Conference Play Commences Thursday For Women's Hoops
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 9
Thursday marks the start for the chase to the title as conference begins with four matchups. Defending Tournament champion Hawai'i heads to the mainland for games against Long Beach State and UC Davis, while defending regular season champion UC Riverside hosts UC Irvine looking to run its winning streak in Big West play to 17.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
ESPN3 SCHEDULE RELEASED
Women’s hoops hits the airwaves on ESPN3 beginning on January 12 with the Cal Poly at UC Riverside game at 5:00 pm. The Highlanders, the defending regular season champions, also will have their matchup against Cal State Fullerton on January 21 and against defending Tournament champion Hawai’i on Feburary 2 broadcast on ESPN3. Cal Poly will also have another scheduled ESPN3 date, as the Mustangs travel to Cal State Fullerton for a matchup on February 11.
Games also dot the landscape with the “Wild Card” format on February 4, February 18, February 25 and March 4. The selected games will be announced at a minimum of two weeks prior to tip.
ESPN3 will also broadcast the first three rounds of the 2017 Big West Tournament at Walter Pyramid on the campus of Long Beach State. Action begins with two first round matchups on March 7 and two more games the following day in the quarterfinal round. The tourney then shifts to Honda Center for semifinal showdowns on March 10.
‘EATERS PUT UP 92
UC Irvine found itself down by one at the half to Concordia last week, but the Anteaters made up for it with a program record 40-point third quarter on its way to a 92-point outing in victory. The 40-point third period was the most by a team in the Big West this season, while the 92 points marked the 15th time in team history that the club reached the 90-point plateau.
UC Davis leads all Big West teams in the RPI rankings heading into conference play, checking in at 61. Preseason favorite Long Beach State comes in at 67, while defending regular season champion UC Riverside (138) and CSUN (143) give the conference four clubs in the top 150.
THE BEACH D
Teams are shooting 43.2% against Long Beach State this season, but the club is still making life difficult on the offensive end for its foes. LBSU ranks 17th in the NCAA in steals (159), 20th in turnovers forced per game (21.8) and 43rd in steals per game (10.6).
UC Davis enters conference play as one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country. The Aggies rank 33rd in the NCAA in field goal shooting (45.5), 13th in free throw shooting (77.9) and 46th in three-point shooting (36.2). In addition to leading the Big West in all of those categories, UCD also has the league’s top scoring offense (72.2) and scoring margin (5.5).
CSUN owns a 5-2 record in road games, the most wins and best winning percentage of road contests in the Big West. The club has won four of its last five games as a visitor and faces a stretch of three of its first four conference games away from the Matadome.
UC Riverside senior Simone DeCoud became the 130th member of the Big West 1,000-point club this season, reaching the milestone in a home win over Grand Canyon.
Three more players could join DeCoud as Long Beach State senior Anna Kim (903) and Cal Poly senior Hannah Gilbert (907) should reach the list by season’s end. A player to keep an eye on is UC Riverside senior Réjane Verin (754) as she put up 544 points last year, her first with UCR after transferring from UNLV.
2.6 - Threes per game by UC Irvine's Andee Ritter. Tops in the Big West and on pace to set an 'Eaters single season record.
8 - The number of double-doubles by CSUN's Channon Fluker. It leads the Big West and is eighth in the NCAA.
9 - Wins by UC Davis and Long Beach State, tops in the league.
The Twin Takeover is on Big West snapchat! Follow along with Hawai'i as Leah and Lahni Salanoa chronicle the Bows' conference opening road trip.
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Big West Rise Up Tour Begins On Jan. 12
The Big West Tour sponsored by Fox PrimeTicket and Coors Light returns for 2017, running January 12th through March 2nd. Over the course of the Tour, Big West representatives will make stops at the eight Big West campuses in California, giving fans opportunities to win prizes from the Big West spin wheel. The first stop is UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 12. The Big West Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament returns to Honda Center for the 2017 season, the event's 8th year at the Anaheim-based arena. The tournament runs March 9-11, with the women's first and second rounds March 7-8 at Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid and the women's semifinals and finals at Honda Center March 10-11. The entire men's tournament will be played at Honda Center March 9-11.