Cal Poly Keeps Streak Alive, Ranked Second In Big West Play
Files associated with this release:
11-12 WBB Release 16.pdf
Cal Poly collected a pair of wins this weekend to advance its winning streak to seven. The Mustangs are now 13-12 overall and 9-3 in Big West play, ranked second in the conference standings. This is the first time since November 25 that Cal Poly has had an overall record above .500. In both contests last week Cal Poly went into the second half with a six-points or less lead, to come out on top by an average of 17.5 points. The Mustangs came out in the second half with full force shooting 50 percent and 45 percent from the field compared to opponents who shot 34 and 23 percent.
Senior Kristina Santiago, who went 17-for-28 from the field last week in her 59 minutes of play leads Cal Poly. She scored 22 points with 7 rebounds in the Mustangs’ victory over UC Irvine, 76-63 and scored 19 points with 11 rebounds against UC Riverside, recording her 13th double-double on the season. Santiago scored 13 of her 19 points against the Highlanders in the second half to take the win, 69-47.
Cal State Fullerton suffered its fifth straight loss in its only matchup last week, but the Titans managed to make record-breaking numbers. In the 71-63 defeat by non-conference opponent, Cal State Bakersfield, the Titans split the season series while falling to 9-16 overall. Despite the 58-34 advantage on rebounds, including a 25-11 lead on the offensive boards, Fullerton suffered the loss after 14 lead changes and five ties in the first half.
It was a stellar night for freshman Natalie Williams for the Titans, who recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 18 rebounds, with 11 boards from the offensive end. She ranks second for most rebounds in a single game this season in the Big West, just behind Cal Poly’s rebounding leader Kristina Santiago who had 23 caroms against Fresno State on November 20. Teammate Lauren Chow scored a season-high 17 points in last week’s contest, to go with five rebounds and five assists.
Megan Richardson had 20 points, for her tenth 20-point performance this season, pushing her over 400 points for the season. She is among three historical Titans to score 400 points or more in three-consecutive seasons. Richardson is also on the top 1,000 and Counting watch list in Big West Conference career points scored with 1,660.
Down To The Wire
In 2011-12 Big West Conference play there has been little margin left for error with close contests in every other competition. Out of all the conference games played up to this point, 14 of those games have been won by a deficit of five points or fewer. Four of the games have been sent into overtime, two being double-overtime games both at Cal State Northridge where it suffered the home loss by three points or fewer.
Cal State Northridge leads the conference in neck-in-neck matchups with seven of its 12 conference meetings being decided by fewer than five points. In those down to the wire face-offs the Matadors have come out on top five of the seven times, with its most recent win against UC Davis last week in a 63-60 victory. The Matadors’ five losses have been decided by less than four points in each defeat. .
Long Beach Comes Home
Long Beach State took center court at the Walter Pyramid last week after being on the road for the past two weeks suffering a 1-3 road record. They captured their first road win against Cal State Northridge in a double-overtime battle to come out with a three-point advantage, 75-72. Last week the 49ers first faced UCD, in which Long Beach held a 10-9 all-time meeting advantage, but had dropped eight of the last ten outings against the Aggies. Long Beach picked up its second-consecutive conference win improving to 11-14 overall and 6-6 in conference, as well as bettering its home court record to 9-3.
The 49ers held a 37-26 advantage at the break shooting 38 percent from the field and went 6-17 from behind the arc, compared to Davis’ 28.0 shooting percentage. The Aggies came back closing the gap to three, but the 9-1 run by the 49ers finished it off, including going 9-for-10 on free throws down the stretch for the win.
Change in Schedule
The postponement of Saturday night’s University of the Pacific at Long Beach State University women’s basketball game due to illness has facilitated two changes to the upcoming schedule.
The Pacific at Long Beach State game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. To accommodate that change, the Cal State Fullerton at Long Beach State game, originally scheduled for Wednesday, February 29, has been moved to Thursday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday’s game was postponed due to a widespread travel party illness that hit the Pacific women’s basketball team this weekend.
Santiago Breaks Top-10
Cal Poly’s starting senior, Kristina Santiago broke into the top 10 for all-time career points in Big West history. Santiago has scored a career total of 1,795 points, ranking eighth in Big West history, and just 205 points shy of the 2,000 point milestone where the top six all-time players sit.
Santiago is just 48 points away from breaking the all-time record in Cal Poly history for career points scored, currently held by Laura Buehning (79-82) with 1,843.
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 seventh in the nation in scoring (22.7 ppg), tied for 25th in rebounding (9.9) and 9th in field goal percentage (55.6).
Follow all six players as they climb the Big West rankings.
Name, School - points (Big West ranking)
Kristina Santiago, Cal Poly - 1,795 (8th)
Megan Richardson, Cal State Fullerton - 1,650 (20th)
Jasmine Erving, Cal State Northridge - 1,489 (30th)
Lauren Chow, Cal State Fullerton - 1,262 (55th)
Emilie Johnson, UC Santa Barbara - 1,258 (56th)
Kasey Riecks, UC Davis - 1,041 (103th)
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.