Aggies Look To Clinch Conference Title This Week
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 16
UC Davis enters the week faced with a simple scenario. A win over UC Irvine at home Saturday would deliver the Aggies their second straight outright Big West title as well as the top seed in the upcoming Big West Tournament. This week also features key matchups in the race for Tournament seeding and byes as UC Santa Barbara visits Cal Poly and Hawai'i visits CSUN on ESPN3.
WEEKLY PRIMER (Saturday, February 24)
Cal State Fullerton (8-18, 3-10 Big West) at Cal Poly (15-11, 9-5 Big West)
A win would strenghten the Mustangs' chances for a top 3 seed. The Titans are in a battle with Long Beach State for the eighth seed as both clubs are tied with three games to go.
UC Irvine (17-10, 9-4 Big West) at UC Davis (22-4, 12-1 Big West)
The Aggies, who already own a share of the conference title, can claim the crown outright and the #1 seed in the Tournament with a win. The Anteaters have dropped back-to-back games for the first time since late November but still have an inside track to the two-seed.
Hawai'i (11-15, 5-7 Big West) at Long Beach State (5-22, 3-10 Big West)
The Rainbow Wahine defense has spearheaded their late season surge, allowing just 58.7 points per game over the last three contests. The Beach has won three of their last five. Cecily Wilson is averaging 19.7 points per game over her last three games.
UC Riverside (8-20, 5-9 Big West) at UC Santa Barbara (11-15, 8-6 Big West)
The Gauchos' Drew Edelman has stayed hot, putting up 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in her last outing against Cal Poly. The Highlanders have alternated wins and losses this month, losing their last time out to Cal State Fullerton.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
‘EATERS PUT UP 100 (AGAIN)
For the second time in its last three games, UC Irvine put up 100 points in a win. This time around the Anteaters put up 107 points in a rout of Cal Poly. The point total is the most the program has scored in the modern Division I championship era and tied for the most in UCI history. The club’s previous 107-point effort came against UC Santa Cruz in 1979. This also marks the first time UC Irvine has scored 100 points multiple times in the same season.
UC Davis made its trip to Hawai’i a successful one, repeling a late rally by the Rainbow Wahine for the victory. With the win and a Cal Poly loss earlier in the evening, the Aggies have clinched a double-bye into the semifinals of the upcoming Big West Tournament. Next up for UCD is the conference title as the program holds a 2.5 game lead with three games to go on the schedule.
49 ATTEMPTS...ALL FREE
CSUN found its way to the free throw line in near record fashion against Cal Poly last week, hitting 38 of 49 attempts. The Matadors tied a school record with the 38 makes, while finishing just six shy of tying the mark for attempts. The club also finished with the second-most made free thows in the NCAA this season, while also putting up the third-most attempts. Individually, senior Tessa Boagni became the seventh player in CSUN’s Division I era to go 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
CHANNON HITS A MILESTONE
With 15 points and 12 rebounds against Cal Poly, CSUN junior Channon Fluker recorded her 50th career double-double. On the NCAA’s active career double doubles list, Fluker ranks fifth and is one of just five active players to have reached 50 career double doubles. Even more impressive is that of the current top 10 active players in double doubles, Fluker is one of only two juniors. The other is Megan Gustafson of Iowa who has 51 career double doubles entering the week.
FLIPPING THE SCRIPT
UC Santa Barbara has shown an affinity for the three-point line, ranking second in the Big West in three pointers made (216) and leading in attempts (616). Lately, UCSB has shown a more balanced offense as it has attempted 39 threes and 51 free throw attempts over its last two games. The Gauchos, who once had an 18-game streak of shooting more threes than free throws, have now shot more free throws than threes in two of their last five games. They only had one such game prior to that.
GRAND STATUS 2017-18 EDITION
UC Davis junior Morgan Bertsch, CSUN junior Channon Fluker, UC Riverside senior Michelle Curry, UC Davis senior Pele Gianotti, Hawai’i senior Sarah Toeaina and UC Davis senior Rachel Nagel became members 138-143 of the Big West 1,000-point club this season.
Several players around the league are also approaching the 1,000-point milestone. Cal Poly’s Lynn Leaupepe (992), CSUN’s Tessa Boagni (936) and UC Davis’ Dani Nafekh (826) all have a chance to add the accomplishment this season.
FAST BREAK POINTS
23.6 - Points per game average for UC Irvine's Morgan Green this season, all coming in conference play.
33 - Career 20-point games by UC Davis' Morgan Bertsch, a new program record.
54 - Current rank in active career points in the NCAA for Cal Poly's Dynn Leaupepe and her 1,556 points.
64 - Three-pointers made by Cal State Fullerton's Hannah Thompson, tops in the Big West.
The Big West Tour sponsored Fox PrimeTicket, Smile Generation and GEICO returns for 2018, running January 10th through March 3rd. 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 Big West Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament returns to Honda Center for the 2018 season, the event's ninthth year at the Anaheim-based arena. The tournament runs March 8-10, with the women's first and second rounds March 6-7 at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym and the women's semifinals and finals at Honda Center March 9-10. The entire men's tournment will be played at Honda Center March 8-10. For more information on the 2018 Big West Tournament please visit: www.bigwesttournament.com.
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