Tight Women's Hoops Race The Story At The Quarter Pole
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 12
With the women's conference schedule already through its first two weeks, a logjam exists in the standings with a trio of 3-1 teams and two other 2-1 squads.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
For Openers: Cal Poly split a pair of Big West road games last week, falling to Cal State Northridge, 81-76, and outlasting Long Beach State in overtime, 107-102.
So Hot Right Now: Junior Ariana Elegado is on a tear for the ages in her last three contests, averaging 26.7 points. She has shot 44.3% (27-61) from the field, 45.2% from three-point land (14-31) and 80.0% (12-15) from the foul line in 119 of a possible 120 minutes.
That’s A Lot: The Mustangs scored a Big West season-high 107 points against the 49ers, continuing their offensive surge since conference play began. The club is averaging 87.2 points against league opponents, upping their overall average to a Big West leading 77.8 points per game.
The Numbers Game...8.9: Elegado and senior Jonae Ervin are the top assist duo in the Big West. Elegado leads the league with 4.5 a contest, while Ervin is passing out 4.4 helpers per game.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton moved to 2-1 in conference play thanks to a home split last week. CSF defeated Orange County rival UC Irvine, 75-58, and fell in a heartbreaker in overtime to UC Davis, 69-67.
Up Tempo: The Titans have upped their offensive output over their three Big West games, averaging 74.7 points per game. That’s upped CSF’s average to 60.8 points per outing on the season.
She One Upped Herself: Senior Alex Thomas managed to set her career-high in points in back-to-back games. First Thomas had 22 in the win over UCI, then she put up 23 in the wild overtime loss to UCD.
The Numbers Game...4: Cal State Fullerton started out 2- 0 in Big West play for the first time since 2009-10, a span of four seasons.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
For Openers: Cal State Northridge moved to 3-1 in the Big West after winning a shootout at home and a defensive battle on the road. CSUN downed defending Big West Tournament champion Cal Poly at the Matadome, 81-76, then went on the road to defeat UC Santa Barbara, 64-46.
Its Been That Long: The Matadors’ win over the Gauchos was the first for the program since 2007, snapping a 14-game losing streak.
Beast Mode Down Low: Sophomore Bernadette Fong dominated the paint against UCSB, scoring a career-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds in only 19 minutes.
The Numbers Game...1st: For the first time in its tenure in the Big West, Cal State Northridge swept its Central Coast opponents (Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara) in the same weekend.
LONG BEACH STATE
For Openers: Long Beach State had its second straight 1-1 week in Big West play, downing UC Santa Barbara, 72-53, and losing in overtime to Cal Poly, 107-102. Both games took place at the Walter Pyramid.
Clutch Performer: Junior Hallie Meneses nearly led the 49ers to the win over the Mustangs, scoring a season-best 19 points off the bench. She also hit an NBA range three-pointer that sent the game into overtime.
Taking It Away: Long Beach State is the most disruptive defense in the Big West, leading the league in turnovers forced per game (21.8) and steals per contest (10.2). That steals figure also ranks 25th in the NCAA.
The Numbers Game...8, 5: Long Beach State scored 100 points for the first time in eight years, a 102-62 win over Cal State Northridge on January 15, 2005. The 49ers also scored 80 or more points for the fifth time this season, the most since putting up at least 80 points in five games in the 2004-05 season.
For Openers: UC Davis gave up 67 points in both of its Big West road wins last week, the first in a 77-67 final over UC Riverside and the other in a wild 69-67 game against Cal State Fullerton.
Wait What Happened?: Just when it seemed all was lost against Cal State Fullerton, sophomore Molly Greubel picked up a blocking call 92 feet from the basket and sunk two free throws with 0.5 seconds on the clock to send the game to overtime.
Fipps Nears A Grand: Junior Sydnee Fipps is only 15 points shy of becoming the 16th Aggie to reach 1,000 points for her career. Fipps could get there very soon as she is averaging a team-leading 17.5 points per game.
The Numbers Game...5: Four players scored in double figures against the Highlanders and Titans, the fifth time this season that UCD has accomplished that feat. The club is now 5-0 when that has happened this season.
For Openers: UC Irvine lost its only game of the week, a 75-58 road setback against rival Cal State Fullerton.
Continue The Roll: Senior Jennifer Tsurumoto continued her hot hand of late, leading the Anteaters with 18 points in the loss. The diminutive guard also collected six rebounds, two of them coming on the offensive end.
Take Care Of It: UC Irvine is among the best in the Big West and NCAA in taking care of the ball. The club is fourth in the league and 68th in the country in turnovers per game (14.8), while leading the conference and ranking 40th in the NCAA in turnover margin (+3.76).
The Numbers Game...1, 19: UC Irvine is only one win shy of matching its win total from last season. The club will also be seeking its first road win over Hawai’i since January 15, 1995.
For Openers: UC Riverside’s losing skid reached 10 games after a pair of home losses last week. The Highlanders fell to UC Davis by a 77-67 score, then lost to Hawai’i, 74-61. The matchup against the Rainbow Wahine was the first women’s hoops game broadcast on ESPN3.
Crain Is Rolling: Sophomore Brittany Crain extended her run of consecutive 20-point games to four thanks to a 20-point showing against the Aggies and a 21-point output against UH. Crain is averaging a conference best 19.7 points a game, but has upped it to 22.0 during Big West foes.
All-Around Annelise: Sophomore Annelise Ito was all over the floor against UCD. She scored 11 points, grabbed nine rebounds (five offensive), eight assists and hit all seven of her free throws in 38 minutes.
The Numbers Game...16.5: UC Riverside leads the Big West and ranks 39th in the NCAA in assists per game (16.5).
UC SANTA BARBARA
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara lost a pair of league contests a week ago, upping its losing skid to four. The Gauchos lost at Long Beach State, 72-53, and dropped a home game to Cal State Northridge, 64-46.
Offensive Power Outage: UC Santa Barbara is averaging only 56.3 points per game in Big West play, scoring less than 60 points in two of its three league games. UCSB had only scored less than 60 in two of its 13 non-conference games
Reversing The Trend: After spending most of non-conference play among the bottom dwellers in three-point shooting, UCSB has turned it around so far during conference play. The Gauchos are 15-of-50 from downtown, connecting at a 45.5% clip that is tops in the Big West.
The Numbers Game...74.9: UC Santa Barbara is second in the Big West and 33rd in the NCAA in free throw shooting at 74.9%. The Gauchos are the only club in the Big West to have two players in the top five on the league leaderboard in free throw shooting.
For Openers: Hawai’i improved to 2-1 in Big West play thanks to a 74-61 road win over UC Riverside. The game was broadcast live on ESPN3.
20’s For Everyone: Seniors Kamilah Jackson and Shawna-Lei Kuehu were the catalysts for the Rainbow Wahine in the win over UCR. Kuehu scored a career-high 22 points, while her classmate added 20.
Double Digit Doubles: Jackson recorded her 10th double double this season after grabbing 14 rebounds against the Highlanders. She is tied for the league lead and now has 53 double doubles in her illustrious career
The Numbers Game...2: The 20-point games by Kuehu and Jackson marked the first time since December 29, 2010 that UH had two 20-point scorers in the same game.