Defending Champion Cal Poly Kicks Off Big West Play Against Hawai'i
Big West Women's Basketball Release No. 10
Defending Big West Tournament champion Cal Poly will begin its search for another title on the islands as the Mustangs travel to Hawai'i in the 2014 Big West league opener.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
For Openers: Cal Poly took the week off to prepare for its Big West opener, a trip to the islands to take on Hawai’i Wednesday. The Mustangs will also take on UC Santa Barbara at home on Saturday.
The Offense Is Humming Along: The Mustangs lead the Big West and rank 57th in the NCAA in scoring offense, putting up 74.9 points per game.
Here Comes Molly: Senior Molly Schlemer, the reigning Big West Player of the Year, is ready for conference play after a solid non-conference campaign. She is third in the Big West in scoring (17.8), tops in rebounding (10.8) and is the league’s top shooter at 54.7%.
The Numbers Game...2.81: Senior Jonae Ervin is tops in the Big West and ranks 18th in the NCAA in assist to turnover ration at 2.81-to-1. Ervin has collected 59 assists and only 21 turnovers in 13 games.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton started the New Year with a solid performance in a 63-56 home win over Denver. The win was the third for the Titans in their four outings.
Miles Ahead: Junior Chante Miles led the way in the win over the Pioneers, scoring 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting. She also hit seven of her nine free throws and added four rebounds, a pair of assists and a couple of steals in 38 minutes. Miles has scored 20+ points in two of her last three games, shooting 48.7% (19-39).
Turning Over A New Leaf: Cal State Fullerton found itself down by five points at halftime, the 10th time this season the Titans have trailed at the half. Unlike the previous nine occasions, CSF rallied for the win after outscoring DU 38-26 in the second half.
The Numbers Game...16: Senior Alex Thomas 16 points were a season-high for the Titan guard, marking her fifth double figure scoring game of the season. Thomas was aided by an 8-for-8 performance from the free throw line.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
For Openers: Cal State Northridge suffered a tough home loss to Cal State Bakersfield last week, falling by a 74-73 score in overtime.
Cinnamon Scores: Junior Cinnamon Lister led the Matadors in scoring against the Roadrunners with 20 points, the seventh time this season she has been CSUN’s top scorer. Lister leads the squad and ranks sixth in the league in scoring at 15.9 per game.
Sharpe-ning Her Game: Junior Janae Sharpe leads the Big West in assists at 4.8 per game and is eighth in assist to turnover ratio at 1.4-to-1. Sharpe is also chipping in 8.8 points and 3.8 rebounds to her all around game.
The Numbers Game...2, 33, 110: Ashlee Guay is on the verge of plenty of history at Cal State Northridge. She is only two steals shy of setting a new program career record, 33 assists short of a new program record and 110 points away from becoming just the 10th player in school history to scoring 1,000 career points.
LONG BEACH STATE
For Openers: Long Beach State finished up non-conference play with a dominating win over Denver at the Pyramid, 88-68. The 49ers’ 8-6 record marks the second consecutive season the team has finished their non-conference schedule over .500.
Freshmen Studs: Raven Benton and Anna Kim have been prime-time players in their debut seasons at the collegiate level. Benton is tops on the team in scoring (14.5) and field goal percentage (47.7%), while also putting up 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 21.6 minutes per game. Kim is averaging 7.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists, while also leading the club in three-point shooting percentage at 38.9%. Both have also earned Big West Player of the Week honors this season.
The Numbers Game...88: Long Beach State’s 88 points against the Pioneers were a season high and the most the club has scored in a regulation game since a 102-point effort against Cal State Northridge on January 15, 2006.
For Openers: UC Davis improved to 3-2 at home thanks to a 78-46 win over Simpson, its final non-conference game of the regular season.
Fipps Keeps Pouring It On: Junior Sydnee Fipps scored 21 points against Simpson to notch her fifth straight 20-point game, the most for the Aggies since Aimee Conner finished up the 1992-93 season with six straight 20-point showings. Fipps now has 14 career games of 20 or more points, seven of them coming this season.
Back To Their Own Home: UC Davis is in the middle of a five-game homestand, the longest for the program since a five-game stretch at the Pavilion during the 2004-05 season. This comes on the heels of a six-game road trip, the longest for the Aggies in almost two decades.
The Numbers Game...101: Sydnee Fipps needs 101 points to become the 16th Aggie to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
For Openers: UC Irvine opened up the New Year with a 90-53 win over LaVerne at the Bren Events Center. The win upped the Anteaters’ home record to 3-0, making them one of two teams to post undefeated home records during non-conference play.
Taking Advantage: With fellow senior Camille Buckley out of the lineup, Jasmine Bernard scored a career-high 24 points and added eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks in 26 minutes. Bernard had scored 25 points in her previous four games combined and had a previous season-high of 12.
Stopped The Goose Egg: Senior Vanessa Aguilar went scoreless against San Diego and Washington, going a combined 0-for-6. Against LaVerne, Aguilar broke out of her slump by scoring 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting and hit a trio of threes.
The Numbers Game...39: UC Irvine’s 39-point win over LaVerne was the largest for the program since a 48-point victory over Texas San Antonio on November 26, 1999.
For Openers: UC Riverside took last week off to prepare for the opening week of Big West play. UCR will open the conference schedule against Cal State Fullerton at home, then head to Orange County to take on UC Irvine Saturday.
Come Back Soon: Sophomore Brittany Crain had played in 40 straight games to start her UC Riverside career before missing the last two contests. Crain is leading the Big West in scoring, second in three-point percentage (40.7%), fourth in steals (24) and sixth in field goal shooting (49.7%).
Remember Us?: UC Riverside’s conference opener against Cal State Fullerton will be the first home game for the Highlanders in almost a month. The last time UCR played in front of its home fans was an 81-68 setback to Pepperdine on December 6.
The Numbers Game...30: UC Riverside has won 30 of the 44 games all-time against its Saturday opponent UC Irvine.
UC SANTA BARBARA
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara was off last week and only has one game this week, its Big West opener on the road against defending Tournament champion Cal Poly.
As The Nesbit Goes: Senior Nicole Nesbit is the catalyst for the UC Santa Barbara attack, ranking second in the Big West in points per game (18.1), eighth in assists (3.4), fourth in three-point shooting (39.5%), eighth in field goal shooting (46.8%) and third in minutes per game (34.8). Nesbit is also chipping in 3.0 rebounds and recently surpassed 1,000 career points.
Melissa’s A Baller: Senior Melissa Zorning has been a prime-time player for the Gauchos this season, averaging 12.9 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. She’s also a clutch performer from the foul line as her 88.4% conversion rate ranks tops in the Big West and 22nd in the NCAA.
The Numbers Game...44.2: Nicole Nesbit, Destini Mason and Melissa Zornig account for 44.2 of the Gauchos’ 67.1-points a game average.
For Openers: Hawai’i plays its first game in 15 days Wednesday, the Big West league opener against defending Tournament champion Cal Poly. The matchup against the Mustangs will be the first of two home games this week as the Rainbow Wahine also take on Cal State Northridge Sunday.
One More Time Through: Senior Kamilah Jackson is averaging 16.7 points and 10.0 rebounds a game entering conference play, one of two players in the league to average a double double. Jackson also leads the Big West and ranks 18th in the nation with her eight double doubles.
It Was Her Destiny: Destiny King moved into the starting lineup six games ago and has delivered increased production. King is averaging 8.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 29.7 minutes an outing since the move.
The Numbers Game...9, 8: Hawai’i has nine players averaging double digit minutes, eight of which have started at least one game this season.