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Women's Basketball

Big West Women's Basketball Suffers Road Blocks

Files associated with this release:
11-12 WBB Release 14.pdf

2/6/2012

The Big West Conference teams show that playing at home comes easier than on the road.  This season the overall road record is 34-72 (.320) compared to 53-33 (.616) on home court.  Long Beach continues to struggle posting a road record of 1-12 compared to 8-2 at home.  The only win for the 49ers on the road came in a non-conference match-up against Columbia in a nine-point win early in the season.  Since then Long Beach has fallen to all eight conference teams by a large margin until last week’s contest against UC Riverside.  Conference opponents on the road have outscored Long Beach by an average of 24.7 points up until their slim loss, 75-71, against the Highlanders. 

Behind by 19 at the half, the 49ers battled back to make it a two-point ball game with just five seconds left to play, but was unable to catch its first win in the four-point loss against UC Riverside.  The 49ers finish their four-game road stretch this week against leading in conference, Cal State Northridge, looking to reverse the road block.

Close behind is UC Riverside with a 2-12 overall road record, who won its second road game by snapping UC Irvine’s perfect home court streak.

Going Out On Top
The six-foot-two senior, Jasmine Erving, has led Cal State Northridge to the top of the standings for first place in the Big West Conference (14-9, 8-2 Big West).  With career-record breaking statistics and national recognition, Erving continues to climb the charts.  Last week Erving put up 58 points, going 26-of-39 from the field.  Against UC Irvine, she went 16-of-22 with a career-high 36 points, a new Cal State Northridge record in field-goals made (16) breaking her own record of 15 set earlier in the season. 

Erving has scored a total of 1,428 points in her career as a Matador, second highest in school history and ranked 35th in all-time Big West career scoring statistics.  She also has 136 total career blocks, tying her for first with Crystal Hahs (2005-08) in Northridge history.  Erving has posted 11 double-doubles on the season, with three in her last four outings, giving her national recognition tied 16th overall in the nation for double-doubles on the season.     

Riverside’s Dynamic Duo
With only three conference wins so far this season and placed eighth in conference, UC Riverside continues to make a push for a better standing in the Big West Conference (5-17, 3-7 Big West).  The Highlanders are led by the dynamic duo, Tre’Shonti Nottingham who has 146 points in her eight-game appearance in conference play and teammate Natasha Hadley with a total of 109 in her 10-game attendance.  The two combined have a total of 255 point of the 584 points achieved, as the duo accounts for 44 percent of the Highlanders points this season against Big West opponents.  In overall play they total 578-of-1,272 points, making up 45 percent of Riversides baskets for the 2011-12 season.

To finish last week’s play Nottingham scored a game-high 20 points with 10 rebounds while Hadley chipped in 16.  The two scored 48 percent of the points for Riverside with 36-of-75 scored for the four-point victory over Long Beach State. Last week alone the two accounted for nearly 40 percent of the Highlanders points scoring a combined 52 points out of the teams total 133. 

Fullerton Unable To Finish
Cal State Fullerton makes its way to the bottom of the standings after a pair of home losses in Titan Gym last week.  The Titans have only won one of their last six outings, dropping them to ninth in conference standings (9-13, 2-8 Big West).  This past week the Titans fought hard losing to both conference opponents by less than five on their home court. 

Against UC Davis, Fullerton was defeated by one shot from the Aggies Blair Shinoda, who scored the game-winning two points with only 10 seconds left on the clock.  The Titans were unable to make the buzzer-beater three on the other end, walking away with a 55-53 loss.  They returned to the court two days later to face the Pacific Tigers, only to come up five points short of a win.  The Titans were behind by 19 points in the middle of the first half, before closing the gap to seven going into the second.  They outscored the Tigers 31-29 in the bottom half but came up short losing, 69-64.  Fullerton has suffered eight defeats against league opponents by seven points or less this season.  

Down To The Wire
In 2011-2012 Big West Conference play there has been little margin left for error with close contests in every other competition.  Out of the 43 conference games played up to this point, 18 of those games have been won by a deficit of five points or fewer.  Three of the games have been sent into overtime, one being a double-overtime game between UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge, allowing Northridge to sneak away with a four-point victory. 

Cal State Northridge leads the conference in neck-in-neck matchups with five of their 10 conference meets being decided by fewer than five points.  In those down to the wire face-offs the Matadors have come out of top four of the five times, the only loss was by two points to UC Davis on January 12. 

Johnson Receives National Recognition
Senior guard for the Gauchos, Emilie Johnson, received recognition last week after  being named as one of the Top-10 nationwide finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.  Johnson has been recognized as an outstanding player throughout the season.  She was named to Team USA early this season and was starting point guard in the Pan-American Games.  In her career at UCSB, Johnson ranks in numerous categories including three-pointers and free throw percentage, top-20 in all-time scoring and on set to break the top-10 in career assist.

1,000 And Counting
Six current Big West players have eclipsed the 1,000-career point milestone.  Santiago leads the Big West Conference ranked nationally currently fifth in the nation in scoring (22.9 ppg), 27th in rebounding (9.8) and 10th in field goal percentage (55.3).

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

Name, School - points (Big West ranking)
Kristina Santiago, Cal Poly - 1,709 (T14th)
Megan Richardson, Cal State Fullerton - 1,630 (23rd)
Jasmine Erving, Cal State Northridge - 1,428 (35th)
Lauren Chow, Cal State Fullerton - 1,235 (60th)
Emilie Johnson, UC Santa Barbara - 1,214 (T63rd)
Kasey Riecks, UC Davis - 1,024 (82nd)


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.