BERKELEY, California (Ticker) -- No. 23 California can notch its best start in 43 years on Thursday night when it seeks to continue its dominance over Pac-10 Conference foe Washington State.
California (16-4, 9-2 Pac-10) has matched the start of the 1993-94 team, which was led by current New Jersey Nets All-Star Jason Kidd. A victory on Thursday would give the Golden Bears their best start since the 1959-60 squad won 20 of its first 21 games.
Golden Bears forward Joe Shipp continues to be one of college basketball's unheralded stars as he is averaging 21.2 points per game. Shipp has increased that scoring average to 22.9 in conference play.
California has won five straight against Washington State and seven consecutive meetings in Berkeley. The Golden Bears posted a 76-63 road victory over the Cougars on January 18 behind a 33-point performance by Shipp, who made 14-of-18 shots.
The Golden Bears are one game behind first-place Arizona in the Pac-10 standings. They are 10-0 at home this season and have won 15 straight at Haas Pavilion.
Washington State (5-15, 0-11) has lost 17 straight Pac-10 road games and is winless in eight road games this season. The Cougars' plight has worsened without leading scorer Marcus Moore, who had season-ending surgery on January 24.
The Cougars have lost six straight games by double figures.