CSUN will stay on the west coast for its 2015 NCAA Tournament first round matchup, taking on fourth-seeded Stanford in Palo Alto Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm.
The Matadors (23-9), who were given the No. 13 seed in the Oklahoma City Region, are making their second straight appearance in the NCAAs. The club earned the league's automatic bid by winning the Big West Tournament last Saturday, its second consecutive league title. This is the first back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearance for the program in its Division I history.
Stanford (24-9) achieved NCAA entry by virtue of its Pac-12 Tournament title, its 11th in program history. The Cardinal have played three Big West teams this season, going 3-0 against UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and Hawai'i. This marks the fourth time in the past seven years that the Big West automatic qualifier in the NCAA Tournament has squared off against the Cardinal.
The winner of the CSUN/Stanford matchup will face the victor of the game between No. 12 Qunnipiac and No. 5 Oklahoma in Palo Alto Monday.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
CAL POLY For Openers: Cal Poly ended its season in the Big West quarterfinals, falling to No. 7 seed Cal State Fullerton by a 55-48 final. The Mustangs finished up the season with a 15-14 record, which includes a 10-6 mark against conference foes.
Elegado Wraps Up Her Career: Senior guard Ariana Elegado finished the game against CSF with 12 points, which moved her past 1,500 for her career. Elegado also finished her Mustang career with 466 assists, just one shy of tying the program record held by former teammate Jonae Ervin.
Fire It Up: The Mustangs weren’t shy when it comes to putting up shots, ranking first in the league in field goal attempts per game (63.3). The club makes more than its fair share of those as they rank third in makes (24.7). In conference play, Cal Poly was tops in both categories, averaging 24.9 makes per game and 63.3 shots.
The Numbers Game...7: Cal Poly’s loss in the quarterfinals snapped a seven-year run of semifinal appearances for the program.
CAL STATE FULLERTON For Openers: Cal State Fullerton made the Big West semifinals as a #7 seed, eventually falling to top-seeded Hawai’i. The Titans downed No. 6 UC Riverside, 71-59, and No. 3 Cal Poly, 55-48, before losing a back-and-forth contest to UH, 73-64
Chante The Great: Senior Chante Miles was outstanding in her final season, ranking second in the league in sscoring (19.4), second in minutes played (37.6), tops in free throws made (147), first in free throw percentage (86.5) and fourth in assists (4.4). Miles also scored in double figures in all but three games this season and made the All-Tournament team and first team All-Big West.
Big Kat: Senior Kathleen Iwuoha was the perfect sidekick for Miles, dominating the paint to the tune of 12.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Iwuoha led the Big West in rebounding and upped that to a conference-best 9.8 boards per game in Big West play. She also led the league with nine double doubles.
The Numbers Game...7.0: The Titans tied for second in the league and ranked 47th in the country with 7.0 made threes per game.
CSUN For Openers: CSUN successfully defended its Big West Tournament crown, defeating No. 5 UC Davis, 61-47, and No. 1 Hawai’i, 67-60, for its second consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. The Matadors earned the No. 13 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional, facing off against No. 4 Stanford in Palo Alto Saturday.
A New Standard II: Senior Ashlee Guay is CSUN’s career leader in points (1,734), steals (292) and assists (537). She is also just the fourth player in Big West Tournament history to be named MVP on multiple occasions.
The Best: CSUN set a program record with its 23rd win of the season, surpassing the 1988-89 squad.
The Numbers Game...15: CSUN halted two 15-game win streaks this season, first against Long Beach State on January 24 then against UH in the Big West title game.
LONG BEACH STATE For Openers: Long Beach State, the No. 4 seed, fell in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament, losing to No. 5 seed UC Davis by a 70-67 count. LBSU earned an at-large berth into the WNIT for its season-long efforts, opening the tourney Thursday on the road against San Diego.
Didn’t Go Down Easy: Senior Hallie Meneses put up 22 points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes in the loss to the Aggies. Meneses also hit five threes and had only one turnover.
Banner Season: At 22-9, the Beach has registered its first 20-win season in 15 years and its best overall record since going 24-8 in 1990-91. Earlier this year, LBSU also put together a 15-game winning streak, which is the fifth-longest in program history.
The Numbers Game...2: Long Beach State has two players that passed the 1,000-point threshold this season. Senior Alex Sanchez (1,114) got there on January 29, while fellow senior Lauren Spargo (1,018) achieved the feat on March 5.
UC DAVIS For Openers: UC Davis advanced to the semifinals of the Big West Tournament, falling to eventual champion No. 2 CSUN. The fifth-seeded Aggies topped No. 8 UC Irvine, 80-71, and No. 4 Long Beach State, 70-67, before losing to the Matadors, 61-47.
Fipps In Elite Company: Senior Sydnee Fipps was honored as a first team All-Big West selection, the third time in her career she has claimed a place on the first team. Fipps is the second UCD player to achieve that feat (Paige Mintun - 2009-11) and the 18th in league history.
None Better: Senior guard Kelsey Harris shattered the program single season three-point percentage mark, hitting on 48.3% of her attempts from deep. It’s also the third best single season mark in league history.
The Numbers Game...4: UCD leads the Big West and ranks fourth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage at a 38.7% clip.
UC IRVINE For Openers: UC Irvine wrapped up the 2014-15 campaign with a loss to No. 5 UC Davis at the Big West Tournament by an 80-71 score. The Anteaters finished the season strong with four wins over the final eight contests.
Mokun’s Big Year: Sophomore Mokun Fajemisin had an excellent bounce back season, averaging 12.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. Her splits upped to 12.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks during conference play. She also played and started in all 32 games a year after missing most of the year due to a knee injury.
Irene Loves The Big West: Sophomore Irene Chavez was UCI’s main outside threat, especially during conference play. Chavez averaged 10.2 points and hit 24 of UCI’s 41 threes during conference play.
The Numbers Game...1.73: Junior Raelyn Cheung-Sutton lead the Big West in assist-to-turnover ration at 1.73-to-1.
UC RIVERSIDE For Openers: UC Riverside finished up a bounceback season 17-14, falling in the first round of the Big West Tournament to No. 7 Cal State Fullerton, 71-59. The sixth-seeded Highlanders earned a tourney berth after missing out on the postseason for three straight seasons.
Crain’s Title: Junior Brittany Crain won the Big West scoring title with a robust 21.7 points per game, a figure that currently ranks 11th in the NCAA. Crain was about as consistent as they come this season, scoring in double figures in all but three games, registering 11 20+ point scoring outings and six 30+ point showings.
Fab Freshman: UC Riverside claimed the Freshman of the Year in Michelle Curry, the third straight season the program has come away with the award. Curry averaged 9.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 23.5 minutes per game over her stellar rookie season. Curry joined junior Brittany Crain and sophomore Simone DeCoud in winning the award.
The Numbers Game...7.03: The Highlanders led the Big West and rank fifth in the NCAA in turnover margin at +7.03.
UC SANTA BARBARA For Openers: UC Santa Barbara dropped its final two games of the season, a 60-36 home loss to Hawai’i and an 84-63 road loss to rival Cal Poly.
Not Used To This: UCSB lost 27 games for the first time in the history of the program and registered its fewest wins (2) in program lore. The previous marks were a 3-25 record set back in 1983-84.
Onome Led The Way: Sophomore Onome Jemerigbe was the top player for UCSB this season, averaging 8.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.4 steals. Jemerigbe finished the season on a strong note, scoring 14 points against UH and registering nine assists against the Mustangs.
The Numbers Game...41: UC Santa Barbara registered a season-high point total in a half with 41 points in the first stanza in the season finale against Cal Poly.
HAWAI'I For Openers: Hawai’i entered the Big West Tournament as the No. 1 seed, a result of the outright regular season title. UH couldn’t come away with the tourney crown as it fell in the championship game to No. 2 CSUN, 67-60. The ‘Bows downed No. 7 Cal State Fullerton on the way to the title game, its first in the Big West since 1994.
Party Like Its 1998: The ‘Bows last won a regular season 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.
The Streak Ends: The ‘Bows won 15 in a row prior to the loss in the championship game, 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. The 22 wins are also the most under head coach Laura Beeman.