Seeds 2-8 Up For Grabs In Final Week Of Regular Season
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 17
After a topsy turvy regular season, seven of the eight seeds are up for grabs entering the final week of play for the Big West women's hoops teams.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
For Openers: Cal Poly went 1-1 in its final regular season road trip of the year, topping UC Davis, 68-52, and losing to UC Irvine, 84-75. The Mustangs will wrap up the regular season at home against rival UC Santa Barbara Saturday.
Looking To Move Up: With a win Saturday over the Gauchos, Cal Poly can move up to the #2 seed in the tournament depending on other results. A loss though could potentially tumble the squad all the way down to the fifth slot.
Back-To-Back Doubles: Sophomore Hannah Gilbert is finishing up her sophomore year with a flourish, recording double doubles in both games last week. Gilbert put up 14 points and 10 rebounds against the Aggies, then recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Anteaters.
The Numbers Game...56: Cal Poly scored 56 points in the second half against UCI, its most in a half this season.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton dropped a pair of home games last week, falling to CSUN, 65-53, and Long Beach State, 69-62. The Titans will have their final home and away matchups of the regular season this week, hosting UC Irvine and traveling to Hawai’i.
Iwuoha Stepping Up: Senior Kathleen Iwuoha has been doing big things for the Titans in her final season, leading the league in rebounding in both overall (8.0) and conference play (9.6). In her last five games, Iwuoha has averaged 12.6 points and 11.0 rebounds with three double-doubles in that span.
Miles Ahead: Senior Chante Miles scored 19 points against Long Beach State to increase her double-figure scoring run to a career-high 25 games. Miles is second in the Big West and 26th in the country in scoring at 20.2 points per game.
The Numbers Game...21: Cal State Fullerton collected 21 offensive rebounds against LBSU, just six less than the 49ers grabbed for the game.
For Openers: CSUN ran its season-best tying win streak to six with a pair of road victories last week. The Matadors downed Cal State Fullerton, 65-53, and UC Riverside, 88-70. CSUN will wrap up its regular season with a home contest against Long Beach State Saturday.
No. 2 On The Line: A win against the 49ers will lock up the #2 seed in next week’s Big West Tournament for the Matadors. It would also be the first time the program has recorded a top-two seed in back-to-back Tournaments.
Rounding Into Form At The Right Time: CSUN is peaking at the right time both offensively and defensively during its six-game win streak. The Matadors are averaging 74.5 points per game during the streak, including a season-high 88 against UCR. Defensively, the club is allowing 52.2 points per outing, including a season-low 21 against UC Santa Barbara.
The Numbers Game...20: CSUN will finish the regular season with at least 20 wins for just the fourth time in program history and second since joining Division I. It is also the most under current head coach Jason Flowers.
LONG BEACH STATE
For Openers: Long Beach State split a pair of games last week, moving its conference record to 8-6. The shorthanded 49ers lost to Hawai’i at home, 47-46, then topped Cal State Fullerton on the road, 69-62. LBSU faces a big week for its Tournament seeding, traveling to CSUN and hosting UC Riverside.
Spargo’s Season High: Senior Lauren Spargo tied her season-high with 17 points in the win over the Titans. She is now just two points shy of 1,000 for her career.
Beach Struggles: February was a tough month for LBSU, as the club went 3-4 and saw several top players go down due to injury. The four losses were the most the team had recorded in any month this season.
The Numbers Game...0: Long Beach State held the ‘Bows to 0-for-9 from three-point land, the third time this season the 49ers have not allowed a three-pointer in a game.
For Openers: UC Davis lost a pair of home games last week, extending their losing streak to three. The Aggies fell to Cal Poly, 68-52, and UC Santa Barbara, 57-52, to round out the home portion of their schedule. UCD will play the final two road games of its regular season slate this week, facing UC Riverside and UC Irvine.
Block Party: Junior Alyson Doherty needs five more blocks for 100 in her career, which would make her just the fourth Aggie to reach the century mark in rejections.
Own The 3: A year ago, senior Kelsey Harris set the UCD single season record with 86 made threes. This season, Harris is on the verge of another record from distance with her 46.3% accuracy mark. That would easily best the Aggie record of 43.0% set by Lori Hurlbut in 1998.
The Numbers Game...77: Senior Sydnee Fipps is just 77 points shy of the school career record. The record of 1,711 is held by former Aggie great Carol Rische and has stood since 1983.
For Openers: UC Irvine won both of its home games last week, clinching a spot in the Big West Tournament. The Anteaters topped UC Santa Barbara, 58-46, and Cal Poly, 84-75. UCI will finish up its regular season with a road game against Cal State Fullerton.
Chavez Back On Track: After a prolonged shooting slump, sophomore Irene Chavez was able to find the range last week. She had 18 points, including five threes, against the Gauchos, then added four more three-pointers as part of a career-high 24 points against the Mustangs.
Raelyn Upping Her Game Part II: Junior Raelyn Cheung-Sutton recorded a career-high 20 points and added six assists against Cal Poly. It was just her second double figure scoring game of the season, both of which have come in the last five games.
The Numbers Game...3: UC Irvine has won its last three home games, its longest run of the season.
For Openers: UC Riverside dropped its lone contest last week, an 88-70 loss to CSUN. The Highlanders will wrap up its regular season slate with a home game against UC Davis and a road trip to Long Beach State.
Crain’s Unsung Stats: Junior Brittany Crain is known for her scoring, but she also has proven herself to be a capable defender. Crain leads the Big West in steals (2.11) and is eighth in blocks (0.82). She also is sixth in the league in defensive rebounds per game at 4.89.
Rely On Starters: UCR relies on its starting unit more than any other team in the Big West, with four players averaging no less than 30.4 minutes per game. The starters put even more work in against the Matadors, scoring all 70 points and playing all but eight minutes.
The Numbers Game...6.64, 6.79: UC Riverside leads the Big West with a +6.64 turnover margin, a figure that is seventh in the country. In conference play, the Highlanders have been even better with a +6.79 margin.
UC SANTA BARBARA
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara picked up a road split last weekend, keeping it alive for a Big West Tournament berth. The Gauchos lost to UC Irvine on the road, 58-46, before defeating UC Davis on the road, 57-52. UCSB hosts Hawai’i and visits Cal Poly this week needing a sweep and outside help to secure a tourney spot.
One For The Road: UCSB won its first road game of the season, snapping a 15-game road/neutral game losing string dating back to last season.
As Steady As Jasmine: Junior Jasmine Ware led the way offensively over the weekend, scoring 12 against UCI and 14 against UCD. She has scored in double figures in three of her last four contests and is averaging 9.9 points per game during conference play.
The Numbers Game...49.7: UC Santa Barbara has allowed just 49.7 points per game over its last three outings.
For Openers: Hawai’i clinched the Big West regular season title after a hard fought 47-46 road win over Long Beach State, its 12th victory in a row. The Rainbow Wahine will finish up the regular season with a road contest against UC Santa Barbara and a home date against Cal State Fullerton.
Party Like Its 1998: The ‘Bows last won a conference title in the 1997-98 season when it shared the WAC Pacific Division crown with a 13-1 record. Previous to that, the last time UH won a conference title was actually the Big West title in 1993-94. That was the second of back-to-back crowns.
Update On The Streak: The ‘Bows have won 12 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...20: Hawai’i has won 20 games for the first time the 2001-02 team won 23 contests. It is also the most under current head coach Laura Beeman.