Two Women's Hoops Matchups Featured On ESPN3 This Week
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 13
The 2017 conference season hits the midway point this week, highlighted by two tough road contests for league-leading Long Beach State and two contests slated for ESPN3 production.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
DOUBLE DIP OF E3
Two games will be on ESPN3 this week, including a matchup of champions from a year ago. Defending Tournament champion Hawai’i takes on defending regular season champion UC Riverside at the SRC Arena Thursday. The Highlanders have won 12 straight league games at home, while Hawai’i is just 1-8 on the road this season. With both clubs tied for fourth in the league standings at 4-3, this marks a pivotal matchup as the race for Big West Tournament seeding heats up.
The second matchup pits league-leading Long Beach State in a road showdown against UC Irvine. The 49ers enter the week at 6-1 in league play and 15-7 overall, a leg-up in their quest for their first conference title since 2005-06. UCI is seeking to snap a four-game losing string to LBSU, having not defeated the Beach since February 6, 2014 in Bren Events Center.
NOT ONE, NOT TWO...BUT 15
UC Santa Barbara was raining all over the arc last week against UC Irvine, setting program records for threes made (15) and attempts (30). The most frequent rainmaker was freshman Aliceah Hernandez who set a career-high with seven made threes in 10 attempts.
MAULUPE WARMING UP
CSUN junior Serafina Maulupe won the Player of the Week honors after two outstanding games, but Maulupe has consistently improved over the past five games. She has raised her scoring output in each of the last five games (7-11-14-25-28), while her four consecutive double-figure scoring games is one shy of tying her season-high.
THE BIG WEST TRIPLE CROWN
CSUN sophomore Channon Fluker leads the Big West in rebounds per game (10.9) and blocks per game (2.5), while ranking fifth in points per game (15.3). The only player to lead the Big West in all three categories in a single season was Cal State Fullerton great Genia Miller who averaged 29.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.4 blocks in the 1990-91 season.
DIFFERENT ROLE, SAME RESULTS
Long Beach State senior guard has gone from starter to key bench player in her senior season. Benton has come off the bench in seven of her eight conference games, averaging 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 22.0 minutes per game. Benton has also become just the 13th player in LBSU history to enter the 1,000-point, 500-rebound club.
SCORING AND PASSING
Speaking of rare occurances, UC Riverside forward Réjane Verin leads the Big West in scoring (16.8) and is tied for fourth in assists (4.2). The only player to lead the Big West in both categories in a single season was Misty Thomas of former league member UNLV who averaged 21.0 points and 6.1 assists in the 1984-85 season.
UC Riverside senior Simone DeCoud and Cal Poly senior Hannah Gilbert became the 130th and 131st members of the Big West 1,000-point club this season.
The next player on the list is Long Beach State senior Anna Kim (977). A player to keep an eye on is Verin (879) as she put up 544 points last year, her first with UCR after transferring from UNLV.
The Big West Conference will host #Play4Kay games this winter to support Breast Cancer Awareness. Check out one of the following games for a chance to receive a #BigWestCares wristbands.
||UC Santa Barbara
||Cal State Fullerton
||Long Beach State
1 - Turnovers by UC Santa Barbara's Onome Jemerigbe over her last three games in 80 total minutes.
7 - Number of teams that are over .500 at home this season.
15 - Overall wins by Long Beach State and UC Davis, the most in the league.
21- Consecutive free throws made by Cal Poly's Dynn Leaupepe.
194 - Wins at UC Riverside by head coach John Margaritis. He is six away from becoming the fourth coach with 200 wins in the Big West.
Follow Along All Season
Big West Rise Up Tour Continues At CSUN
The Big West Tour sponsored by Fox PrimeTicket and Coors Light returns for 2017, running January 12th through March 2nd. Over the course of the Tour, Big West representatives will make stops at the eight Big West campuses in California, giving fans opportunities to win prizes from the Big West spin wheel. The next stop is CSUN on Feb. 1 and 2. The Big West Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament returns to Honda Center for the 2017 season, the event's 8th year at the Anaheim-based arena. The tournament runs March 9-11, with the women's first and second rounds March 7-8 at Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid and the women's semifinals and finals at Honda Center March 10-11. The entire men's tournament will be played at Honda Center March 9-11.