CSUN, UCR Off To Unbeaten Starts
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 4
CSUN (6-0) and UC Riverside (5-0) will enter the second month of the women's basketball schedule with the league's two best records. The clubs will venture into hostile territory this week as they combine for three road games, two of them for the Highlanders.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
For Openers: Cal Poly had a busy schedule with three home games last week. The Mustangs started the week with a loss to Pepperdine, 76-69, and a loss to Dartmouth, 74-61, before a win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 63-48. The last two games were part of the Cal Poly/ShareSLO Holiday Tournament.
Lights, Camera, Garza: Senior Taryn Garza had an all-around effort against the Islanders, scoring a career-best 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds, four assists, four steeals and a block in 34 minutes.
Right Kind of Ale: Senior Kristen Ale has stepped into a starting role this season after starring as a sub over her previous three years. Ale is averaging 10.7 points and has gotten to the free throw line a team best 39 times. No other player on the roster has yet to hit 20 free throw attempts.
The Numbers Game...29: Cal Poly forced 29 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi turnovers, the most in the Big West this season.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton split its two contests at the Hotel Encanto Thanksgiving Classic in Las Cruces, N.M., falling to Eastern Michigan, 78-74, before defeating host New Mexico State, 66-51. The Titan roadshow continues this week with games against Denver and South Dakota.
Super Sub/Starter: Senior Kathleen Iwuoha had two big efforts in two roles at the tournament. In the narrow loss to the Eagles, Iwuhoa scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench. The following day, she put up 15 more points and collected three rebounds in a starting role against the Aggies.
Deja Gets Her First: Freshman Deja Smith recorded the first double double of her career against NMSU, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. It was the second double double for CSF this year, following Iwuoha’s the day before.
The Numbers Game...+1.5: Cal State Fullerton is third in the Big West with a +1.5 rebounding margin.
For Openers: CSUN improved to a league-best 6-0 with a pair of wins at the Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Basketball
Tournament. The Matadors defeated Montana State, 78-66, and Texas Southern, 63-50, at their annual home holiday tournament in the Matadome. This week bring a pair of WCC challengers as CSUN travels up north to play Saint Mary’s and returns home for a matchup with Pepperdine.
M-V-P, M-V-P: Senior center Camille Mahlknecht took home Most Valuable Player honors at the tourney thanks to a pair of efficient performances. Mahlknecht put up nine points, 14 rebounds and six blocks against the Bobcats in just 15 minutes off the bench. The next day she was back in the starting lineup and responded with 14 points, a season-high 17 rebounds and three blocks in 31 minutes.
Rebound Machines: The Matadors have shown it’ll be tough to beat them on the glass the season, owners of a league-high +8.8 rebounding margin. That figure is 37th in the nation.
The Numbers Game...35: Senior guard Ashlee Guay needs 35 more three-pointers to set a new program record for career makes from beyond the arc.
LONG BEACH STATE
For Openers: Long Beach State won all three of its games last week to improve to 5-1 on the season. The Beach went up to GCI Great Alaska Shootout where it defeated Boise State, 68-50, and Alaska Anchorage, 69-60. LBSU then traveled to Portland State where it picked up a win, 62-58.
First One Is The Hardest: Junior Devin Hudson recorded the 49ers’ first double double of the season against the Seawolves, scoring 12 points and grabbing 20 rebounds. The rebounds are a Big West season high and makes Hudson one of 10 players in the NCAA with 20 or more rebounds.
Floor General: Senior Hallie Meneses is the unquestioned on-floor leader for the Beach. She leads the Big West with 6.0 assists per game, a figure that ranks 20th in the country.
The Numbers Game...10.5, 23.7: Long Beach State leads the Big West in steals per game with 10.5. The club also forces the most turnovers per game in the league with 23.7.
For Openers: UC Davis picked up a pair of home wins last week, defeating Utah Valley, 59-49, and rival Pacific, 60-53. The Aggies’ season-long four game home stand wraps up this week with a game against San Francisco, then UCD goes to Colorado Springs over the weekend for the Air Force Classic.
Sydnee Hits 20 (Again): Senior Sydnee Fipps scored a team-best 21 points in the win over the Tigers, her second 20-point game of the season. Fipps has 25 career 20-point outings, just six shy of the school record set by Staci Stevens from 1984-88.
Looks Fine To Me: Junior Alyson Doherty has been strong in her return from a knee injury. She is averaging 11.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in four contests, three of them starts. Doherty picked up her second double double of the season against the Wolverines, scoring 10 points and grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds in 27 minutes.
The Numbers Game...51.7%: Senior guard Kelsey Harris missed a few from downtown last week but is still shooting 51.7% (15-29) from the three-point line. That figure is 29th in the NCAA.
For Openers: UC Irvine competed in the DoubleTree LA Westside Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Loyola Marymount. The Anteaters’ fell to Bowling Green, 62-54, and UAB in overtime, 69-65. UCI’s four-game road swing will come to a close this week with a game at Bakersfield.
Highs All Around: Several players recorded career-high efforts last week. Sophomore Shereen Sutherland put up a career-best 10 points in the loss to the Falcons, freshman Brittany Glassow grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds against the Blazers and in the same game, senior Methlyn Onogomuho tied her career-high with 20 points.
The Road Ahead: UC Irvine will complete a four-game road trip this week, but will have another four-game road jaunt very soon. The ‘Eaters will host San Diego and Bakersfield prior to the four-game stretch. They will play three games at the World Vision Classic hosted by Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind., then travel to Fort Worth, Texas for a matchup against TCU.
The Numbers Game...28.4: UC Irvine is allowing opponents to shoot just 28.4% (44-155) from three-point land.
For Openers: UC Riverside picked up a pair of wins at the UNM Thanksgiving Tournament. The Highlanders defeated Stephen F. Austin, 90-62, and the home standing Lobos, 70-62. The club is now 5-0 for the first time since the 1990-91 season.
Brittany The Baller: Junior Brittany Crain scored 66 points over the two games in the tourney, claiming MVP honors and earning NCAA Starting Five accolades. Crain is now averaging 29.0 points per game, the top scoring figure in the country. She is also a clutch foul shooter as her 91.7% (33-36) conversion rate ranks 34th in the NCAA.
Everyone Loves Annelise: Junior Annelise Ito is the third of UCR’s three-headed monster. The versatile forward averages 10.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 34.8 minutes per game.
The Numbers Game...+16.0: UC Riverside has the league’s top scoring margin at +16.0. The club ranks 42nd in the NCAA in that category.
UC SANTA BARBARA
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara lost its lone game last week, a 61-39 loss to Army at home. The loss drops the Gauchos to 0-6 on the season.
Jemerigbe’s Top Effort: Sophomore Onome Jemerigbe put up a career-high 15 points against Army, hitting 4-of-13 from the field and 7-for-10 at the free throw line. She also added three assists and two steals in 32 minutes.
Struggling From Deep: UC Santa Barbara is shooting just 18.2% (14-77) from the three-point line, but the Gauchos have hit multiple threes in all but two games this season.
The Numbers Game...59.0: UC Santa Barbara is allowing just 59.0 points per game, second-fewest in the Big West. The team is one of only two squads allowing less than 60 points per game.
For Openers: Hawai‘i went 1-2 during Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Shootout, beating Prairie View A&M, 72-58, losing to No. 4 Stanford, 86-73, and falling to No. 11 North Carolina, 74-65. UH will have a single game this week against former Big West foe Pacific.
Karaitiana The Thief: Senior Ashleigh Karaitiana is one of the top defenders in the Big West, leading the league with 2.6 steals per game. Karaitiana also gets it done on the boards with 5.3 per game.
Segovia Attacks The Cardinal: Senior Shawlina Segovia had a big effort in a reserve role against No. 4 Stanford. Segovia scored 17 points, hitting 4-of-5 from three and 5-of-9 from the field overall. Segovia also hit three of her four three throw attempts and added four rebounds in 27 minutes.
The Numbers Game...2: Hawai’i is one of three teams in the league to have a positive scoring margin and rebound margin.