ESPN3 Showdown Highlights Women's Hoops Slate
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This Week In The Big West
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 12
ESPN3 will feature another women's hoops matchup this week as Cal Poly visits first place UC Riverside. It is the first of two difficult road contests for the Mustangs as the league schedule nears the halfway point.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
CAL POLY (10-8, 3-2 Big West)
For Openers: Cal Poly picked up a split of its home Big West contests last week, defeating CSUN in overtime, 66-62, and losing to UC Davis, 75-57. The Mustangs will play two on the road this week, visiting UC Riverside and Long Beach State. The matchup against the first place Highlanders will be shown live on ESPN3.
Hannah’s Big Night: Junior forward Hannah Gilbert scored a career-high 24 points in the win over the Matadors, shooting 12-for-25 from the floor. Gilbert has three 20-point outings in her last six games.
Beth Can Score Too: Senior guard Beth Balbierz equaled her career-best with 21 points against the Aggies, the third time in her career, and second time this season, she has reached that number.
The Numbers Game...1: Senior guard Lisa Marie Sanchez is the ony player in the Big West shooting over 40% from three-point land (40.0) and over 80% from the free throw line (87.8).
CAL STATE FULLERTON (2-17, 0-5 Big West)
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton lost its two league games last week, falling to Long Beach State on the road, 62-57, and UC Irvine at home, 62-58. CSF will hit the road looking to end its losing string, visiting Hawai’i and CSUN this week.
The Better Half: Freshman guard Dani Craig exploded in the second half against the 49ers, nearly rallying the Titans to victory. Craig scored 16 second half points, 13 of them coming in the fourth period. She hit four threes and shot 6-of-9 from the floor in a stellar shooting display.
From One Game To The Next: Junior center Dhanyel Johnson set two career-highs in back-to-back games. Against LBSU, Johnson went a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor on her way to a personal high 15 points. Then against the Anteaters, Johnson pulled down a collegiate-best 10 boards.
The Numbers Game...3: Freshman forward Michelle Berry has recorded a double-double in each of her last three games.
CSUN (3-16, 1-4 Big West)
For Openers: CSUN played two close Big West contests last week, losing to Cal Poly on the road in overtime, 66-62, and defeating Hawai’i at home for its first league win of the season, 63-60. The Matadors will have another split week, traveling to UC Irvine before hosting Cal State Fullerton.
Cole World: Junior Emily Cole has picked it up offensively over her last three games, averaging 10.3 points and connecting on 38.4% (5-13) of her three-pointers. All three of those games have featured Cole in a starting role.
Double-Double Supreme: Freshman Channon Fluker recorded back-to-back double doubles last week, one of which included a career-best 31-point outing. Over five conference games, Fluker is averaging 13.0 points and 9.6 rebounds in just 22.6 minutes per game.
The Numbers Game...2: Fluker is one of two freshman (CSF’s Michelle Berry) to earn league Player of the Week honors this season.
LONG BEACH STATE (14-5, 3-2 Big West)
For Openers: Long Beach State picked up a win in its only game of the week, a 62-57 final over rival Cal State Fullerton. The Beach will play a pair of conference games this week, visiting UC Davis followed by a home date against Cal Poly.
Slump Busted: Junior guard Raven Benton broke out of a shooting slump against the Titans. Benton scored 22 points on 8-of-12 from the floor and added a 2-for-4 showing from the three-point line. In her previous two games, Benton was a combined 2-of-19 and 0-of-3 from downtown.
Not As Many But Enough: The first time 49ers played the Titans, LBSU hit a school and conference record 20 three-pointers. This time around the Beach connected on “just” nine triples.
The Numbers Game...60: The 49ers lead the league and rank 60th in the NCAA in points allowed per game at 57.8.
UC DAVIS (11-7, 4-1 Big West)
For Openers: UC Davis split its Central Coast road trip last week, losing to UC Santa Barbara, 66-59, and defeating Cal Poly, 75-57. The Aggies will return home this week to take on Long Beach State and UCSB.
The First One Is Hardest: Sophomore Pele Gianotti picked up a double-double against the Gauchos, picking up 19 points and 10 rebounds. The double was the first of her career while her rebound total tied her personal best.
On Both Ends: UCD gets it done at both ends as the club is second in the league in field goal percentage (43.9) and second in field goal percentage defense (36.3). Both numbers are in the top 50 nationally (41st, 45th).
The Numbers Game...12: Freshman forward Morgan Bertsch is 12th in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 58.1%.
UC IRVINE (4-16, 1-5 Big West)
For Openers: UC Irvine split a pair of games last week, losing at home against Hawai’i, 83-65, then defeating Cal State Fullerton on the road, 62-58. UCI will have another split week as it hosts CSUN then heads to the islands to take on UH.
Not In This House: Junior forward Mokun Fajemisin is averaging 2.1 blocks per game but has been even better over the last five games. She is averaging 3.0 blocks over that time frame, recording at least two blocks in all five contests.
Consistency Is Key: Junior forward Shereen Sutherland has been a consistent offensive force for UCI over her last three contests. She has recorded 16, 15 and 12 points and pulled down eight, five and six rebounds. Sutherland’s averages of 14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds over the past three are major bumps from her season averages of 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds.
The Numbers Game...20: Senior guard Raelyn Cheung-Sutton has hit 20 consecutive free throws.
UC RIVERSIDE (12-7, 5-0 Big West)
For Openers: UC Riverside won its only game of the week, a 92-81 victory over UC Santa Barbara. UCR has another single game week coming up, as it hosts Cal Poly live on ESPN3.
Double (Almost Triple) Double...Again: Junior forward Réjane Verin is the latest Highlander to nearly put up a triple-double as she recorded 25 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists against the Gauchos.
Crain Inching Closer: Crain is inching closer to rarified air in the Big West record books. Crain has 1,975 points over her career, putting her just 25 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...5: UC Riverside has won its first five games in Big West for the first time as a member of the Big West.
UC SANTA BARBARA (7-13, 4-2 Big West)
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara picked up a key split of Big West games last week, defeating UC Davis at home, 66-59, and losing to UC Riverside on the road, 92-81. UCSB has a single game this week, another contest against second place UCD.
Knowing The Roper: Sophomore Makala Roper scored 26 points in the win over the Aggies, making six of her 13 three-point attempts and 9-of-21 shots overall. It was her fourth 20-point game of the season and just one off her season-high.
Upping The Offense: The Gauchos’ strong start to conference play has been helped by an emerging offense. The club averages 68.0 points per game against Big West foes, shooting 45.8% from the floor and 35.5% from three-point land. Overall UCSB is averaging 61.2 points on 41.0% from the floor and 30.5% from deep.
The Numbers Game...6.7: Junior Onome Jemerigbe is second in Big West play with 6.7 assists per game.
HAWAI'I (10-9, 3-3 Big West)
For Openers: Hawai’i went 1-1 on the mainland last week, defeating UC Irvine on the road, 83-65, and losing at CSUN, 63-60. UH will return back home for two contests this week, taking on Cal State Fullerton and UCI.
Dominating The Boards: The Rainbow Wahine are known as one of the top rebounding teams in the country and that was on full display against the Anteaters. The ‘Bows outrebounded UC Irvine 52-27, including a 19-9 edge on the offensive glass.
Reversal Of Fortune: Hawai’i is usually untouchable at home but this season has been difficult at the Stan Sheriff Center. UH is only 3-5 at home but has been a road tested squad with a 7-2 mark in true road games.
The Numbers Game...26.5: Teams find it difficult to shoot from three-point land against the ‘Bows, connecting on just 26.5% of attempts from deep.