Aggies, Gauchos Look To Extend 2-0 Starts
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 10
UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara came away unscathed after the first weekend of conference play, as each club sports a 2-0 mark against league foes. The duo has a difficult weekend ahead as the Aggies host UC Riverside while UCSB visits CSUN and resurgent UC Irvine.
WEEKLY PRIMER (Saturday, January 13)
Cal State Fullerton (7-9, 2-1 Big West) at UC Riverside (4-13, 1-2 Big West)
The Titans have as many wins in conference play this season as their last two seasons combined. The Highlanders have not lost to CSF at home since January 9, 2014 and have won four in a row overall in the series.
CSUN (8-8, 1-1 Big West) at Cal Poly (7-7, 1-1 Big West)
The Matadors' Tessa Boagni has been the story of late, averaging 30.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg, while the Mustangs' Dynn Leaupepe has been her equal with 31.7 ppg and a 23-for-27 (85.2%) showing from the foul line over her last three outings.
UC Santa Barbara (6-9, 3-0 Big West) at UC Irvine (9-7, 1-1 Big West)
Tha Gauchos are looking for their first 4-0 start to league play since 2009. The Anteaters are one of the hottest teams in the league, winners of seven of their last nine.
Long Beach State (2-15, 0-3 Big West) at Hawai'i (7-9, 0-3 Big West)
The all-time series is just about dead even between the two with the 'Bows holding a slight 18-17 lead. The clubs split their series a year ago.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
MUSTANGS SCORE IT BETTER
Cal Poly’s Dynn Leaupepe etched her name in program lore with a 40-point output in the win over UC Riverside last week. It was the first 40-point game in the Big West since former Mustang great Kristina Santiago dropped 44 on December 21, 2011. It also marks just the second 40-point effort by a Big West player this decade, both by Cal Poly players.
AND TESSA SHALL LEAD THEM
CSUN opened its conference season without defending Big West Player of the Year Channon Fluker, but it still had Tessa Boagni. The senior forward seized on the opportunity, scoring a career-high 36 points to go along with 10 rebounds, two blocks, two assists and a 14-of-16 performance at the foul line. The free throw makes and attempts were also personal bests.
THE GAME IS ABOUT BUCKETS
UC Davis’ Morgan Bertsch is truly filling it up on the offensive end. Bertsch averages a league-best 20.5 points per game which also is 26th in the NCAA. The junior forward is also fifth in the NCAA in field goals made (136), 36th in total points (307), 37th in field goal attempts (243) and 41st in field goal percentage (56.0).
SEE THE THREE...YOU KNOW THE REST
Hannah Thompson has gotten the green light from three-point land in her freshman year and she has taken full advantage. The guard leads the league in three pointers made (36) and is 10th in three-point percentage (39.6). Thompson has hit at least four threes on five occasions and has at least one bucket from deep in 14 of her 15 outings.
HERE COME THE GAUCHOS
UC Santa Barbara has turned it around after a rough start, winning four straight. The Gaucho offense has pushed it into gear during the recent run as the club has scored 70+ points in three of those four outings and hitting 41 shots from beyond the arc over the four-game run.
ON THE COURT AGAIN
UC Irvine guard Morgan Green hit the court for the Anteaters last week against UC Davis, scoring 12 points to go along with three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 37 minutes. It was the first action for Green since March 20, 2016. Back then, she played for the green of Michigan State, starting her final game for the Spartans in an NCAA Tournament second round matchup against Mississippi State.
GRAND STATUS 2017-18 EDITION
UC Davis junior Morgan Bertsch, CSUN junior Channon Fluker and UC Riverside senior Michelle Curry became the 138th,139th and 140th members of the Big West 1,000-point this season, as they all crossed the milestone during non-conference play.
Several players around the league are also approaching the 1,000-point milestone. UC Davis’ Pele Gianotti (979), Hawai’i’s Sarah Toeaina (923), Cal Poly’s Lynn Leaupepe (890), UC Davis’ Rachel Nagel (875), CSUN’s Tessa Boagni (796) and UC Davis’ Dani Nafekh (750) all have a chance to add the accomplishment this season.
FAST BREAK POINTS
7 - Double doubles by Cal State Fullerton's Daeja Smith, second-best in the Big West.
15 - Two-point shot attempts by Long Beach State's Jessica Gertz. She has 112 three-point attempts on the season.
37.5 - Points per game by Cal Poly's Dynn Leaupepe last week.
40.1 - Three-point percentage by UC Davis, tops in the Big West and 7th in the NCAA.
The Big West Tour sponsored Fox PrimeTicket, Smile Generation and GEICO returns for 2018, running January 10th through March 3rd. 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 Big West Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament returns to Honda Center for the 2018 season, the event's ninthth year at the Anaheim-based arena. The tournament runs March 8-10, with the women's first and second rounds March 6-7 at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym and the women's semifinals and finals at Honda Center March 9-10. The entire men's tournment will be played at Honda Center March 8-10. For more information on the 2018 Big West Tournament please visit: www.bigwesttournament.com.
FOLLOW ALONG ALL SEASON