Holiday Tournaments Highlight Stuffed Women's Hoops Slate
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 3
Big West women's basketball fans will feast on plenty of juicy matchups this week as holiday tournaments will bring plenty of hoops.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
For Openers: Cal Poly swept its two WCC opponents last week, an 87-79 road win over Loyola Marymount and a 76-67 win at home over Portland. The Mustangs have another home game against a WCC foe this week in Pepperdine before hosting the two-day Cal Poly/ShareSLO Holiday Tournament. The squad will play Dartmouth and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi during the tourney.
Beth’s Big Score: Junior Beth Balbierz had a career day against LMU, scoring 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting. She nailed four of her five shots from three-point land and added two rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench.
Clearing The Glass: Cal Poly usually fields an guard oriented lineup, but the Mustangs have been solid on the boards this season. The team is +3.7 on the rebounding end, third best in the league. Sophomore Hannah Gilbert leads the club in rebounding at 8.3 per outing with senior Taryn Garza right behind her at 8.0 a game.
The Numbers Game...22: Cal Poly recorded 22 assists against the Lions, a season-high.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton went 1-2 last week, falling on the road to San Diego, 60-54, and at home against Villanova, 50-43, before topping Weber State on the road, 70-68. The Titans will be on the road in Albuquerque, N.M. for the two-day Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic this weekend.
Walk Miles In Her Shoes: Senior Chante Miles was unstoppable against the Wildcats, dropping 35 points in 39 minutes. She also recorded six assists, two steals, three rebounds and hit 11 of her 12 free throws in the come-from-behind victory.
Automatic From The Stripe: The Titans have been nearly automatic from the free throw line the last two games, connecting on 88.0% (22-25) of their attempts.
The Numbers Game...15: CSF hit a program single game record 15 three-pointers against Weber State, surpassing the 14 makes the 2006-07 club made against Iowa State.
For Openers: CSUN moved to 4-0 with a pair of victories last week, one a 63-54 road win over Brigham Young and the other a gritty 45-41 home win over Portland. The Matadors will host the two-day Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament over the holiday weekend.
Fifth Time Is The Charm: CSUN registered the first win against Brigham Young in program history, snapping a four-game skid to the Cougars.
Janae Becomes 11: Senior Janae Sharpe’s eight points against Brigham Young pushed her past 1,000 career points, making her the 11th CSUN women’s player to achieve that feat. Sharpe added nine rebounds and six assists in the landmark victory.
The Numbers Game...1: CSUN is 4-0 for the first time in the program’s Division I history.
LONG BEACH STATE
For Openers: Long Beach State lost its only game last week, a tough 90-85 overtime setback to defending Pac-12 Tournament champion USC. The Beach will now head to the Last Frontier to take part in the GCI Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Alaska. It’s part of a busy road trip for the squad as it’ll also play at Portland State to wrap up the three-game week.
LBSU’s Trojan Horse: Sophomore Raven Benton has put up impressive numbers against USC in her short career. After putting up a career-best 26 against the Trojans a year ago, Benton scored a game-high 22 against USC this season. Two of her five career 20-point games have come against the Trojans.
Grab The Miss: Long Beach State outrebounded the Trojans 41-40, but almost half the 49ers’ rebounds came on the offensive end (20). Sophomore Jewelyn Sawyer (6) and junior Devin Hudson (5) were the two top performers for the team on the offensive glass.
The Numbers Game...10: Long Beach State has won two of its first three games of the season for the first time in 10 years.
For Openers: UC Davis went 1-1 last week, defeating rival Sacramento State on the road, 90-82, and losing to Saint Mary’s at home, 57-55. UCD will remain at home this week for a pair of matchups against Utah Valley and Pacific.
Welcome Back Aly: Junior Alyson Doherty made her much anticipated season debut against the Hornets well worth the wait. Doherty scored 14 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in 22 minutes off the bench. She played for the first time since a knee injury sidelined her in the first round of the Big West Tournament last season.
Different Foes, Different Tactics: Against Sacramento State, the normally free shooting Aggies took only six threes but made up for it with 29 free throw attempts. The ratio was skewed in the other direction against the Gaels with 26 three point attemps and seven free throw attempts.
The Numbers Game...55.6%: Senior guard Kelsey Harris is shooting 55.6% (10-18) from three-point land so far this season. Of the qualified players on the three-point percentage list, Harris is one of two players to have hit double digit threes so far this season.
For Openers: UC Irvine lost all three of its games last week, two of them at the Bren Events Center. The Anteaters fell at home to both Pepperdine, 76-53, and San Jose State, 91-65, then dropped a road contest to South Dakota, 92-52. UCI will spend its weekend at the DoubleTree LA Westside Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Loyola Marymount.
Struggle And Adapt: UC Irvine has struggled as a team from beyond the three-point line this season, connecting on just 13.6% (8-59) of its attempts. The team has shifted its focus inside the arc as the club leads the Big West in free throws made (73) and attempted (112).
Mokun The Headliner: Redshirt sophomore Mokun Fajemisin has developed into the top interior player for the Anteaters, averaging team highs in points (11.6), rebounds (5.6) and field goal shooting (46.3).
The Numbers Game...44: The margin of defeat against the Coyotes was the largest for the club since Arizona State downed UCI, 75-23 on December 6, 2008.
For Openers: UC Riverside moved to 3-0 this season with a pair of home wins last week. The Highlanders defeated San Jose State, 100-80, and downed San Francisco, 66-53. UCR hits the road for the first time this season as it travels to Albuquerque, N.M., for the UNM Thanksgiving Tournament.
Something About Spartans: UC Riverside has scored 100 points twice in the last calendar year, both times coming against San Jose State. This time around five players scored in double figures, accounting for 89 of the 100 points.
Brittany Is Grand (Quickly): Junior Brittany Crain surpassed the 1,000-point mark with a three-pointer late in the first half against the Dons. She became the second fastest Highlander to reach 1,000 career points, doing so in just 59 games.
The Numbers Game...3: The Highlanders have won their first three games of the season for the first time in program Division I history and the first time that has happened since the 1995-96 team accomplished the same.
UC SANTA BARBARA
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara dropped to 0-5 on the season with a trio of setbacks last week. The Gauchos lost to Santa Clara at home, 47-33, then dropped two games in Arizona to Northern Arizona, 67-49, and to Arizona by a 61-34 margin. UCSB has just one game this week, a home affair against Army.
Free Throw Contest Anyone?: UC Santa Barbara is as solid as they come at the free throw line, hitting on 76.4% (68-89) of their attempts.
Protect The Rock: UC Santa Barbara has done a good job this season of protecting the ball and taking it away. The Gauchos are tied for the lead in fewest turnovers per game (14.0) and are fourth in turnovers forced per game (18.4).
The Numbers Game...58.6: UC Santa Barbara is allowing just 58.6 points per game, second-fewest in the Big West.
For Openers: Hawai‘i split a pair at home during the Rainbow Wahine Classic, falling to No. 14 California, 79-72, and beating UNLV, 79-70. UH will continue its season-high seven-game homestand with three games in the Rainbow Wahine Shootout. The club will play Prairie View A&M, No. 4 Stanford and No. 11 North Carolina.
Sixth Year Works: Sixth year senior Shawna-Lei Kuehu had a monster game against the Golden Bears, putting up career-highs in points (29) and rebounds (15). The guard/forward now has two double doubles in UH’s four games.
Morris Breaks Out: Junior Connie Morris had her first big game in a ‘Bows uniform as she scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds against the Runnin’ Rebels. Morris was efficient on the evening as she went 10-of-13 in just 25 minutes.
The Numbers Game...9: Hawai’i nine players averaging double digit minutes this season.