Hawai'i Inching Closer to Big West Regular Season Crown
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 16
League-leading Hawai'i (11-2) heads to Long Beach State in the drivers seat for the regular season title, seeking its first Big West title since the 1993-94 campaign.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
For Openers: Cal Poly went 1-1 in its two home league games last week, losing to Cal State Fullerton, 75-60, and defeating UC Riverside, 70-68. The Mustangs will hit the road for the final time in the regular season this week, facing off against UC Davis and UC Irvine.
A Different Kind Of D: Cal Poly doesn’t block many shots, ranking last in the Big West at 1.9 per game. However, the club introduces havoc in a different way as it is third in the league in steals at 7.5 per game. It’s a team effort in that department as the Mustangs don’t have a player ranked in the top 10 in steals per game on the conference leaderboard.
A Familiar Place: A Cal Poly player has led the league in assists in each of the past two seasons, with a third straight season a possibility. Senior Ariana Elegado is tied for the league lead at 4.5 helpers per game. Elegado tied for the league lead a year ago with former teammate Jonae Ervin.
The Numbers Game...230: Elegado is now sixth all-time in three-pointers made in conference history with 230.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton went 1-1 on the road in Big West play last week, defeating Cal Poly, 75-60, and losing to UC Santa Barbara, 48-39. The Titans, who are 4-8 in the league, will host CSUN and Long Beach State this week.
Outdoing Herself: Senior Chante Miles scored 36 points in the win over the Mustangs, the most by any player in the Big West this season. Miles topped the previous high of 35 by Brittany Crain on November 28 against Stephen F. Austin and by herself on November 24 against Weber State.
Another Double For Kathleen: Senior Kathleen Iwuoha scored 11 points and added 15 rebounds against UCSB, her seventh double double of the season which is tied for the league lead.
The Numbers Game...22.0%: Cal State Fullerton shot a season-low 22.0% (11-50) in the loss against the Gauchos.
For Openers: CSUN won its only game of the week, a home victory over UC Irvine. The Matadors, tied for third in the standings at 8-5, embark on their final regular season road trip this week against Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside.
Pick A Record, Any Record: Senior Ashlee Guay is finishing up her final season on the cusp of several records. Guay is just 10 points away from becoming the all-time leading scorer in program history, three assists of moving into the top 10 all-time in Big West history and 77 points shy of becoming just the 17th player in Big West history with 1,700 career points.
Automatic From The Stripe: CSUN is second in the Big West in free throw shooting at 72.4% but they’ve been even better of late. Over its last two contests, the Matadors are shooting 90.6% (29-32) from the charity stripe.
The Numbers Game...18: CSUN matched its win total from last season in the win over the Anteaters. It also ties the most tunder current head coach Jason Flowers
LONG BEACH STATE
For Openers: Long Beach State had a single matchup last week, but fell to UC Davis on the road by an 83-66 score. LBSU will have a two-game week coming up, hosting first place Hawai’i and visiting Cal State Fullerton.
Shorthanded Squad: The 49ers were forced to play with a condensed lineup against the Aggies due to injuries. The squad played without Devin Hudson, Chantal Dooley and Raven Benton in the loss.
Hallie Is The Engine: Senior Hallie Meneses was all over the court against the Aggies, putting up 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Meneses has been impressive during conference play, averaging 9.5 points, 4.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals over 28.8 minutes of court time.
The Numbers Game...21: Senior Lauren Spargo can reach the 1,000-point plateau with 21 more points this season. She would be the second 49er this season to reach 1,000 career points, following fellow senior Alex Sanchez.
For Openers: UC Davis remained in second place with a 1-1 week, topping Long Beach State at home, 83-66, and losing to Hawai’i on the road, 62-60. The Aggies will have a pair of home games this week against the Central Coast clubs Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.
Sharing Is Scoring: UC Davis ranks second in the Big West with 15.4 assists per game but the Aggies put on a sharing display against the 49ers. UCD recorded 25 assists on 31 field goals in the win, one helper shy of the most by a Big West team this season.
That Was Fast: Needing two 20-point games to set a school record, senior Sydnee Fipps accomplished just that last week. Fipps scored 20 in each contest giving her a school record 32 20-point outings.
The Numbers Game...17-38: UC Davis set a Big West single game record with 17 made threes against LBSU. The 38 attempts in that game was also two shy of the conference single-game record.
For Openers: UC Irvine lost both games of its roadtrip last week, falling to Hawai’i, 75-37, and CSUN, 82-60. UCI will return to the Bren Events Center this week for matchups against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly.
Tierra’s Run: Freshman Tierra Hicks has stepped into a starting role over the last three games and had responded with averages of 10.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 41.7% (5-12) shooting from three-point land. Hicks also scored a career-high 16 points against the Matadors.
Raelyn Upping Her Game: Junior Raelyn Cheung-Sutton has been performing at a high level over the last three contests, averaging 9.0 points, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals.
The Numbers Game...1.7, 2.3: Sophomore Mokun Fajemisin ranks second in the Big West with 1.7 blocks per game. In conference play, Fajemisin has upped the rim protection with 2.3 blocks per outing
For Openers: UC Riverside went 1-1 on its Central Coast trip last week, defeating UC Santa Barbara, 71-65, and losing to Cal Poly, 70-68. UCR has single game this week, a home contest against CSUN Saturday.
Season High For Simone: Sophomore Simone DeCoud poured in a season-high 23 against the Mustangs, aided by a 4-of-7 performance from beyond the arc. DeCoud has delivered more offense lately, averaging 16.3 points and recording two 20-point outings over her last four games.
Pass, Pass, Pass: UC Riverside leads the Big West and ranks 29th in the country with 16.1 assists per game. The club has three players ranked in the top 10 in assists on the league leaderboard, the most of any club in the conference.
The Numbers Game...36: Junior Brittany Crain has scored in double figures in 36 straight games.
UC SANTA BARBARA
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara went 1-1 in its two home games last week, losing to UC Riverside, 71-65, before defeating Cal State Fullerton, 48-39. This week the Gauchos, who are in a race for the final Big West tourney spot, hit the road for games against UC Irvine and UC Davis.
The Streak Is Over: UCSB’s win over the Titans snapped a 29-game losing skid dating back to last season. It also snapped a 16-game conference losing stretch.
Offensive Outburst: The Gauchos had an efficient offensive outburst against the Highlanders. UCSB recorded 28 field goals on 19 assists and shot 50.0 % (28-56) from the floor in the tight loss. The squad also had a season-best four double-digit scorers.
The Numbers Game...365: UC Santa Barbara won for the first time in exactly 365 days. Its opponent, Cal State Fullerton, was also the team it defeated exactly a year ago.
For Openers: Hawai’i upped its winning streak to 11 with a pair of home wins last week. The ‘Bows downed UC Irvine, 75-37, and UC Davis, 62-60. UH will look to strengthen its bid for a regular season title this week, playing a single contest at Long Beach State.
No Sunshine and Rainbows: Hawai’i put together a dominant defensive effort against the Anteaters, allowing just 37 points. The point total was a season low and the lowest since the team allowed just 33 to LIU-Brooklyn in 2012-13.
Update On The Streak: The ‘Bows have won 11 in a row, the longest streak under head coach Laura Beeman. Its also the longest streak since former coach Vince Goo led the 1997-98 club to 19 consecutive wins.
The Numbers Game...19: The ‘Bows 19 victories are the most under head coach Laura Beeman. UH won 17 games in each of her first two seasons.