New Year's Week Brings Final Tuneups For Conference Play
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This Week in the Big West - December 29, 2014-January 4, 2015
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 8
The final week of 2014 brings about the final non-conference matchups of the women's hoops season, ushering in a New Year and the race for the 2014-15 Big West title.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
For Openers: Cal Poly’s losing streak stretched to four games with three losses last week. The Mustangs lost to New Mexico State, 79-65, New Mexico, 84-68, and Colorado State, 65-63. Cal Poly will be off until January 3 when it returns to its home court against Bakersfield.
Elegado Lets It Fly: Senior Ariana Elegado was a three-point marksman last week, hitting on 55.6% (15-of-27) of attempts over the three games. Elegado’s 204 career treys are 10th in Big West history, while her seven makes against the Lobos was a season-best.
Right Kind Of Ale: Usually known for her offense, senior Kristen Ale is having a career year passing the ball. Ale picked up a personal-best eight assists against the Rams, part of the 4.3 helpers per game she put up over the Mustangs’ three games a week ago.
The Numbers Game...13: Cal Poly has 13 days between its last game and its next against Bakersfield.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton split its two games at Titan Gym last week, a win over North Dakota State, 86-79, and a loss to Albany by a 71-49 margin. CSF returns to the floor this week for a pair of games after a 10-day hiatus, facing off against UMKC at home and visiting Seattle Sunday.
First Home Win: Cal State Fullerton picked up its first home win of the season over the Jackrabbits, only the third game in Titan Gym this season for the club.
Miles Does It All: Senior Chante Miles was nearly unstoppable with 31 points against NDSU, but she also showed her passing ability with a season-high eight assists and only two turnovers in 38 minutes of action.
The Numbers Game...19: The Titans matched their season high with 19 offensive rebounds against the Great Danes.
For Openers: CSUN dropped a pair of games at the Hawk Classic in Philadelphia, the first time this season the Matadors have dropped back-to-back games. The club started the tournament with a loss to Florida Gulf Coast, 73-64, then fell the following day to host Saint Joseph’s, 61-54. CSUN will look to break the losing skid with a road game at Seattle this week.
Guay Shows Her Game In Philly: Senior Ashlee Guay was a force in both games at the Hawk Classic. She had 22 points, four rebounds and four assists against FGCU, but most impressively hit on all 10 of her free throw attempts.
Jasmine Cracks The Starting Unit: Junior Jasmine Johnson started both games at the Hawk Classic and delivered two solid lines. Johnson recorded two points and six rebounds against the Eagles, then just missed a double double with nine points and eight rebounds against the Hawks.
The Numbers Game...500: Guay became the fifth player in program history with 500 career field goals.
LONG BEACH STATE
For Openers: Long Beach State upped its win streak to 11 with a pair of wins. The squad downed LIU-Brooklyn at home by a 71-63 score, then topped Pac-12 club Colorado on the road, 62-56.
That’s A Comeback: The 49ers were down 40-22 at the half against the Blackbirds, then outscored the opposition, 49-23, over the final 20 minutes to record the win. The 49 second half points were the most for the club this season, it scored 25 points off turnovers in the second stanza and forced 31 turnovers in all.
The Beach Plays D: After allowing 70.1 points and 39.5% field goal shooting a year ago, Long Beach State has been impressive on the defensive end this season. The club leads the Big West in scoring defense at 60.1 per game, while ranking second in the conference in field goal percentage defense at 37.8%.
The Numbers Game...5: Long Beach State has five road wins this season, surpassing its total number of road wins in each of the past six seasons.
For Openers: UC Davis fell in a tightly contested game to No. 15 Stanford, 71-59, in its last game on December 22. The Aggies fall to 0-2 against ranked foes, having lost their season opener to then top-ranked Connecticut. UCD will return to action this week with a home contest against Menlo College.
Alyson Is Back: Junior Alyson Doherty scored 17 points, pulled down seven rebounds and added a pair of blocked shots in the loss to the Cardinal. Doherty is averaging 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on the season, just nine months after a major knee injury.
In Her Sights: Senior Sydnee Fipps scored 13 points against Stanford, moving her career point total to 1,393 which is fourth on the all-time on the UCD list. She is just 21 points shy of third and 46 shy of second.
The Numbers Game...44.6: UC Davis leads the Big West and ranks 38th in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 44.6%.
For Openers: UC Irvine plays this week for the first time since December 21 but could not come away with a win at TCU, 78-56. UCI has one more non-conference game this season as it takes on Concordia Sunday.
Irene Loves Roadrunners: Sophomore Irene Chavez would probably like every opponent to be Bakersfield. Chavez scored a career-best 21 points in the the matchup on December 3, then put up 16 points and hit all four of her threes against CSUB in the rematch on December 16.
Mokun Filling It Up: Sophomore Mokun Fajemisin was named to the Vision Classic All-Tournament team after an outstanding run. She capped the tourney with a 20-point, 10-rebound effort in the win over the Pioneers. Fajemisin also led the club with a 15-point, seven rebound output against the Horned Frogs.
The Numbers Game...10: UC Irvine snapped a 10-game losing string with the win over Denver.
For Openers: UC Riverside is already 1-1 on the week, starting with a 79-65 victory over Brown at the Cyclone Challenge. UCR finished up the tournament with a 71-54 loss to host Iowa State. The Highlanders will have one more game this week, a home matchup against UMKC Saturday.
Not Just Brittany: The game against the Bears showed how dangerous the Highlanders can be when they have everyone clicking. UCR had four double figure scorers led by junior Annelise Ito with 19 points, sophomore Simone DeCoud and junior Brittany Crain had 18 apiece and freshman Michelle Curry put up 15.
Curry Has Next: Speaking of Curry, she is in the midst of an impressive rookie season. The native of Los Angeles is averaging 7.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. She has five double figure scoring games and has shot 50.0% or better from the field on five occasions.
The Numbers Game...71.1: UC Riverside is second in the Big West in scoring at 71.1 points per game.
UC SANTA BARBARA
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara played a single game last week, a 90-34 loss to No. 15 Stanford. The Gauchos will have another single game week, playing at Seattle on New Year’s Eve.
Taking Care Of It: UC Santa Barbara committed just 12 turnovers against the Cardinal, just one off the Gauchos’ season low of 11 and coming on the heels of a season-high 27 turnovers against LSU.
Knowing The Ropes: Freshman Makala Roper has hit 15 three-pointers this season, tied for 12th in the Big West and tops on the team.
The Numbers Game...2.1: Senior Clair Watkin is second in the Big West and 48th in the country in blocks per game at 2.1.
For Openers: Last time out, Hawai‘i went back on the mainland for a pair of games and came away with a 1-1 record. The squad defeated Loyola Marymount, 85-76, then lost to Bakersfield, 78-69. The Rainbow Wahine will return home for a matchup against Hawai’i Pacific this week.
The Highs In The Low: Hawai’i may have lost its first road game of the season against the Roadrunners, but several players picked up career bests. Junior Destiny Mason put up her best in points (15), senior Morgan Mason recorded her top single game effort in assists (8) and sophomore Briana Harris tied her career-high in rebounds (5).
Good When It Counts: In UH’s win over the Lions, the club sank 17 of it’s last 19 free throw attempts. The accuracy from the line helped the team overcome a six point deficit with five minutes to go.
The Numbers Game...3: Hawai’i won its first three road games of the season for the first time since 2005-06.