UC Santa Barbara Seeks To Continue Hot Start
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 12
A four-game win streak has catapulted UC Santa Barbara into a three-way tie for first place after three weeks of conference play. The Gauchos are on the road this week, looking for its best conference start since the 2008-09 season. There will also be big games for the other co-leaders as UC Riverside visits UC Davis and Long Beach State.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
GAUCHOS RACE TO THE TOP
UC Santa Barbara started out conference play with a loss to Cal Poly, but the team has rallied for four straight wins since then. UCSB’s run has taken them into a three-way tie for first in the league and marks the second consecutive 4-1 start to Big West play in the Bonnie Henrickson era. Defense has been the key as no Gaucho opponent has put up more than 62 points in the four-game run, two of which scored 54 or less.
FROM LA TO SB
Speaking of improvement, the play of junior transfer Drew Edelman in the post has sparked UC Santa Barbara during the win streak. Edelman is averaging 14.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and is shooting 68.4% (26-38) in 36.5 minutes over the last four contests.
BACK TO FORM
UC Riverside junior Michelle Curry struggled with injury and inconsistency over the last month, but showed she may be back to her usual form against Cal State Fullerton. Curry put up 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 22 minutes. It marked her first double figure scoring game since December 17 and first game with at least 10 points, five rebounds and three assists since November 29.
‘BOWS BREAK OUT
Hawai’i had it rolling in the road win over Cal Poly last weekend, putting up a season-high 87 points. The game marked the second time this season the ‘Bows went over the 80-point mark and the first time against a Division I opponent. Two players either matched or produced their career-high point total as the club produced season-highs in field goal shooting (.569) and assists (16).
A JEWEL(YN) FOR THE BEACH
Long Beach State senior guard/forward has turned heads as arguably the 49ers’ most indispensible player. The reigning Big West Defensive Player of the Year is averaging 10.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 25.4 minutes of play. Sawyer also has three double-doubles on the season, the most on the team and tied for sixth-most in the Big West.
TAKE THE FREEBIES
For the second time in 10 days, Cal Poly junior guard Dynn Leaupepe hit double-digit free throws without a miss. Leaupepe went 10-fo-10 against CSUN, upping her season percentage to a Big West high 91.4%. That figure also ranks 11th in the NCAA.
PROTECT THE PAINT
UC Davis sophomore forward Morgan Bertsch has been a shot eliminator in year two, ranking second in the Big West with 1.9 blocks per game. Her 36 blocks tie her total from last season and puts her in a tie for eighth in the single season Aggie record book.
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 (964) and Cal Poly senior Hannah Gilbert (993) should reach the list by season’s end. A player to keep an eye on is UC Riverside senior Réjane Verin (852) as she put up 544 points last year, her first with UCR after transferring from UNLV.
12 - Double-doubles by CSUN's Channon Fluker, the most in the Big West.
19 - Consecutive free throws made by Cal Poly's Dynn Leaupepe.
53 - Three-pointers made UC Irvine's Andee Ritter, tops in the Big West.
74.2 - Cal Poly scoring average in conference play, best in the Big West.
194 - Wins at UC Riverside by head coach John Margaritis. He is six away from becoming the fourth coach with 200 wins in the Big West.
Follow Along All Season
Big West Rise Up Tour Continues At UC Irvine
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 next stop is UC Irvine on Jan. 19 and 21. 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.