Women's Hoops Teams Look To Strengthen Seeds As Calendar Turns To March
Big West Women's Basketball Release No. 17
With March just around the corner and the Big West Tournament just two weeks away, the scramble for seeds begins this weekend for the women's hoops squads. Co-leaders Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly have a pair of home contests each, while the Long Beach State/Hawai'i matchup is a battle of two teams looking to maintain pace in the top half of the standings.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
For Openers: Cal Poly was 1-1 in two Big West road games last week, putting it back in a tie for first place (9-4) in the league standings. The Mustangs lost to Cal State Fullerton, 78-77, before defeating UC Riverside, 83-72.
That One Stings: Cal Poly was just .2 seconds away from a 2-0 week and sole possession of first place in the league standings. Up two against CSF, a foul was committed on a three-pointer with only that scant time on the clock. Three made free throws later and the Mustangs had a tough loss.
Nwamaka’s Night: Senior Nwamaka Ofodu set a career-high with 20 points against the Titans, hitting 8-of-13 from the floor and 4-of-5 from beyond the three-point line. Odofu averaged 18.5 points and hit five of her eight threes in two games against CSF this season.
The Numbers Game...19: Senior Molly Schlemer scored 20 points and collected a career-high 19 rebounds against the Highlanders, just missing on a 20-20 game.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton split its Big West games last week at home, beating Cal Poly, 78-77, and losing to UC Santa Barbara, 64-54.
Ms. Clutch: Junior Chante Miles hit three free throws with .2 left on the clock to turn a two-point deficit into a one-point win over the Mustangs. It was the finishing touches of a 26-point night for Miles.
The Ups and Downs: Cal State Fullerton has been on the roller coaster over the last month as the squad has alternated wins and losses (4-4) since January 25.
The Numbers Game...200: Cal State Fullerton notched a bit of history in its win over the Mustangs. The victory was the 200th all-time in Big West play for the program.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
For Openers: Cal State Northridge lost its only game of the week, a 76-72 setback on the road against UC Irvine. The loss knocked the Matadors (9-4) into a tie for first with Cal Poly in the Big West standings.
DEEE-FENSE: CSUN has picked up the defense in conference play, allowing just 63.2 points and 37.6% shooting. Those numbers rank second and first in the Big West, respectively.
Where There’s Ashlee, There A Guay: Junior Ashlee Guay has been stellar for the league-leading Matadors in Big West play. She ranks fourth in scoring (18.3), fourth in field goal percentage (47.1), fifth in assists (4.0), second in foul shooting (88.1%). third in three-point percentage (48.2) and tops in made threes (41).
The Numbers Game...2: With three games left, Cal State Northridge needs two wins to match the most Big West wins (11) during the Jason Flowers era.
LONG BEACH STATE
For Openers: Long Beach State recorded a 65-62 home win over UC Davis in its only game last week, upping its record to 7-5 in Big West action.
Spargo On A Roll: Junior Lauren Spargo had a game-high 16 points against the Aggies, her sixth straight double figure scoring game. She is averaging 13.3 points a game during that run.
Plenty of Meneses: Junior Hallie Meneses has upped her play during Big West play, averaging 8.8 points, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals per outing. She is also just turning the ball over just 1.6 times per game.
The Numbers Game...7: Long Beach State had only seven players available for its game against UC Davis. All seven played between 19 and 35 minutes with four players registering at least 30.
For Openers: UC Davis moved to 6-6 in Big West play after a split last week. The Aggies lost to Long Beach State, 65-62, then came away with a home win over Hawai’i, 56-52.
15s Are Wild: 15 was the number for UCD over the previous week. Three players tied team high scoring honors with 15 points against LBSU and the Aggies committed 15 turnovers. Against UH, the sophomore Alyson Doherty scored 15 points and the team hit 15 free throws.
Sydnee From All Over: Junior Sydnee Fipps is the only player in the Big West averaging at least 18 points and has made at least 150 field goals, 40 threes and 100 free throws.
The Numbers Game...7.5: UC Davis leads the Big West with 7.5 threes made per game. The Aggies are one of only two clubs in the league to hit seven or more three pointers a game and are second in makes (188).
For Openers: UC Irvine went 1-1 in its two home games last week, falling at the buzzer to Hawai’i, 55-54, and beating Cal State Northridge, 76-72. The Anteaters are now 6-6 in league play.
Like No One Else: Senior Camille Buckley is known for her prolific rebounding but she just set two Anteater records from the foul line. Buckley is 159-for-203 from the line this season, setting the program single season record for attempts and tying the mark for makes. She is also seventh in career free throws made (254).
Aguilar At The End: Senior Vanessa Aguilar found herself in clutch situations at the end of both games and converted on her chances. Aguilar hit two free throws with just over a minute left against UH that gave UCI the lead, then connected on two more free throws with 16 seconds left to seal the win over the Matadors.
The Numbers Game...4: UC Irvine’s 13 wins give the club double digit wins for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
For Openers: UC Riverside won its second game in a row thanks to a 67-57 home win over UC Santa Barbara. UCR couldn’t make it a season-high three game win streak though, falling at home to Cal Poly by an 83-72 score.
30 Is Not A Problem: Sophomore Brittany Crain picked up her second 30-point game of the season with a 31-point outburst against UCSB. Crain had previously scored 37 against Santa Clara on November 17.
Hadley Joins The Club: Senior Natasha Hadley scored eight points against the Gauchos, giving her 1,002 career points. She is the 15th player in Highlander history to reach the club.
The Numbers Game...2: Two UC Riverside players hit career highs in the points department against Cal Poly. Freshman Simone DeCoud scored 27 points, while junior Kiara Harewood put up 18.
UC SANTA BARBARA
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara picked up a split of its two road games last week, losing to UC Riverside, 67-57, and defeating Cal State Fullerton, 64-54. The Gauchos are now 3-9 in Big West play.
Watkins Controls The Paint: Junior Clair Watkins was a force in the paint over the two games. She had eight points and eight rebounds against the Highlanders, then picked up 10 points and a career-best 15 rebounds against the Titans.
Zornig Makes History: Senior Melissa Zornig added her name to the illustrious Gaucho history against CSF, scoring 18 points to join the 1,000 career point club. She is the 25th UCSB player to reach that milestone and the second player to do so this season (Nicole Nesbit).
The Numbers Game...54.9: Zornig leads the Big West during league play in three-point shooting, hitting 54.9% of her shots from beyond the arc. She is one of two players (Anna Kim - LBSU) to hit at least 50% of her three-point tries against conference foes.
For Openers: Hawai’i played a pair of tight Big West contests on the road last week, beating UC Irvine, 55-54, and falling to UC Davis, 56-52. The Rainbow Wahine moved to 8-5 in the Big West.
Mason On The Spot: Junior Morgan was in the right place at the right time against UCI. Mason collected a missed layup and converted on a layup on her own at the buzzer to give UH the win. Mason’s clutch shot was part of a 14-point night, tops on the club.
Picking It Up: In the absence of leading scorer and rebounder senior Kamilah Jackson, several players have picked it up in her absence. Sophomore Destiny King is averaging 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the last three games, senior Shawna-Lei Kuehu is averaging 10.7 points during that span, while Ashleigh Karaitiana and Sydney Haydel are pulling down 7.7 and 6.7 rebounds, respectively.
The Numbers Game...1: Hawai’i is in third place just one game behind the league leaders with three to play.