Final Non-Conference Week Preps Women's Hoops
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This Week In The Big West
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 8
The final week of the non-conference slate is upon us as the nine women's hoops teams play their final games before the start of Big West play.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
CAL POLY (7-6)
For Openers: Cal Poly lost snapped a season-high three-game losing streak with a home win over Sacramento State at home, 97-72. The matchup against the Hornets wrapped up the non-conference portion of the schedule for the Mustangs, as they will open Big West play January 7 at rival UC Santa Barbara and then travel south to play UC Irvine.
Hitting The Glass: Junior forwards Hannah Gilbert (17) and Amanda Lovely (13) each recorded personal bests in rebounds against Sacramento State. Sophomore guard Dynn Leaupepe also came off the bench to record a season-high 10 rebounds.
That Offense Though: The Mustangs put up season highs in points, assists (26) and field goal percentage (51.9%) against CSUS. The 97 points was the most for the program since a 107-point showing in an overtime win over Long Beach State on January 18, 2014.
The Numbers Game...74: Cal Poly pulled down 74 rebounds in all against the Hornets. That figure is a school record, the most in the NCAA this season against a DI opponent, the second most overall in the country and just six off the single game Big West record.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (2-12)
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton fell to North Dakota State on the road, 79-64. The game wrapped up the non-conference schedule for CSF. The Titans will open conference play at home January 9 against Long Beach State.
Berry’s Holiday Gift: Freshman forward Michelle Berry gave the Titans her fourth double double of the season against the Bison, recording 16 points and 10 rebounds. She also led the team with four assists.
Don’t Come Out: CSF has three players who have logged at least 444 minutes so far this year, the most in the Big West. Berry leads the way with 485, junior guard Samantha Logan has 464, while freshman guard Jade Vega has 444.
The Numbers Game...64: Cal State Fullerton’s 64 points were the most by the Titans since beginning December with 66 points against Montana State.
For Openers: CSUN has a two-game Pac-12 road swing this week. The club fell to #21 Arizona State earlier in the week, 69-46, and will take on #18 California Wednesday. The Matadors’ final non-conferenc matchup will come January 2 against Seattle in the Matadome.
Gilling Steps Up: Sophomore forward Caroline Gilling had a career-high 11 points and matched her collegiate bests with three three-pointers, three assists and two blocks.
The Difficult Road: CSUN has played a difficult non-conference slate, headlined by games against three ranked opponents. In all the club has played eight of its 12 games away from the friendly confines of the Matadome.
The Numbers Game...2: After allowing each of its first six opponents to score 70 or more points, the Matadors have only allowed two of its next six foes to crack that number.
LONG BEACH STATE (10-3)
For Openers: Long Beach State defeated Denver on the road earlier in the week, 48-41. The Beach, owners of the league’s top record, will stay on the road to take on Seattle on New Year’s Eve.
Century Club: Seventh-year head coach Jody Wynn picked up her 100th career win at LBSU with the victory over the Pioneers. The past three-plus seasons have been especially fruitful for Wynn and the 49ers as they have won 65 games and have made two WNIT appearances. Wynn is also the fourth LBSU coach to reach the 100-win plateau.
Needed The Defense: Long Beach State leaned on its defense for the win, forcing DU in 23 turnovers with 14 of those coming in the fourth period. The 49ers also held their opponents to 34.0% shooting for the game, including a 23.8% figure for the second half.
The Numbers Game...8: Long Beach State forced 20 or more turnovers for the eighth time in its 13 contests.
UC DAVIS (6-6)
For Openers: UC Davis lost its fourth in a row earlier in the week, an 88-58 setback at Utah. The Aggies will look to snap its season high four game losing skid on New Years Day at Utah Valley.
Twin Line: Twin freshman wings Kourtney and Karley Eaton came off the bench to supply some needed offense against the Utes. The duo combined for 6-of-8 shooting, including 5-of-6 from three, and finished with nine points apiece.
Morgan’s Streak Continues: Freshman forward Morgan Bertsch scored in double figures for the fifth consecutive game, putting up 15 points against Utah. Bertsch is averaging 19.8 points in just 27.4 minutes over her last five contests, four of those coming in a starting role.
The Numbers Game...67.9: The Aggies rank second in the league in scoring at 67.9 points per game.
UC IRVINE (3-10)
For Openers: UC Irvine dropped its road game against USC earlier in the week, falling by a 75-56 score. The Anteaters will play one more non-conference game at CSU Bakersfield January 3 before opening up conference play at UC Riverside the following weekend.
Lending A Helping Hand: Junior guard Irene Chavez led the way in the assist column with a career-high seven helpers. It marked the first time this season she has exceeded four assists in a game.
More Dimes: On the national leaderboard, senior guard Raelyn Cheung-Sutton ranks 17th in assists per game (6.2) and seventh in total assists (81). Her single game high of 12 assists is tied for 15th most in the NCAA this season.
The Numbers Game...13.7: The ‘Eaters rank second in the Big West in offensive rebounds per game with 13.7.
UC RIVERSIDE (6-7)
For Openers: UC Riverside fell earlier in the week at home to #19 UCLA, 70-56. It marked the first home game against a ranked foe in the Big West this season. UCR will hit the road for its next game, a road contest againt Grand Canyon on Saturday.
Dynamic Duo: UC Riverside has two of the top scorers in the league in senior guard Brittany Crain and junior forward Réjane Verin. Verin leads the league with 17.7 points per game, while her teammate is right behind her at 17.4 per contest.
Crain Inching Closer: Crain is inching closer to rarified air in the Big West record books. Crain has 1,815 points over her career, putting her just 167 points shy of 2,000. If Crain reaches that number, she will be just the seventh player in conference history to reach that plateau.
The Numbers Game...15.3: UC Riverside takes care of the ball better than any other team in the Big West, turning it over a league-low 15.3 times per game.
UC SANTA BARBARA (3-11)
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara won its second straight game, a home victory against Morehead State, 93-78. UCSB will look to make it three in a row as it hosts Cal Poly in both teams’ Big West opener January 7.
Been A While: The Gauchos set a season-high in points for the second straight game, putting up 93 points against the Bears after scoring 89 against La Verne. The 93 points is the most for UCSB since scoring 95 points in a road win over Santa Clara on November 29, 2007.
Roper’s Big Day: Sophomore guard Makala Roper kept her recent hot streak going against MSU, putting up 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists. The rebound and assist numbers were career-highs.
The Numbers Game...2013: The Gauchos won back-to-back games for the first time since November 2013 against Santa Clara and Hampton.
For Openers: Hawai’i earned two hard fought wins on the mainland in its last action, defeating Sacramento State, 74-72, and San Jose State, 76-73. UH returns to action this week after its layoff, playing at CSU Bakersfield Wednesday and returning home to play Penn January 2.
Efficiency You Shall Receive: Sophomore center Megan Huff had two highly efficient outings in the two tight wins. Against the Hornets, Huff put up 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes. She followed that up with 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes against the Spartans.
Right On Time: The Rainbow Wahine got another timely effort from a sub in the win over SJSU as junior Briana Harris poured in 20 points. The point total was a season-high while the five treys she hit matched a career-best.
The Numbers Game...+9.5: Hawai’i leads the Big West and is 29th in the NCAA in rebounding margin at +9.5. The ‘Bows are the lone team in the conference with a positive rebounding margin.