.

This season, the Dons have won their games by an average of 45.7 points, but Cal's strong defense has held opponents to only 64.2 ppg, giving tonight's 5:15 p.m. game at USF the makings shoot-out.

In early January, the Bears will begin their conference play against the Arizona schools at home.

After a pair of home games, the Bears will travel north to face No. 10 Oregon and Oregon State. The Ducks (4-0) are the highest ranked team in the conference.

Sometime during the break, the Bears hope to have freshman Kiki Williams (ankle), sophomore Amber White (ankle) return from injury.

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