UC Davis Hosts Key Big West Foes UCSB, Cal Poly

Lauren Juric averaged 13.5 ppg against UCSB last year. <br> (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 
Lauren Juric averaged 13.5 ppg against UCSB last year.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

Jan. 6, 2010

Complete UC Davis game notes in PDF Format (Updated Jan. 8) Get Acrobat Reader

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Game 15
UC Santa Barbara (4-9, 1-0) at UC Davis (8-6, 1-1)
Jan. 7, 7 p.m. • The Pavilion (6,100) • KDVS (90.3 FM) • www.ucdavisaggies.com

Game 16
Cal Poly (8-4, 1-0 entering week) at UC Davis
Jan. 9, 7 p.m. • 7 p.m. • The Pavilion (6,100) • KDVS (90.3 FM) • www.ucdavisaggies.com

OPENING TIPS
The two teams picked to finish first and second, respectively, in the Big West Conference clash for the initial time this season when preseason favorite and defending league champion UC Santa Barbara visits The Pavilion to face UC Davis in the first of two key early season league games for UC Davis... The Aggies will host Cal Poly on Saturday, a matchup featuring the only two Big West teams with overall winning records... UC Davis is coming off a 26-point victory against Cal State Northridge on Monday, its widest winning margin since beating UC Irvine 56-24 last February 12... Its 82 points are the most since an 86-66 victory over Cal State Northridge in the conference-opener last year, a victory which delivered head coach Sandy Simpson his 200th career win... The Aggies made 30 of 37 free throws at Northridge, their highest totals since making 30 against Cal State Fullerton in 2005 and trying 37 against UC Irvine in 2006.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. UC SANTA BARBARA & CAL POLY
The Gauchos lead the Aggies 10-3 in the all-time series and are currently on a three-game winning streak over UC Davis... The most recent surge began in the 2008 Big West Tournament Championship (81-60) and included a 64-51 home win last year followed by a 69-50 victory at The Pavilion later... W Lauren Juric led UC Davis in scoring in both matchups, scoring 15 in the first and 12 points in the latter... UCSB outscored the Aggies 43-25 in the second half of the Gauchos' road win, breaking open a 1-point lead at halftime... UC Davis holds a 19-16 advantage over Cal Poly in their all-time series but the Mustangs have won the past two... The Mustangs slipped by the Aggies 64-60 at Mott Gym in last year's first game - despite 22 points from UC Davis' P Paige Mintun - before posting a 62-47 victory at The Pavilion later in the season... W Kasey Riecks had 16 points in the second matchup.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE GAUCHOS 
UCSB, which has won the BWC Tourney 11 times since 1997, opened its league season with a 54-48 home win over UC Irvine on Saturday, snapping a four-game losing streak... The Gauchos began the year 0-4 before rattling off three wins in four games... Like the Aggies, UCSB features a tough defense which is second in the Big West (62.1) in points allowed and first in field goal percentage defense (.364)... The Gauchos are also second in the league in rebounding (39.0) and first in rebounding margin (+1.5)... They are paced in scoring by EMILIE JOHNSON (12.7) and Wake Forest transfer MEKIA VALENTINE (12.7)... Valentine has been a force inside, blocking 55 shots to rank third nationally, including 11 against UC Irvine... Valentine also leads the league in rebounding (7.3)... Johnson has a team-best 21 three-pointers for UCSB which is shooting just 23.3% from beyond the arc... The Gauchos are scoring 55.8 ppg.

A QUICK LOOK AT THE MUSTANGS
Cal Poly, which lost to UCSB in last year's Big West title game, enters the week with a three-game winning streak which includes a 73-61 home victory on Monday night in its league-opener against UC Irvine... Preseason All-Big West Conference pick KRISTINA SANTIAGO has led the Mustangs in scoring and rebounding so far, averaging a Big West-best 18.2 ppg and 6.9 rpg. which ranks third... RACHEL CLANCY (11.1) and BECKY TRATTER (10.2) are also scoring well for the Mustangs who lead the league in scoring (70.5) and scoring margin (+4.0)... Cal Poly also paces the Big West in field goal percentage (.442), rebounding (39.2) and assists (16.8)... CHRISTINE MARTIN, who has made half of her 20 three-point attempts, is tops among individuals in percentage from beyond the arc (.500)... Both the Aggies and Mustangs own wins this season over San Francisco, Santa Clara and Seattle.

LAST GAME: UC DAVIS 82, CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE 56
P Paige Mintun scored 19 points and W Heidi Heintz tallied 13 on Monday as UC Davis evened its Big West Conference record with a convincing win over Cal State Northridge at The Matadome... The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Aggies... UC Davis, which gained a weekend split of its conference-openers after losing at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, received scoring from all 12 players in uniform.. W Vicky Deely scored all eight of her points from the free throw line, while W Lauren Juric and W Cortney French each had three-pointers and finished with seven points... The Aggies also bounced back well at the charity stripe, canning 30 of 37 attempts, after making an uncharacteristic 9 of 18 against the Titans... After trailing briefly in the early minutes, UC Davis used a 15-2 run to open a 10-point lead and then later answered a Matador rally that saw them get to within 21-18, by using a 17-2 surge over the final six minutes for a 38-20 halftime lead... Two free throws from Heintz four minutes into the second half gave UC Davis its second 20-point lead after intermission, but Northridge rallied, getting to within 53-43 midway after  KATRINA Thompson hit a three. P Lisa Peterson, though, hit a trey from the corner, French followed with one from the right wing and Mintun scored on a layup as the Aggies opened the lead to 61-43 with 6:57 left.

AGGIES POST REBOUNDING ADVANTAGE
UC Davis outrebounded Cal State Northridge 42-35 on Monday night, marking just the second time the Aggies have outboarded an opponent this year... They also did so against Santa Clara while tying Seattle in the opener... They've won all three games in which they have at least equaled the opposition... For the season, UC Davis ninth in the Big West in rebounding (31.9) and margin (-6.1) but is second in rebounds allowed (38.0).

MINTUN ANNOUNCES RETURN IN BIG WAY
P Paige Mintun missed four games with a foot injury before coming off the bench at Cal State Fullerton last Saturday, scoring 11 points... But, she put an emphatic mark on her return with a 19-point effort - her second of the year - against Northridge on Monday, adding a team-high tying seven rebounds along with four steals... She missed seven games in 2007-08 but in her first game back that time, went for 12 points and five rebounds at Cal Sate Fullerton.

ATOP THE BIG WEST
The Aggies lead the conference in four statistical categories: scoring defense (60.4), free throws (.747), steals (11.2) and turnover margin (+4.0)... UC Davis is the only team averaging double-digits in steals... The Aggies are among the top half of Big West teams in 13 categories overall.

FRENCH TORCHES KANSAS STATE FROM THREE
W Cortney French has been one of the Aggies' long-range threats during her brief career and she proved it against Kansas State on Dec. 29, canning a career-high five three-pointers (5 of 8 overall)... She had hit four in a game three times including earlier this year against San Francisco... French is hitting 40.4% for the year, ranking fourth among all conference players... Her 21 treys lead teammate W Kasey Riecks by three who had five in the opener at Seattle.

AGGIES CONTINUE TO LEAD LEAGUE IN SCORING DEFENSE
The Aggies are the top conference team in scoring defense, giving up an average of just 60.4 ppg., 3.7 ppg better than second-place UC Santa Barbara (62.1)... They've held eight opponents to less than 60 points and are 7-1 in those matchups, the exception coming when Seton Hall was able to break the string in its 58-54 win on Dec. 21.. Kansas State was only the second opponent to surpass 70 points against UC Davis, scoring 73; a total which pushed the Aggies' defensive average above 60 ppg. for the first time this year.

HEINTZ NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
W Heidi Heintz, who averaged 13.3 points and was nearly perfect from the line during UC Davis' first three wins in early December, was named the Big West Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week on Dec. 7... Heintz had a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds in UC Davis' 71-59 win at Saint Mary's on Dec. 1, followed with 12 points and a game-best seven boards in the Aggies' 74-56 victory at Santa Clara on Dec. 3, then scored 13 points during a 64-57 win over visiting Denver on Dec. 5... Heintz, who transferred to UC Davis from the University of San Francisco, shot 57.1 percent from the field and 93.8 percent (15 of 16) from the line... She is the Aggies' first Big West weekly honoree of the season.

DONAGHE GETS EXTRA YEAR 
W Haylee Donaghe was granted a clock extension in October 2008 by the NCAA due to injuries earlier in her Aggie career... That gave her two years of eligibility at the time but, unfortunately, a knee injury suffered at South Dakota State last December cut short one of those seasons... Donaghe completed her undergraduate degree in exercise biology in June 2008 and is currently enrolled in graduate studies at UC Davis, expecting to graduate with her master's degree in exercise biology next spring... Donaghe needs 204 points to become the 14th player in school history to surpass 1,000 for her career.

SIMPSON BECOMES ALL-TIME WINS LEADER
With a 53-50 win at Cal State Northridge last Mar. 4, Head coach Sandy Simpson became the all-times win leader at UC Davis with 206... He owns a career mark in 13 seasons of 214-139 (.607)... He picked up his 200th career win on Jan. 4 with an 86-66 victory over visiting Cal State Northridge... Simpson surpassed former coach JORJA HOEHN (1988-95, 96-97) who amassed a 205-51 (.801) record during her impressive tenure... Simpson served as an assistant coach under Hoehn as well as mentor PAM GILL-FISHER (1975-79, 81-86, 87-88) who posted 164 career victories.

UC DAVIS SCORES BIG ON ALL-BIG WEST TEAMS
The Aggies were well-represented on the All-Big West Conference teams last year, despite finishing 7-9 in league and in fifth place... P Paige Mintun, who led the team in scoring (13.0 ppg), rebounding (6.4 rpg) and blocks (31), was named to the All-BWC first team... W Lauren Juric, who canned 35 three-pointers, was named the Big West Freshman of the Year... W Kasey Riecks, who started all 29 games, was selected to the All-Freshman team... She and Juric were also tabbed honorable mention all-league.

UC DAVIS TO BE TESTED WITH SCHEDULE 
The Aggies will face a 2009-10 schedule that features teams from the Big XII, Pac-10 and Big East conferences during a rugged nonconference slate... Among the teams they have faced or will face are preseason No. 2 Stanford (Nov. 22), NCAA Tournament team Kansas State (Dec. 29) and Women's National Invitational Tournament participant Creighton (Nov. 27)... The Aggies will also battle rival UC Santa Barbara twice during the league season... The Gauchos advanced to last year's NCAA postseason with the Big West's automatic berth... UC Riverside, another Big West foe, earned a spot in the WNIT.

LIVE STATS AND AUDIO AVAILABLE
Both of this weekend's games will feature free live stats and live audio... The features are available through the athletics website at www.ucdavisaggies.com.