Tournament Field Set, Seeds Still Up For Grabs
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 18
UC Davis will be the top seed of the Tournament but seeds 2-8 are still up for grabs as we reach the final week of the regular season. Four teams are still alive for the coveted double-bye into the semifinals as well as the single bye into the quarterfinal round.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
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.
• 20-win seasons have been the norm for the Big West champion in the past but few teams have reached the magical 30-win plateau. The first was the 1985-86 Long Beach State squad that claimed 33 victories, a benchmark that still stands today as the most in league history. LBSU did it again in 1988-89 with a 30-win season, wrapping up the most successful four-year run in league history (120). The only other club to reach 30 wins was UC Santa Barbara (30) in 1999-00, which is also the last Big West team to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
• Scoring and rebounding mayt be the more popular double, but more difficult feats might be steals and assists. In the history of the Big West only one player has led the league in assists and steals, and she did it in back-to-back years. Leilani Mitchell of Idaho recorded 5.9 assists and 3.2 steals in 2003-04 then followed that up with 5.9 assists and 3.9 steals per game the next year.
Two more impressive road wins last week gave UC Davis the Big West regular season title and top seed at next week’s postseason Tournament. The Aggies have now won three straight conference regular season crowns, the longest run in the league in post divisional play since UC Santa Barbara won at least a share of six straight titles from 2001-06. UCD has won 20+ games in each of the last two-plus seasons, including a school-record 28 games a year ago.
UC Davis might have the best twin shooters around in Kourtney and Karley Eaton. Kourtney leads the Big West in three-point shooting at 45.8% (49-107), while her sister is fourth at 41.0% (32-78). They are the top shooting duo from deep in the conference by combined percentage (81-185, 43.8%).
‘Eaters Taketh Away
UC Irvine is one of the best teams in the NCAA in taking the ball away, leading the Big West and ranking 11th in the NCAA with 20.8 turnovers forced per game. The Anteaters have forced at least 20 turnovers in 17 games with a season-high of 31 in their season opener. In all UCI is fourth in the NCAA in turnover margin at +8.15.
Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside have bounced back with strong seasons after down years. The Titans have been near or above .500 all year, looking to post its first .500 or better season since 2006-07. The club have their most wins since 2013-14 and will break a three-year absence from the Tournament.
UC Riverside is back to its status as one of the toughest outs in the league, having already posted four more wins this year than all of last year. The Highlanders are in the mix for the #2 seed in the Tournament after entering last year’s tourney in the sixth position.
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. Morgan Bertsch, UC Davis 2015-pres. 127 18.2 2,313
6. Penny Toler, Long Beach State 1987-89 101 21.7 2,193
7. Alli Nieman, Idaho 1996-00 113 18.9 2,140
8. Kemie Nkele, UC Riverside 2004-09 122 16.9 2,062
9. Channon Fluker, CSUN 2015-pres. 122 16.9 2,058
10. Kristina Santiago, Cal Poly 2007-10, 2012 121 15.9 1,953
BY THE NUMBERS
2 - Cal Poly head coach Faith Mimnaugh is two wins away from 300 for her career.
5.2 - Assists per game by Cal Poly's Dye Stahley, tops in the league.
53.8 - Cal State Fullerton's Daeja Smith leads the league in field goal percentage at 53.6%.
Follow Along All Season