Big West Basketball Closes Out Conference Play This Week
Files associated with this release:
11-12 WBB Release 17.pdf
Cal Poly’s Race To The Top
Cal Poly continued its winning streak last week extending to nine with a pair of wins against Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge. In their first battle against Long Beach the Mustangs shot 50 percent from the floor while making 6-of-14 from the arc. With 5:11 left to play the game was called as Cal Poly took a 27-point lead (68-41) for good. The win put the Mustangs in first as the Matadors fell to second, following a 61-41 defeat against UC Santa Barbara.
Northridge traveled to Mott Gym after losing its first contest to UC Santa Barbara, looking to regain the top spot. The Matadors took its second-consecutive loss for the week unable to re-claim the title spot in a 70-56 loss. The two wins for the Mustangs advance them to the No. 1 seed in conference standings and has secured a share of the Big West Conference Regular Season Title.
Senior Kristina Santiago, who went 16-for-35 from the field last week in her 66 minutes of play led Cal Poly in its two home victories. She scored a game-high 29 points against the 49ers while falling one rebound short of a double-double. Against Northridge, Santiago grabbed that double-double for her 14th this season, with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
Change In Schedule
The Saturday, February 18th game for University of the Pacific at Long Beach State University women’s basketball game was postponed due to illness and has facilitated two changes in this week’s 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.
With the top two spots decided last week, Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly will be two of the four hosts sites for the Big West Conference Tournament women’s quarterfinals. This week is the last week of conference play, each team must fight for one of the top eight seeds to make it to the post-season conference tournament.
Cal Poly has secured its fate after two wins last week and Cal State Northridge losing it’s two contest with a shared or solo Big West Conference Regular Season Title.
Northridge must win its last matchup against Cal State Fullerton to secure a number one regular season title as long as Cal Poly loses its last two games. If the Mustangs win at least one of their two games, they clinch the Big West Conference Regular Season Title.
At the bottom of the standings, Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside continue to battle back and forth for the chance to appear in the post-season tournament. The Titans have two final matchups and must win at least one in order to receive its 11th straight appearance in the conference tournament. Riverside has one game left to redeem themselves in hopes that Fullerton falls in their two remaining contests in order to continue on.
Titans’ War Horses
Coming off a five-game losing streak, Cal State Fullerton battled back on their home court in a set of wins last week. With Fullertons’ conference tournament destiny in its own hands, the Titans have itched their way back to the eighth spot in conference standings. The Titans can secure that spot in the post-season conference tournament with at least one win out of the two conference opponents they are left to face this week.
Richardson who currently ranks second in the conference in scoring with a 16.2 average, has been a standout for Cal State Fullerton since her freshman campaign. She has scored in double figures in 21 of the team’s 27 games this season. She is among three historical Titans to score 400 points or more in three-consecutive seasons. The senior guard has played in every game of her career and has started the last 114 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 with 116 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. She was the only Aggie as a true freshman to start every game in the 2008-09 season.
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 1,840 points, ranking eighth in Big West history, and just 160 points shy of the 2,000 point milestone where the top six all-time players sit.
With Santiago’s combined 45 points last week, she is just 4 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.
Johnson Receives National Recognition
Senior guard for the Gauchos, Emilie Johnson has been named as one of the Top-10 nationwide finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. 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 sixth in the nation in scoring (22.7 ppg), 22nd in rebounding (10.1) and 10th in field goal percentage (54.8).
Follow all six players as they climb the Big West rankings.
Name, School - points (Big West ranking)
Kristina Santiago, Cal Poly - 1,840 (8th)
Megan Richardson, Cal State Fullerton - 1,696 (17th)
Jasmine Erving, Cal State Northridge - 1,505 (30th)
Lauren Chow, Cal State Fullerton - 1,286 (T54th)
Emilie Johnson, UC Santa Barbara - 1,286 (T54th)
Kasey Riecks, UC Davis - 1,054 (98th)
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).