Women's Hoops Begins Friday
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10-11 WBB Release 1
Media Selects UC Davis To Repeat As Conference Champion
UC Davis was selected to repeat as Big West women's basketball champion for the 2010-11 season, as voted on by the media in the Big West women's basketball preseason poll. The Aggies captured 16 of a possible 25 first-place votes and 210 total points. They were followed by second place Cal Poly, who received four first-place nods and 183 points. Sitting one point back in third place is last seasons Big West tournament champion UC Riverside with two first-place selections and a point total of 182.
Garnering the fifth slot in the preseason poll with 113 points is Cal State Fullerton, who begins its second season under the guidance of Marcia Foster. UC Irvine earned the sixth spot after acquiring 96 points and was followed by Long Beach State (84), Pacific (51) and Cal State Northridge (42).
The media also voted on a six-player preseason all-conference team that included Mikah Maly-Karros (UC Irvine), Paige Mintun (UC Davis), Alyssa Morris (UC Riverside), Megan Richardson (Cal State Fullerton), Kristina Santiago (Cal Poly) and Mekia Valentine (UC Santa Barbara). Five of the six preseason selections were members of the 2009-10 All Big West First Team, with Mintun and Santiago earning their second straight first-team honor. In her first season competing in the Big West, Valentine was named to the 2009-10 All Big West second team.
Let The Games Begin
Eight of the nine Big West schools tip-off the 2010-11 season this weekend, and three teams have the privilege of playing on their home court. UC Riverside and Pacific are schedule to compete Friday night with the Highlanders hosting Montana and Pacific entertaining Sacramento State. The Aggies join in on the fun with a Sunday matinee versus Washington State. Prior to their home contest with the Cougars, UC Davis travels to San Francisco for a season-opening contest.
Cal Poly travels to Seattle, UC Santa Barbara visits Pepperdine and Cal State Fullerton makes the trek to Eastern Washington on Friday, November 12, the first official date of the new season. UC Irvine and Long Beach State open the year on Saturday as the Anteaters take on UTEP and the 49ers face Oregon State.
Cal State Northridge, the lone Big West member not to compete this weekend, plays its first contest in 2010-11 on Wednesday, Nov. 17 when they welcome Pepperdine to The Matadome. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.
New Era At Cal State Northridge With Flowers Hire
During the spring Jason Flowers was hired as head coach of the Cal State Northridge Matadors. Flowers is very familiar with the Big West Conference having held stints as an assistant coach at both UC Riverside and Long Beach State.
Flowers helped mold UC Riverside into an exceptional basketball program as an assistant coach the past two seasons. In 2009-10, the Highlanders earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament following their championship performance at the Big West Tournament. A year earlier, UC Riverside enjoyed a magical season in Flowers' coaching debut as an assistant. The Highlanders chalked up 19 wins, a 14-2 league mark (the 14 wins are the most Big West wins in school history), produced the school's first-ever victory over a nationally-ranked Top-25 team, recorded a school record 13-straight wins and earned a berth in the WNIT.
While at LBSU, Flowers helped coach the 49ers to the 2005-06 Big West Championship, and developed 11 players into all-conference performers including the 2006 Big West Conference Player of the Year.
Mimnaugh Looking To Join Elite Club
Cal Poly Head Coach Faith Mimnaugh is just 11 conference wins away from reaching 100 Big West victories, a feat only four other league coaches have accomplished. The Mustangs, who return a majority of their players from 2009-10, tallied 11 conference wins last season, making the magic number within reach this season.
Leaving Mark In The Big West
Cal State Fullerton's Lyndsey Grove and UC Riverside's Brittany Waddell currently rank one-two in the Big West record book for career free throw percentage. Groves .847 clip places her atop the rest of the field and is followed by Waddell and her .824 percentage. Fellow Titan Megan Richardson has also been impressive from the charity stripe during her career at Fullerton, posting an .810 percentage, tying her for seventh.
Cal Poly's Kristina Santiago is the only Big West womens basketball player that enters the 2010-11 season as a member of the 1,000-point club. A handful of players are eyeing the elite list and should reach the milestone this season. UC Davis' Paige Mintun has accumulated 906 career points, 888 of which occurred during her time competing in the Big West Conference. Megan Richardson, from Cal State Fullerton, is the second closest to the 1,000-point mark with 818 points. Teammates Lauren Chow and Lyndsey Grove are also closing in on the milestone with 738 and 708 points, respectively. Sandwiched between the Fullerton trio is UC Riverside's Brittany Waddell and her 766 point tally.
Cal Poly, UC Davis Start Season Streaking
Both Cal Poly and UC Davis begin the 2010-11 season with some impressive home-game win streaks on the line. The Mustangs ended last season riding a nine-game win streak at Mott Gym, while the Aggies won their final eight contests at The Pavilion. Cal Poly's opportunity to extend the streak to double-digits is November 19 when it entertains Loyola Marymount. UC Davis' first home contest is slated for November 14 when it entertains the Washington State Cougars.
CSF's Chow Shooting Her Way Into The Record Books
Senior guard Lauren Chow is inching her way into the Big West annals with her impressive three-point shooting. During her three years at Cal State Fullerton, Chow has drained 143 buckets from long range. She needs just 21 three-pointers to crack the Big West's top 10, a feat that is well within reach since she has averaged 47.6 three-pointers a year over her career. In 2007-08, Chow registered 77 baskets from behind-the-arc to rank sixth in the Big West single season list.
Aggies' Simpson Retiring After Season
Sandy Simpson, UC Davis' all-time winningest women's basketball coach who has been named coach of the year in three different conferences, will retire at the end of the upcoming 2010-11 season with associate head coach Jennifer Gross being named as his permanent replacement.
Simpson, who played for legendary Aggie men's coach Bob Hamilton, has longtime roots with the UC Davis women's program having coached with mentors Pam Gill-Fisher (1977-81) and Jorja Hoehn (1991-98) before assuming reins on a permanent basis in 1998.
Since then, he has compiled an impressive overall record of 227-144 (.612), led UC Davis to a third-place finish at the 1997 NCAA Division II Championships, Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) berths in 2008 and this past winter, and last season's Big West Conference regular-season title.
Big West Live Video Streaming
The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring you exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features into your home via the Internet! Now in its sixth year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in women's volleyball as well as men's and women's basketball. Also covered are select contests in men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball, and Big West Conference Championships. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive coverage to you. If you cant make it to the gym or the field, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!
Honda Center To Become Official Home Of Big West Basketball Tournament Beginning in 2011
Honda Center has announced a five-year partnership with the Big West Conference to host its annual men's and women's post-season basketball tournament beginning in 2011. The Big West and Honda Center have teamed up for "March Madness" and "The Road To The Final Four" on numerous occasions including mens basketball regionals in 1998, 2001 and 2003 and first and second round action in 2008. In addition, the Big West and Honda Center were selected as host of the 2011 NCAA Division I Mens Basketball West Regional.
Action at Honda Center begins on March 10 with the men's quarterfinal games, and continues with the men's and women's semifinal and championship games on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12.
To purchase tickets, visit the basketball tournament championship page to download a ticket application. All-session tickets are available now at $64, which includes first round women's games on campus sites. There are also limited premium seating tickets available (first four rows along the court) for $144.