UCI In Front As Calendar Flips To December
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 5
The league's top club UC Irvine looks to continue its record-setting start with a lone contest this week at home against San Diego State. At 7-0, the Anteaters are the lone unbeaten club in the league and have set a program record for consecutive wins to start a season.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Big West Celebrates 50/35
The 2018-19 season marks the 50th anniversary for men’s sports in the Big West Conference, and the 35th for women’s. All season long, the Big West Conference will celebrate the history of all conference sports. Join us as we pay homage to the student-athletes, coaches, staffs, communities and fans who have helped pave the way.
• Last week UC Davis’ Morgan Bertsch cracked into the top 10 in Big West career scoring. The player she supplanted was former Cal State Fullerton great Toni Thomas, who wore a Titan uniform from 2005-09. Thomas is the second all-time leading scorer in CSF history and also ranks in the top five in program history in field goals made (615), field goal attempts (1,357), free throws made (494), free throw attempts (606) and free throw percentage (.815).
• UC Irvine’s 7-0 start gives the program 382 wins as a member of the conference. 16 more wins would make the Anteaters just the third program all-time to reach 400 wins. The all-time leader in that category is UC Santa Barbara with 605 wins and counting.
CSUN senior Channon Fluker dominated in the win over Santa Clara last week, posting 27 points, 20 rebounds, three blocks and two assists in 34 minutes. The center grabbed 20 rebounds for the sixth time in her career and collected her 61st career double-double. Fluker also has 221 career blocks which is five shy of tying for 10th on the all-time Big West list.
Titan In the Middle
Cal State Fullerton center Daeja Smith is off to a strong start in the middle for the 4-4 Titans. The senior is one of two players averaging a double-double this season, putting up 15.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. She is shooting a career-best 54.4% from the floor and is blocking 1.6 shots per outing. Smith is ticking up the Titan career lists as she is just 71 points away from 1,000 and 19 rebounds shy of 700.
When we last saw UC Riverside, it lost a tight game to Milwaukee on November 24th at the Saint Mary’s Classic in Moraga. The Highlanders will return to action Thursday for a “road” game against cross town opponent Cal Baptist, but then won’t play again until December 14. That will be the start of six games in 17 days for the Highlanders, leading them to the start of conference play January 5 at home against UC Davis.
Bertsch & Eaton Alone At The Top
Last weekend two significant milestones were reached by UC Davis players. First, senior forward Morgan Bertsch recorded 21 points in the win over Nevada to become the all-time scoring leader in UCD men’s or women’s basketball. She now has 1,844 points and counting with a long way to go in her final campaign. Two days later, senior guard Kourtney Eaton recorded five assists to give her a program record 450 for her career. The player who Eaton at the top of the assists ledger? Her head coach Jennifer Gross whose record had stood since 1997.
ON THE WAY TO 2K
Here’s a look where UC Davis’ Morgan Bertsch and CSUN’s Channon Fluker stand on the league’s all-time scoring list, and who they will pass, on their way to 2,000 points.
Player, Team Years Games PPG Points
8. Kristina Santiago, Cal Poly 2007-10, 2012 121 15.9 1,953
9. Julie Szukalski, Pacific 1986-90 108 17.8 1,927
10. Morgan Bertsch, UC Davis 2015-pres. 108 17.1 1,844
11. Toni Thomas, Cal State Fullerton 2005-09 127 14.1 1,786
12. Cindy Brown, Long Beach State 1985-87 68 26.2 1,779
13. Yvette Roberts, Fresno State 1986-89 113 15.7 1,778
14. Lindsay Taylor, UC Santa Barbara 2000-04 121 14.6 1,767
15. Ashlee Guay, CSUN 2011-15 129 13.7 1,761
16. Channon Fluker, CSUN 2015-pres. 103 17.0 1,749
17. Megan Richardson, Cal State Fullerton 2008-12 122 14.2 1,742
18. Shayla Bradshaw, Cal State Fullerton 1992-96 109 15.9 1,734
19. Kristi Rohr, UC Santa Barbara 1996-00 125 13.8 1,720
20. Kristen Mann, UC Santa Barbara 2001-05 115 14.8 1,700
FLUKER, SMITH LAND ON LISA LESLIE WATCH LIST
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced the watch list for the 2019 Lisa Leslie award and two Big West players appeared on the 20-player watch list. Cal State Fullerton’s Daeja Smith and CSUN’s Channon Fluker earned their way onto the list recognizing the top center in Division I women’s basketball. The Lisa Leslie Award selection award committee is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Leslie and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalist at www.hoophallawards.com. The winner of the award will be announced on an ESPN platform during the 2019 Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Fla.
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