Mustangs Embark On Final Road Trip
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10-11 WBB Release 14
Aggies Take A Tumble
A week ago the defending Big West Champion UC Davis Aggies were sitting two games back in second place with a 7-3 record. Today they find themselves in fourth place (7-5) after dropping a pair of league games to teams that entered the week with 3-7 Big West records. UC Davis fell at home to Pacific, 65-60, and then dropped a tightly-contested road matchup versus Long Beach State, 60-59.
The Aggies, taking a break from conference action, begin a three-game homestand Friday evening when they entertain Seattle at The Pavilion.
Trio Picks Up Important Wins
As the final stretch of the women's basketball season approaches, the nine Big West teams are battling for the eight spots in the Big West Tournament. Hoping to not be the odd man out, three of the four bottom teams stepped it up this week and put up some 'W's. Two wins now separate fifth through ninth place.
Long Beach State claimed back-to-back victories for just the second time this year to improve to 5-7, tying them for fifth place. Pacific (4-7) finds themselves in seventh place after grabbing a win over NorCal foe UC Davis and ninth-place Cal State Northridge defeated eighth-place Cal State Fullerton to come within one win of the eighth slot.
Mimnaugh Eyeing 100th Career Win
Cal Poly Head Coach Faith Mimnaugh needs just one more conference wins to reach 100 Big West victories, a feat only four other league coaches have accomplished. The Mustangs, who returned a majority of their players from 2009-10, own a 10-1 conference mark. Mimnaughs first opportunity to capture her 100th victory is Thursday evening when the Mustangs travel Cal State Northridge.
Cal State Northridge Captures First Home Victory Of Season
It took 25 games, but the Matadors finally notched a home victory last week. Cal State Northridge dropped 10 straight contests before downing Cal State Fullerton Saturday afternoon for its first victory at The Matadome this season. Three more home games remain on the Matadors' schedule, including Thursdays outing versus league-leading Cal Poly.
Mustangs Embark On Final Road Trip
Cal Poly hits the road for the final time this season with two away games scheduled at Northridge and Riverside. The Mustangs and Matadors square off at The Matadome Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7:00 p.m. and the Highlanders welcome the Mustangs to the Student Recreation Center Saturday afternoon. So far this season, Cal Poly has posted an 8-5 overall mark and a 5-1 Big West road record. The Mustangs' lone league road loss was at The Pavilion against the UC Davis Aggies.
LBSU Says Goodbye To The Pyramid
The Long Beach State 49ers play their final game of the season at The Walter Pyramid Saturday evening when they entertain UC Riverside. Long Beach State, who closes out the 2010-11 season with a three-game road trip, is 5-7 when playing in front of its hometown fans. Seniors Ashley Bookman, Courtney Jacob and Melanie Lisnock will be honored after Saturdays contest.
Valentine Blocks Her Way Into Top 10
UC Santa Barbaras Mekia Valentine's increased her career block total to 208 swats, moving her into ninth place in the Big West's top 10. In just her second season at UCSB, the senior forward ranks fourth in the nation this season with a league-best 88 blocks. Valentine is just 12 blocks away from reaching triple digits this year and becoming just the fifth Big West player to post two 100-block seasons. In 2009-10, she recorded the fourth-best single-season performance in conference history, registering 120 blocks.
Cal Poly On Verge Of School-Best Mark
The past two seasons Cal Poly has tallied an 11-5 league record, a school high in victories. So far this season, the league-leading Mustangs have posted 10 Big West Conference wins and with five games remaining, they have potential to best their win total. Cal Poly needs just two wins to set a new school mark for Big West victories. Even though they play three of their final five contests at home, the task at hand isnt that easy. Second-place UC Santa Barbara, third-place UC Riverside and a hot Long Beach State team, who has won four of the last six contests, are still on tap for the Mustangs.
Erving Amasses 1,000 Career Points
Cal State Northridge's Jasmine Erving drained a career-best 35 points against Cal State Fullerton (2/12) to become just the ninth player in CSUN history to amass 1,000 career points. Her 35-point performance was also the most by a Big West player this season. Erving, the sixth Big West player to eclipse 1,000 career points this season, currently owns 1,020 career points.
Scoring a season-best 24 points in UC Riverside's win over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 5, Brittany Waddell reached the 1,000-point plateau and owns 1,018 points.
Cal State Fullerton's Lauren Chow is also closing in on the milestone with 897 points, respectively. Teammates Megan Richardson and Lyndsey Grove captured the status symbol earlier this season. Richardson currently owns 1,196 career points, while Grove has recorded 1,041 points.
UC Davis' Paige Mintun was the first player this season to reach 1,000 points. Early in December, Mintun tallied her 1,000th-career point. She currently holds 1,236 career points, 1,226 of which occurred during her time competing in the Big West Conference to rank her 56th in the league annals. Fellow Aggie Heidi Heintz drained her 1,000th point on January 6. Heintz enters the week with 1,084 career points, 517 of which came during her time at San Francisco.
In The Polls
For a majority of the season, the UC Davis Aggies have been represented in the collegeinsider.com Mid Major Top 25 Poll. Last week the Aggies ranked 13th but might feel the affects of a pair of losses (Pacific and Long Beach State) when the new poll comes out on Tuesday, Feb. 15. Also making waves in the Mid Major are the Cal Poly Mustangs, who were ranked second in receiving votes last week.
Double-Doubles A Plenty
Over 20 Big West student-athletes have recorded at least one double-double this season but none have mastered the double-double performance like UC Irvine's Mikah Maly-Karros, who paces the league and ranks among the best in the nation, with 13. UC Santa Barbaras Mekia Valentine is one double-double shy of reaching double-digits with nine double-doubles on the season. Valentine also recorded a triple-double on Nov. 28, 2010, tallying 15 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks. Cal State Northridges Jasmine Erving rounds out the top three with seven double-doubles.
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 Men's Basketball West Regional.
UC Davis Pegged As Favorite To Claim 2010-11 Big West Title
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 season's Big West tournament champion UC Riverside with two first-place selections and a point total of 182. UC Santa Barbara ranked fourth with three first-place votes and 164 total point and Cal State Fullerton garnered the fifth slot with 113 points. 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).
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.
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 has longtime roots with the UC Davis women's program having coached with mentors Pam Gill-Fisher and Jorja Hoehn before assuming reins on a permanent basis in 1998. Since then, he has compiled an impressive overall record of 227-144, led UC Davis to a third-place finish at the 1997 NCAA Division II Championships, Womens National Invitational Tournament berths in 2008 and this past winter, and last seasons Big West Conference regular-season title.