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Women's Basketball

New Year, New Championship Chase


Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 9


The start of the 2019 calendar year brings the start of the chase for the Big West women's basketball championship. Conference play will have its opening act Saturday with four enticing matchups. Defending regular season champion visits UC Riverside in a matchup of two of the hottest teams in the Big West. League-leading UC Irvine hits the road to the Central Coast for a game against Cal Poly, while UC Santa Barbara is on the road to take on defending Big West Tournament champion CSUN. The finale of the day will take place at Titan Gym as Cal State Fullerton, off to its best start in 29 years, takes on Hawai'i.


Big West Celebrates 50/35
The 2018-19 season marks the 50th anniversary for men’s sports in the Big West Conference, and the 35th for women’s.  All season long, the Big West Conference will celebrate the history of all conference sports.  Join us as we pay homage to the student-athletes, coaches, staffs, communities and fans who have helped pave the way.

• On November 30, 1983 UC Santa Barbara and UNLV met in a historic matchup. The game would be the first conference game for women’s basketball in Pacific Coast Athletic Association history. The Lady Rebels would run away with the game, topping the Gauchos 92-50.

• Faith Mimnaugh is in her 22nd season at the helm of the Cal Poly program, the longest current tenure in the league. Mimnaugh’s first win came on November 15, 1997 at home against Weber State in her first game on the Mustang sideline. 294 wins later and Mimnaugh is just five victories away from becoming just the second coach in league history to post 300 career wins.

Not Your Average Anteaters
UC Irvine enters conference play on the heels of its best start to a season in program history. The Anteaters’ 10-2 record is the best 12-game start in program history, besting the 9-3 mark the program posted in the 1984-85 campaign. This season also marks the fastest the team has notched double-digit wins and its second straight campaign of 10 or more wins. That has not been done since the 2010-12 seasons.

Titan Uprising
Cal State Fullerton has made huge strides in Jeff Harada’s second season at the helm of the program. The Titans have already matched their win total (8) from a year ago and posted their best non-conference record since the 1990-91 camapaign (11-4). The squad’s improved offense has it averaging 67.2 points per game, up from 59.9 per outing a year ago. CSF also leads the league in field goal percentage (.436) and ranks third in three-point percentage (.317) and assists per game (16.2).

Buckets For The ‘Bows
A year ago, Hawai’i struggled shooting the ball as the club shot 39.6% from the floor, 29.5% from three and 68.5% from the foul line. The Rainbow Wahine found their shooting stroke in the offseason as the club has shown dramatic improvement in all areas. The ‘Bows are shooting 42.4% from the floor, 35.6% from deep and 73.4% from the charity stripe. The team is also connecting from deep at an impressive pace, ranking second in the league in three-pointers made (85) and attempted (239), while its percentage mark is tops in the conference.

Warm Up The Coco
UC Santa Barbara guard Coco Miller seems to be all the way back from injury at a key time for the Gauchos. The junior has recorded three straight 20-point games for UCSB, averaging 23.7 points per game over that stretch. Even more impressive is that Miller played no less than 35 minutes in each contest, including all 40 minutes in a tight loss to New Mexico State last week.

Here’s a look where UC Davis’ Morgan Bertsch and CSUN’s Channon Fluker stand on the league’s all-time scoring list, and who they will pass, on their way to 2,000 points.

Player, Team    Years    Games    PPG    Points
1. Anita Maxwell, New Mexico State    1992-96    119    21.9    2,601
2. Judy Mosley, Hawai’i    1987-90    114    21.8    2,479
3. Genia Miller, Cal State Fullerton    1987-91    118    20.5    2,415
4. Brittany Crain, UC Riverside    2012-16    119    19.5    2,326
5. Penny Toler, Long Beach State    1987-89    101    21.7    2,193
6. Alli Nieman, Idaho    1996-00    113    18.9    2,140
7. Kemie Nkele, UC Riverside    2004-09    122    16.9    2,062
8. Morgan Bertsch, UC Davis    2015-pres.    113    17.4    1,970
9. Kristina Santiago, Cal Poly    2007-10, 2012    121    15.9    1,953
10. Julie Szukalski, Pacific    1986-90    108    17.8    1,927
11. Channon Fluker, CSUN    2015-pres.    108    17.0    1,834

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CSUN @_alwaysfamily_ @_AlwaysFamily_
Long Beach State @BeachWBB @BeachWBB
UC Davis @ucdaviswbb @UCDavisWBB
UC Irvine @uciwbb @UCIwbb
UC Riverside @UCR_WBB @UCR_WBB
UC Santa Barbara @ucsb_wbb @UCSB_WBB
Hawai'i @wahinebb @WahineBBall