ESPN3 Showcase Featuring Cal Poly and CSUN Highlights Women's Hoops Slate
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 14
Teams will look to separate themselves in a tight standings race this week, highlighted by Cal Poly's visit to CSUN live on ESPN3.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
For Openers: Cal Poly lost its only game last week, a 79-64 loss to Hawai’i. The Mustangs, fell into a four-way tie for second place at 6-3, have a pair of road games this week. The first is an ESPN3 broadcast showdown against CSUN Thursday, then a Saturday matchup against Long Beach State.
The Big Three: The senior trio of Ariana Elegado, Kristen Ale and Taryn Garza supplied most of the offense against UH. Elegado led the way with 20, Ale had 18 and Garza had 17. The scoring trio accounted for 55 of the 64 points the Mustangs scored.
Hannah Has The Skill: Sophomore Hannah Gilbert has pulled down 110 rebounds over her 21 games this season, splitting offensive and defensive rebounds down the middle at 55 each. She is the lone player to have a 1:1 offensive to defensive rebounding ratio among the Big West leaderboard.
The Numbers Game...225: Elegado is seventh all-time in Big West history in three-pointers made with 225. She is just two shy of sixth, eight shy of fifth and nine short of fourth.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton extended its losing streak to three with a pair of road losses last week. The Titans fell to UC Riverside, 77-69, and CSUN, 81-52. CSF returns home this week for a pair of matchups, facing off against UC Davis and Hawai’i.
Iwuoha The Titan: Senior Kathleen Iwuoha had two big games despite the losses. She had 19 points and 14 rebounds against the Highlanders, then backed that up with 15 points and eight rebounds against the Matadors. Iwuoha also played 74 of a possible 80 minutes over the two contests.
Daeja’s Efficient Day: Freshman Daeja Smith had an efficient day off the bench against CSUN, scoring 12 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking a shot in 22 minutes off the bench.
The Numbers Game...1: Senior Chante Miles is leading the Big West in assists (4.7) and is second in scoring (19.5). Only one player in Big West history has ever led the league in both. UNLV’s Misty Thomas accomplished the feat in the 1984-85 season.
For Openers: CSUN split its Big West games last week, making it an even 5-5 in league contests. The Matadors lost at UC Davis, 73-67, and defeated Cal State Fullerton at home, 82-51. CSUN will have a pair of home games this week, taking on Cal State Fullerton Thursday and Cal Poly Saturday. The matchup against the Mustangs will be carried live on ESPN3.
No More Slow Starts: In the three contests before the win against CSF, slow starts have doomed the CSUN cause. The team had shot a combined 25.5% (24-94) in the first half in those three games, all losses. In the first half of the victory against the Titans, the Matadors shot 47.1% (16-34).
Cole For Three, Twice: Sophomore Emily Cole recorded a career-high with three three-pointers against the Aggies. She then matched that with three more from downtown against Cal State Fullerton.
The Numbers Game...82: CSUN’s 82 points against the Titans was the second-most it has scored in a game this season. The team has scored 80+ points four times this season, all resulting in victories.
LONG BEACH STATE
For Openers: Long Beach State went to 6-3 on the conference schedule after splitting its two road games last week. The 49ers topped UC Irvine, 62-46, then fell to UC Riverside, 80-74. LBSU, which is in a four-way tie for second, faces off against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly this week.
First Time In A Long Time: Senior Lauren Spargo led the way with 16 points, including four threes, to lead LBSU to the win over the Anteaters. It was the first win for the club at UCI since the 2008-09 season.
Speaking of Spargo: Spargo is in the midst of a solid run of play, scoring in double figures in six of her last eight games. That matches the number of double figure scoring contests she recorded over her first 16 outings.
The Numbers Game...10.8: Long Beach State leads the Big West and ranks 29th in the NCAA with 10.8 steals per game. . In conference play, the 49ers have upped that to 11.2 steals per game.
For Openers: UC Davis (6-3) moved into a tie for second in the league standings with a pair of home wins. The Aggies downed CSUN, 73-67, and UC Irvine, 79-69. The team will play just once this week, a road contest against Cal State Fullerton Thursday.
Sydnee Bombs Away: Senior Sydnee Fipps let it fly against the Matadors, hitting six of her 10 three-point attempts. The six makes was just one off the single-game program record.
Another Freshman Standout: A few weeks ago, freshman Dani Nafekh scored 17 points in a breakout performance against Cal State Fullerton. Against the Anteaters, it was fellow freshman Rachel Nagel’s turn as she scored a career-high 15 points to lead the squad in scoring. Nagel added six rebounds and connected on three of her four three-point attempts
The Numbers Game...2: UC Davis leads the Big West during conference play in both field goal shooting (.463) and three-point shooting (.433).
For Openers: UC Irvine dropped both of its games last week, a 62-46 home loss to Long Beach State and a 79-69 road defeat against UC Davis. The Anteaters have just one game this week, a Saturday showdown at home against UC Riverside.
Mokun Racking Up Doubles: Sophomore Mokun Fajemisin picked up her Big West-leading sixth double double of the season against the 49ers, scoring 16 points and securing 12 rebounds. She also added four blocks and a pair of assists in 36 minutes of play.
Irene Struggling From Deep: Sophomore Irene Chavez has struggled from three-point land over the last six games, shooting just 12.9% (4-31).The slump is on the heels of a four-game run where she shot 47.6% (10-21) from deep.
The Numbers Game...3.6: UC Irvine leads the Big West with 3.6 blocks per game. That number has increased to 4.8 per contest in conference play.
For Openers: UC Riverside moved its win streak to five with a pair of home wins last week, moving it into a four-way tie for fourth in the Big West. The Highlanders dropped Cal State Fullerton, 77-69, and Long Beach State, 80-74. The five-game win streak also matches UCR’s season-best.
Almost Messed With A Triple Double: Freshman Michelle Curry added another chapter to a fine rookie season against LBSU. Curry put up 20 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and a pair of steals in 32 minutes. She is averaging 8.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals in 22.6 minutes this season.
Brittany Earns Acclaim: Junior Brittany Crain was named one of the 30 candidates for the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award, recognizing the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills that personfies Nancy Lieberman during her career. Crain is the nation’s fourth-leading scorer at 24.0 points per game while also adding 6.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per outing.
The Numbers Game...17: UC Riverside is only two wins shy of equaling its win total from the past two seasons combined.
UC SANTA BARBARA
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara lost its only matchup last week, a 60-43 setback on the road against league-leading Hawai’i. UCSB will hit the road again for its first matchup of the week against Long Beach State Thursday, then returns home for a Saturday game against Long Beach State.
Farris Competing On The Boards: Freshman Taylor Farris went above her 3.8 per game rebound average against UH, pulling down eight caroms. It was a career-high effort for Faris and the most boards she has grabbed since pulling down seven against LSU on December 19.
Onome Scores: Sophomore Onome Jemerigbe picked up her second straight double figure scoring game with a team-high 13 points against the ‘Bows. It was the second time this season that Jemerigbe scored in double figures in back-to-back games.
The Numbers Game...0: Against Hawai’i, Jemerigbe failed to record an assist in a game for the first time this season. It was also the first time since December 31 against Seattle that she failed to record at least five helpers.
For Openers: Hawai’i (7-2) moved into sole possession of first place in the Big West thanks to a sweep of home games last week. The team downed UC Santa Barbara, 60-43, and Cal Poly, 79-64. The “Bows will look to keep the momentum going with a pair of road games this week, facing off against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton.
Not This Time: Senior Shawna-Lei Kuehu scored a game-high 22 points against the Mustangs, hitting on 10 of her 12 shots and adding three rebounds and three steals in 27 minutes off the bench. Kuehu made up for lost time as she missed UH’s loss to Cal Poly in early January with an injury.
Tough All Around: UH is arguably the league’s most physical club as it leads the Big West in free throws made per game (16.5), free throw attempts per game (24.2), offensive rebounds per game (16.0), defensive rebounds per game (28.1), rebounds per game (44.1) and opponents’ field goal percentage (.370).
The Numbers Game...7: Hawai’i’s seven-game win streak is its longest under head coach Laura Beeman.