The Race Begins For Women's Hoops
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This Week In The Big West
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 9
Conference play is in focus for women's hoops as the race to the Big West Tournament begins Thursday. The first day of action is highlighted by an ESPN3 matchup between UC Irvine and UC Riverside.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
CAL POLY (7-6)
For Openers: Cal Poly will open up conference play on the road, taking on Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara before heading south to play UC Irvine.
Hitting The Glass: 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.
That Offense Though: The Mustangs put up season highs in points, assists (26) and field goal percentage (51.9%) in its last outing against Sacramento State. 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...10: Cal Poly is seeking its 10th consecutive win over UC Santa Barbara.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (2-12)
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton will open up the Big West schedule at home Saturday, facing off against Long Beach State. The matchup against the 49ers is the lone game of the week for CSF.
Berry’s Holiday Gift: Freshman forward Michelle Berry gave the Titans her fourth double double of the season against the North Dakota State, recording 16 points and 10 rebounds. She is averaging 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game on the season, both of which rank in the top three in the Big West.
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 dropped its final two non-conference games of the regular season, falling on the road to #18 California, 106-44, and Seattle at home, 62-56. CSUN, the two-time defending Big West Tournament champion, takes the first step towards defending its crown this week at home against UC Davis.
Jazzy Jasmine: Senior foward Jasmine Johnson supplied some needed offense against the Golden Bears, scoring a career-high 14 points in 26 minutes off the bench. She was a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor, added seven rebound and picked up two assists.
The Difficult Road: CSUN has played a difficult non-conference slate, headlined by games against two ranked Pac-12 opponents. In all the club has played nine of its 14 games away from the friendly confines of the Matadome.
The Numbers Game...1: Freshman Channon Fluker had her first career double double against the Redhawks, scoring 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in only 19 minutes.
LONG BEACH STATE (11-3)
For Openers: Long Beach State won its season-high tying fourth straight game last week, a 69-57 road victory over Seattle. LBSU begins conference play this week against preseason favorite Hawai’i at home. The 49ers then hit the road to take on Cal State Fullerton to wrap up the week.
Century Club: Seventh-year head coach Jody Wynn picked up her 100th career win at LBSU with the victory over Denver on December 28. The past three-plus seasons have been especially fruitful for Wynn and the 49ers as they have won 66 games and have made two WNIT appearances. Wynn is also the fourth LBSU coach to reach the 100-win plateau.
Madison’s Block Party: Junior forward Madison Montgomery has made it difficult for opposing players in the paint this season, ranking sixth in the league with 1.2 blocks per game. She has at least one block in each of the last six games and is averaging 2.0 rejections over her last four outings.
The Numbers Game...1: Long Beach State is the lone Big West club to reach double digits in non-conference wins this season.
UC DAVIS (7-6)
For Openers: UC Davis snapped a season-high four game losing skid with a 59-55 road win over Utah Valley. UCD will open up conference play at two-time defending Big West Tournament champion CSUN, then return home to take on preseason favorite Hawai’i.
Perfect Shooting: Sophomore wing Dani Nafekh finished with a game-high 17 points against the Wolverines, shooting a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor. Her only miss of the day came from the foul line where she was 0-for-1.
Doherty Moving On Up: Senior forward Alyson Doherty is making a steady climb up the Aggie career charts. She now has 1,077 career points which is 15th on the UCD charts, while her 595 rebounds is ninth.
The Numbers Game...4.5: UC Davis is known for its offense, but its defense has been just as good. The Aggies lead the league with 4.5 blocks per game.
UC IRVINE (3-11)
For Openers: UC Irvine lost its final non-conference game of the 2015-16 campaign, a road defeat against CSU Bakersfield. UCI will open conference play on the road against UC Riverside this week, an encounter that will be televised live on ESPN3. The club will also take on Cal Poly at home Saturday.
Continuing Trend: The Anteaters are one of the top rebounding clubs around, leading the Big West in total rebounds (541). Their 38.6 average also ranks third in the league.
More Dimes: On the national leaderboard, senior guard Raelyn Cheung-Sutton ranks 24th in assists per game (5.9) and 17th in total assists (82). Her single game high of 12 assists is tied for 18th most in the NCAA this season.
The Numbers Game...6: The ‘Eaters will wrap up a season-high six game road stand Thursday against the Highlanders.
UC RIVERSIDE (7-7)
For Openers: UC Riversidewrapped up its non-conference slate with an 85-67 victory over Grand Canyon. UCR will host UC Irvine both clubs’ Big West opener, a game that will be featured live on ESPN3. The Highlanders will then head north to take on UC Santa Barbara Saturday.
Lucky Numbers Are 20, 10, 33: Senior guard Brittany Crain and junior forward Réjane Verin each put up 20 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes against the Antelopes.
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 147 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...3: UC Riverside leads the Big West in total assists (260), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.21) and assists per game 18.6. The numbers are seventh, 23rd and 11th in the NCAA.
UC SANTA BARBARA (3-11)
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara will look to make it three in a row as it hosts Cal Poly in both teams’ Big West opener January 7. The Gauchos, who have exceeded their win total from 2014-15, will also take on UC Riverside in the Thunderdome Saturday.
Been A While: The Gauchos set a season-high in points in each of its last two games, putting up 93 points against the Morehead State 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: UC Santa Barbara won back-to-back games for the first time since November 2013 against Santa Clara and Hampton.
For Openers: Hawai’i split its last two non-conference games of the season, winning at CSU Bakersfield, 65-55, and losing at home to Penn, 64-54. UH returns to the mainland for its first two Big West games of the season, taking on Long Beach State and UC Davis.
She’s The King: Senior wing Destiny King led the ‘Bows with 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block in 28 minutes. King has been all over the stat sheet all season, averaging 9.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 27.2 minutes per game.
Tough Path To The Paint: Senior center Connie Morris blocked a career-high six blocks against the Quakers, as many as she has tallied in the previous six games.
The Numbers Game...63.2: The Rainbow Wahine are second in the Big West in points allowed at 63.2 per game.