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Women's Basketball

Upstart UC Irvine Tied For First In Big West

Files associated with this release:
11-12 WBB Release 12.pdf

1/23/2012

Irvine Surpasses Preseason Polls
UC Irvine moves to the number one slot to tie with Cal State Northridge in Big West play after its performance Thursday in a five-point victory over Cal State Fullerton to win its fifth consecutive game, 73-68.  The Anteaters’ winning streak was snapped on Sunday with their last non-conference game of the season, losing to Seattle, 86-58. Predicted sixth overall in the Big West Conference preseason media poll, Irvine has now surpassed both defending champs, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, in conference play for the number one spot.  The Anteaters improve to 9-11 overall and 5-2 in conference to conclude weekend play. 

Big West Broadcast On ESPN3
In collaboration with ESPN and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the Big West Conference launched a ten-game distribution package on ESPN3 this past Fall. Part of the deal was the UC Irvine-UC Riverside showdown on Thursday, January 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bren Events Center.  The game will mark the first women’s basketball match to be broadcast by ESPN for the UC Irvine women’s basketball program on ESPN3.

This year’s package includes a volleyball match, two baseball, two men’s basketball, two women’s basketball, one MPSF men’s volleyball and two softball games. The addition of games on ESPN3 extends ESPN’s current five-year deal with the Big West, which continues through the 2012-13 season.

ESPN3 is currently available in more than 70 million households through computers, tablets and smart phones and in 25 million households via Xbox gaming consoles.

Highlanders Clinch 1st Conference Win
Losing a majority of their lineup in the offseason has definitely hurt the former Big West Champion UC Riverside Highlanders, but the losing streak was snapped this weekend as the Highlanders clinched their first win in conference play against Cal State Fullerton at home.  UC Riverside won, 69-65, after recording the most points since a 70-57 win over Idaho on December 15, 2011.

The four-point victory was led by TreShonti Nottingham with 23 points, giving her five games of 20 points or more on the season in three of the last five contests.  Nottingham was accompanied by three other Highlanders in double figures, one being Dynese Adams, who scored a career-high 17 points to continue her double-figure  streak in three of her last four games.

Matadors’ Guay Goes 7-7
The Cal State Northridge freshman Ashlee Guay registered a perfect game from three-point range this past week. Guay led Cal State Northridge to a close 79-77 victory over Cal Poly Thursday evening with a season-high 23 points, while also tying the school record for season-high 3-pointers, going 7-for-7 on the night.  Guay’s 7-for-7 performance ranks No. 1 in the nation, as she is the only player to post a perfect 1.000 shooting percentage from behind-the-arc this season with a minimum of seven attempts.

Defending The Home Court

Long Beach State improved to 4-3 in conference play with a pair of victories over UC Santa Barbara on Thursday and Cal Poly on Saturday.  The 49ers defended their home court, advancing to 8-2 at The Walter Pyramid, which helped to lift them to fourth in the Big West Conference standings.  LBSU held UC Santa Barbara to under 40 points for the first time since a 53-37 win over San Diego on Dec. 6, 2006. It was also the fewest points allowed since 1988, when the 49ers gave up just 33 points to San Jose State. Senior Tipesa Moorer recorded a team-best 16 points on Saturday against the Mustangs going 6-of-11 from the field with four rebounds and three assists in her 31 minutes of play.  LBSU took the lead with just over three minutes left to play against Cal Poly to come out on top, 74-67.

UC Davis closed out a three-game home stretch on Saturday with a win over Pacific.  UC Davis improved to 12-6 overall and 4-2 in Big West play while holding the overall best at home record in the conference at 7-1. Blair Shinoda led the Aggies to its last home victory with a career-high 18 points, while going 9-for-9 from the free throw line.  Shinoda came through in the stretch with six free throws to seal-the-deal, giving UC Davis the 59-point advantage over Pacific’s 51.

Santiago Nationally Ranked
Cal Poly senior Kristina Santiago grabbed her ninth double-double, a league high, this weekend in a close game against Long Beach State that ended in a loss for the Mustangs but not without a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds.  Santiago continues to add to the school record she broke last week for most career rebounds, collecting 19 to improve to 727 overall.  Santiago came into the weekend ranked third in the nation in scoring and remains in third averaging 23.6 points per game.

Titans’ War Horse
Megan Richardson, who currently ranks second in the conference in scoring with a 16.7 average, has been a standout for Cal State Fullerton since her freshman campaign.  The senior guard has played in every game of her career and has started the last 104 contests.  The only games where she did not start were early in her Titan career where she missed five starts at the beginning of her freshman season.

UC Davis’ Kasey Riecks  has tallied 106 starts during her reign as an Aggie but they have not been consecutive. She missed the first three games of conference play last year due to an injury, snapping her streak of consecutive games started.

1,000 And Counting
Six current Big West players have eclipsed the 1,000-career point milestone, with the newest member, Kasey Riecks from UC Davis.  Riecks led the Aggies in their past three-home victories with a total of 29 points, averaging 9.6 points per game.

Follow all six players as they climb the Big West rankings.

Name, School - points (Big West ranking)
Kristina Santiago, Cal Poly - 1,651 (T18th)
Megan Richardson, Cal State Fullerton - 1,559 (23rd)
Jasmine Erving, Cal State Northridge - 1,339 (45th)
Emilie Johnson, UC Santa Barbara - 1,197 (65th)
Lauren Chow, Cal State Fullerton - 1,090 (90th)
Kasey Riecks, UC Davis - 1,011 (110th)


Mustangs Tabbed To Repeat As Regular Season Champion
Cal Poly was selected to repeat as the Big West women’s basketball regular season champion for the 2011-12 season, as voted on by the media in the Big West women’s basketball preseason poll. The Mustangs collected 11 of the possible 24 first-place votes and 200 total points. 

The second-place Gauchos return much of their team including All-Big West First Team pick Emilie Johnson, Honorable Mention selection Sweets Underwood and All-Freshman Team choice Nicole Nesbit.  Leading the charge for third-place UC Davis is a trio of returning starters - Hana Asano, Samantha Meggison and Kasey Riecks. Finishing fourth with a total of 120 points is the UC Riverside women’s basketball program.

Garnering the fifth slot in the poll with 107 points is Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine earned the sixth spot after acquiring 91 points. The pair of Orange County schools were followed by Cal State Northridge (73), Pacific (66) and Long Beach State (63).

New Head Coaches Make Debut In 2011-12
UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara are both featuring a fresh face at the helm of their programs.  Jennifer Gross, former associate head coach for the Aggies, begins her first season at the helm of the UC Davis’ women’s basketball program in 2011-12. Her promotion to head coach came after former head coach Sandy Simpson announced last October his retirement from coaching following this past season. Gross and her staff look to build on a memorable 2010-11 season where UC Davis captured a Big West Tournament championship and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament where they fell to second-ranked Stanford.

Carlene Mitchell, who has spent the past 10 seasons at Rutgers with the previous three as associate head coach, was named UC Santa Barbara’s new head women’s basketball coach in the offseason. In the first head coaching job in a distinguished career on the sidelines, Mitchell inherits a Gaucho squad that has won 14 Big West regular-season titles in the past 16 years.