BERKELEY, Calif. -- California point guard Alexis
Gray-Lawson will miss the rest of the season for the Golden Bears (No 16 ESPN/USA Today; No. 15 AP) with torn knee ligaments that will require surgery
Gray-Lawson, last season's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, tore
both the anterior cruciate ligament and the meniscus in her right
knee Sunday. She was injured with 14:12 remaining in Cal's 73-65
victory at Kansas when she landed awkwardly after making a layin.
Doctors initially thought she had only hyperextended the knee, but
more damage was detected in follow-up examinations after the team
This is a big blow for the Bears (8-1), who are off to their
best start in 14 years and hold the program's highest national
ranking. They are only one spot behind archrival Stanford this
week, a sign of significant progress for Cal.
"That throws a little bit of a wrench in things to say the
least," coach Joanne Boyle said. "It's just devastating. The
point guard is the head of the body. We had our identity
established a little bit and now we're trying to work our way
through that. Something's going to change. It's a journey ahead of
us we're going to figure out together."
Gray-Lawson will have surgery in two or three weeks, once
swelling in the knee has subsided. A sophomore from nearby Oakland,
she started all 30 games last season, averaging 14.6 points and a
team-leading 2.7 assists. She was the team's third-leading scorer
this season at 10.6 points per game and top in assists with a 3.1
Boyle has been impressed with her team's two practices without
its floor leader.
"It's really sad," center Rama N'diaye said. "We have great
players and we will work more to be able to pick it up -- and play
for her also."
The Bears begin their conference schedule Dec. 20 at UCLA.