Key Matchups Abound As Countdown To Tourney Continues
Links associated with this release:
This Week In The Big West
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 15
A week of important matchups are on the women's hoops docket as the clubs jocket for seeding at next month's Big West Tournament. UC Riverside (10-0) is still unbeaten but faces a key week against Long Beach State and UC Davis.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
CAL POLY (11-13, 4-7 Big West)
For Openers: Cal Poly went 0-2 last week, falling to UC Davis on the road, 82-71, and falling to UC Riverside at home, 75-62. The Mustangs will hope to rebound on the road this week, traveling to Cal State Fullerton and CSUN. The matchup against CSUN will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
Wecome Back: After missing a couple games due to injury, senior guard Lisa Marie Sanchez returned to the lineup last weekend. Sanchez immediately picked up where she left off with 21 points against the Aggies and seven points and seven assists against the Highlanders.
Gobbling Up Boards: Junior forward Hannah Gilbert pulled down 17 rebounds against UCD, the fourth time this season she has recorded at least 15 rebounds in a game. Gilbert owns three of the top five highest rebound totals by a player in the Big West this season.
The Numbers Game...37.1: The Mustangs are third in the Big West in opponents’ field goal shooting at 37.1%.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (2-23, 0-11 Big West)
For Openers: Cal State Fullerton fell in its two Big West games last week, losing to UC Riverside at home, 90-43, and UC Davis on the road, 80-56. This week the Titans will have another split week as they host Cal Poly and visit UC Irvine.
First One Is The Toughest: Freshman guard Jade Vega recorded 20 points off the bench against the Aggies, the first 20-point game of her young career. It was her first double digit scoring game since January 23.
Berry’s Doubles: Freshman forward Michelle Berry recorded her league-leading 10th double-double against UCD, putting up 15 points and 11 rebounds. Berry (14.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg) is one of two players that is currently averaging a double-double in Big West play.
The Numbers Game...114: The Titans have attempted 114 more three-pointers than free throws this season, the largest gap between the two in the Big West.
CSUN (6-18, 4-6 Big West)
For Openers: CSUN made the most of its lone game last week, defeating UC Irvine at home, 62-48. The Matadors will have a pair of contests this week, a road game against UC Santa Barbara and a home contest against Cal Poly live on ESPN3.
Determined To Rebound: Junior guard Emily Cole is more known for her offensive game, but it was her offensive rebounding that impacted the win over UCI. Cole pulled down seven offensive rebounds on her way to a career-best 10 boards.
Out Of The Slump: Sophomore guard Serafina Maulupe broke out of a three-point shooting slump with a 5-for-11 effort from deep against UCI. Maulupe had a combined five threes over her previous seven contests, while her five treys are also a career-high.
The Numbers Game...7: Freshman center Channon Fluker has recorded seven straight double-doubles.
LONG BEACH STATE (18-6, 7-3 Big West)
For Openers: Long Beach State split its Big West schedule last week, losing at Hawai’i, 60-42, and defeating UC Santa Barbara at home, 60-52. The 49ers will hit the road this week for a pair of games, facing off against UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara.
Offensive Struggle: Against the Rainbow Wahine, LBSU failed to score 50 points for just the second time this season on its way to a season-low 42 points. The club also failed to record a double-digit scorer for just the second time this season.
Moving Up The Charts: Junior guard Raven Benton is making her way up the 49er career charts, ranking seventh in free throws made (304) and ist just 38 points shy of 1,000 for her career. Benton would be the 24th player in program history to reach that mark.
The Numbers Game...2: The Beach is two wins away from 20 on the season. It would mark the first back-to-back 20 win seasons for the program since 1990-91 and 1991-92.
UC DAVIS (15-9, 8-3 Big West)
For Openers: UC Davis ran its win streak to three with a pair of home wins last week. UCD topped Cal Poly, 82-71, and Cal State Fullerton, 80-56. This week the Aggies hit the road for a key matchup with Hawai’i, then return home for a date with league-leading UC Riverside.
Nagel Leads Them: Sophomore guard Rachel Nagel was an offensive force of the bench for UCD in both contests. Nagel put up 19 points against the Mustangs, then tied a career-high with 20 points against the Titans. She also connected on a personal best six three-pointers against CSF.
Tough To Stop: UC Davis is one of the top shooting teams in the Big West in all facets. The team is one of two clubs that rank in the top three in field goal shooting (2nd - 44.5), three-point shooting (2nd - 35.2) and free throw shooting (3rd - 70.7).
The Numbers Game...1: One more win and the Aggies have their highest total since the 2011-12 campaign (17).
UC IRVINE (4-21, 1-10 Big West)
For Openers: UC Irvine fell in a pair of games last week, losing to UC Santa Barbara at home, 80-62, and CSUN on the road, 62-48. The Anteaters have a single game this week, taking on Cal State Fullerton at home Saturday.
Highly Efficient: Freshman forward Arianna Knox only played nine minutes against UCSB, but made the most of her time with 10 points. Knox played all of her minutes and scored all of her points in the fourth quarter.
Tayla Day In The Dome: Freshman forward Tayla Jackson was pressed into starter’s duty against the Matadors and responded with a career-best effort. Jackson recorded 17 points in 34 minutes, both easily the top showings of her rookie season.
The Numbers Game...1.000: Senior guard Raelyn Cheung-Sutton is perfect during conference play from the free throw line, going 23-for-23.
UC RIVERSIDE (17-7, 10-0 Big West)
For Openers: UC Riverside moved to 10-0 in conference play thanks to a couple of road wins last week. UCR defeated Cal State Fullerton, 90-43, and Cal Poly, 75-62. This week the Highlanders will return home for a matchup against Long Beach State before traveling to UC Davis over the weekend.
Career-Best: Senior guard Brittany Crain added to her legend against CSF, putting up a career-high 39 points. Crain shot 15-for-26 from the floor, 7-of-10 from the three-point land and 2-for-2 from the free throw line while playing all 40 minutes.
Sweet Simone: Junior guard Simone DeCoud upper her offense against the Mustangs, scoring a personal-high 24 points in 39 minutes. DeCoud shot an efficient 10-of-13 from the floor and added three steals in the win.
The Numbers Game...3: The Highlanders have shot 50.0% or better from the floor in each of their last three games.
UC SANTA BARBARA (9-16, 6-5 Big West)
For Openers: UC Santa Barbara went 1-1 on the road last week, defeating UC Irvine, 80-62, and losing to Long Beach State, 60-52. UCSB returns to the Thunderdome this week, taking on CSUN and the 49ers.
Not One But Two: Junior guard Onome Jemerigbe and junior center Je Zhé Newton both collected career-best scoring efforts against the Anteaters. Jemerigbe scored 20 points, while Newton added 16 to pace the Gauchos to the win.
Turning The Tide On D: UCSB is allowing just 64.6 points per game in conference play, fourth-best in the league. The Gauchos have been even better in February, allowing just 58.5 points per contest in four games this month.
The Numbers Game...10: UC Santa Barbara has recorded double-digit steals in 10 of its games this season.
HAWAI'I (15-9, 8-3 Big West)
For Openers: Hawai’i picked up a win over Long Beach State at home last week by a 60-42 score. UH, winners of five in a row, have another one game week as it hosts UC Davis Thursday.
Huff’s Paint: Sophomore center Megan Huff recorded a career night against the 49ers, putting up personal bests in points (18) and rebounds (16).
About That Defense: The ‘Bows completely stifled the LBSU offense, holding the team to 42 points, 25.4% from the floor and 17.6% from three-point land. The point total was one off a season-low for a UH opponent.
The Numbers Game...11.5: Hawai’i leads the Big West in rebounding margin at +10.2, but have been even better in conference play at +11.5. The Rainbow Wahine are one of four teams with a positive differential in conference play and the only one in double digits.