Jan. 14, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. -
TIP-OFF: Coming off of a split of their Big West Conference opening weekend, the UC Davis women’s basketball team (6-9 overall, 1-1 in the Big West) hits the road for the first time in almost a month, heading to Southern California to take on UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. The Aggies and Highlanders will tip off on Thursday (Jan. 16) at 7 p.m. from the SRC Arena, two days before UC Davis tangles with the Titans on Saturday (Jan. 18) at 6 p.m. from Titan Gym.
IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton, nor UC Davis, are ranked in the national polls entering the week.
BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in UC Davis Athletics by “liking” us on Facebook (facebook.com/UCDavisAggies) and following us on Twitter (@UCDavisAggies). You can also “like” the women’s basketball program on Facebook by visiting facebook.com/UCDavisWomensBasketball as well as follow them on Twitter (@UCDavisWBB) and Instagram (instagram.com/ucdaviswomensbasketball). Game Day in-game updates are also available on Twitter by following us @UCDavisInGame.
“CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?”: Thanks to a partnership with Arizona-based Stretch Internet, live Internet audio will be available for both of this weeks contests, as well as broadcast locally on KDVS 90.3 FM with Greg Wong and Sammy Meckler on the call. Please visit the women’s basketball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com to access the links.
“YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE...”: Bringing together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West Conference’s nine member institutions, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews, and features, including every home and conference contest. Now in its 10th year, BigWest.TV will again air all of the Aggies home and conference clashes FOR FREE during the 2013-14 campaign. Log on to www.bigwest.org/thisweek for weekly schedules or visit the women’s basketball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats are available for all of UC Davis’ home games, as well as selected road contests, throughout the year. Follow along by accessing the links on the women’s basketball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com.
BIG WEST PARTNERSHIP FEATURES AGGIES: The Big West Conference announced on Nov. 19 that the Aggies’ contest at Long Beach State on Feb. 20 will be one of three women’s regular season games to be broadcast live on ESPN3 thanks to the league’s new partnership with the network. In addition to the Jan. 18 game featuring UC Riverside and Hawaii and the Feb. 22 contest between Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine, six of the women’s conference tournament games will be carried on ESPN3 leading up to the championship game, which will be shown on FOX Prime Ticket.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside enters the week with a 4-11 overall record and an 0-2 mark in Big West Conference play following opening weekend losses to Cal State Fullerton (82-78) and UC Irvine (90-78)... the Highlanders have lost their last eight-in-a-row dating back to an 85-66 win over Bakersfield on Dec. 3... Thursday’s contest will be only the fourth home game of the season for UC Riverside, which has lost two of three at the SRC Arena in 2013-14... high-powered sophomore scorer Brittany Crain paces the Highlanders offense, leading the Big West at 19.6 ppg while shooting just under 51 percent from the floor and averaging 6.4 rpg... Crain is one of four Riverside players in double figures, joined by Annelise Ito (12.3 ppg), Natasha Hadley (11.3 ppg), and Simone DeCoud (10.8 ppg) -- all three of whom are shooting better than 40 percent from the floor and averaging better than five rebounds per contest... as a team, the Highlanders are averaging 69.1 ppg and shooting .422 from the field while opponents are averaging 76.7 ppg and shooting .410 from the floor... UC Riverside leads the league in field goal percentage, blocks (69, 4.60 bpg), and assists (16.73 apg) entering the week.
THE SERIES: UC Davis leads the all-time series with UC Riverside, 28-19, dating back to 1971-72, but is just 8-7 against the Highlanders since joining the Big West as full-fledged Division I members in 2007-08... the Aggies have won the last five-consecutive meetings with Riverside, sweeping the regular season series in each of the last two years and eliminating the Highlanders in the semifinals of the 2011 Big West Conference Tournament en route to the title... UC Davis is 9-10 all-time on the road against UC Riverside (with the location of two games unknown) and has won its last two trips to the Inland Empire after losing five-in-a-row from 2006-11.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton enters the week with a 5-9 overall record and stand as one of two unbeatens in the league (Cal Poly at 2-0) following the opening weekend of play after a four-point win over UC Riverside... the Titans have won back-to-back games (and four of their last five) to ring in the New Year following a 1-8 start under first-year head coach Daron Park... Fullerton hosts UC Irvine on Thursday before welcoming the Aggies... junior guard Chante Miles enters the week averaging 15.2 ppg (good for ninth in the league) and 4.21 apg while shooting .424 from the field... junior forward Kathleen Iwuoha is the only other player in double figures, averaging 10.6 ppg and 7.0 rpg -- the latter good for a tie for fourth in the league -- while shooting .523 from the floor... the Titans rank near the bottom of the league offensively, averaging just 59.4 ppg (ninth in the Big West) and shooting .373 from the floor (eighth), but feature one of the league’s best scoring defenses, tied for the top spot with Hawaii by allowing just 65.5 ppg.
THE SERIES: The series between UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton is tied at nine wins apiece dating back to the 2004-05 season... the two programs have split the regular season series in each of the last five years dating back to the Aggies’ first Division I season in 2007-08 when UC Davis swept the series during its inaugural Big West season... the Aggies are 6-3 against the Titans in Fullerton, having won their last three trips to North Orange County dating back to a 68-57 loss in 2009-10... last season, UC Davis handed Cal State Fullerton an, 88-44, defeat at Titan Gym.
YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN: There’s no place like home, and it just may feel like that this weekend when a quintet Aggies “come home” to Southern California for UC Davis’ game against Cal State Fullerton. Alyson Doherty (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS), Molly Greubel (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill HS), Kelsey Harris (Brea, Calif./Brea-Olinda HS), Celia Marfone (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills HS), and Brianna Salvatore (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park HS), all prepped within a 25-mile radius of Fullerton.
WINDEX WOMEN: The Aggies have been dominant on the boards as of late, out-rebounding their opponents in three of the last four contests and having at least one player in double-digits on the glass in each of those four games. UC Davis is plus-20 on the boards since its Dec. 28 game against Sacramento State, including a season-high 15-rebound margin against Simpson University on Jan. 2.
GOOD TO SEE YA, CELIA!: For the first time since their Dec. 7 contest at Hofstra, the Aggies were at full strength on Saturday against Long Beach State, finally welcoming Celia Marfone back to the floor after the sophomore had missed the team’s previous six games due to injury. Marfone did not disappoint in her 2014 debut, either, finishing with seven points, five rebounds, and three steals, in 24 minutes off the bench, hitting 3-of-5 from the field and helping UC Davis sink Long Beach State for its first Big West win of the year.
SHE’S AT IT AGAIN: While her consecutive 20-point scoring games streak came to an end last week against Cal State Northridge, junior Sydnee Fipps has still found a way to get hers, averaging 19.9 ppg over her last seven contests since being held to single digits at Hofstra on Dec. 8. Fipps has reached double figures in all but two games in 2013-14 (the season opener against USC being the other) and has led the team in scoring in 11 of the team’s 15 contests thus far. Junior Kelsey Harris (three times) and sophomore Alyson Doherty (once) stand as the only other Aggies to lead the team in scoring this season.
FIPPS CLEANS UP WELL: When not putting the ball in the hoop, Fipps has been a force on the boards for UC Davis as well, cleaning the glass to the tune of 10.5 rpg (42 total) over her last four contests -- including double-digits in three of those games (Sacramento State, Simpson, and Long Beach State) en route to a team-best three double-doubles this season.
TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE: With Fipps’ double-double against Long Beach State, the Aggies have had a player collect a double-double in each of their last four contests and six times overall this season, improving to 3-3 in such games.
NOT HALF BAD: Saturday against Long Beach State marked the sixth time in 15 games this season that the Aggies have held a halftime lead, improving to 5-1 in those contests with their three-point win over the 49ers.
SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT COMBINATION: With senior Idit Oryon inserted into the starting lineup for the first time this season, the Aggies went to war with the 49ers with their sixth different starting lineup of the season and their third different lineup in their last three games.
DOHERTY DOIN’ WORK: Since returning to the lineup from an illness that kept her out for three weeks, sophomore Alyson Doherty has been a force inside for the Aggies, averaging 9.8 ppg while reaching double figures in each of her last three contests to go with 6.5 rpg and shooting 60 percent from the floor (18-for-30). With her 12-point, eight-rebound night against Long Beach State, Doherty has now reached double figures seven times this season.
SHE’S JUST ALY FROM THE BLOCK: With a career-high four blocks against Long Beach State on Saturday, Doherty upped her total to 17 blocks this season -- accounting for just over half of the Aggies’ 33 swats as a team and ranking her third in the Big West with 1.42 blocks per game. Doherty’s four blocks against the 49ers were the most since Lauren Juric knocked down four shots against Cal Poly on March 1, 2012. The sophomore, who had 27 blocks during her rookie season, enters the week just 12 blocks shy of Sarah Allen (1998-03) for 10th on the UC Davis all-time list.
BLOCK PARTY: The Aggies’ six blocks against Long Beach State tied a season high, equalling the mark set against Sacramento State on Dec. 28. The total was the highest since UC Davis knocked down eight against UC Irvine on Feb. 2, 2013.
BALANCE ON THE BOARDS: Through 15 games, the Aggies have had eight different players lead them in rebounding with Fipps (five times), Kelsey Harris (twice), Alyson Doherty (twice), and Celia Marfone (twice), the only “repeats” on the list. Heidi Johnson is the newest member of the club after grabbing a game-high nine boards (five offensive) against Houston Baptist on Dec. 21. In all, six players have grabbed at least 40 rebounds with five of those players averaging better than four rebounds per contest.
SHOOTER!: The Aggies’ offense has been on fire during its recent run of success, combining to shoot just under 43 percent (139-for-325) over the team’s last six games, including a season-best 52 percent in a six-point loss to Sacramento State -- the best shooting night for UC Davis since the Aggies finished 30-of-50 (.600) from the floor in an 88-44 win at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 24, 2013. The 29 field goals made against Simpson on Jan. 2 were also just shy of the season high of 34 makes against San Jose State on Nov. 26.
NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH: However, there are such things as free points if you hit your free throws, which the Aggies have done with regularity this season. UC Davis enters the second week of Big West Conference play atop the league with its .750 free throw percentage -- a total that also has them among the top 30 teams in the nation in that category (No. 26) as of Jan. 12. Junior Sydnee Fipps (4th - .840) and sophomore Molly Greubel (6th - .795) rank among the top-10 individuals in the Big West and headline a group that has shot 75 percent (or better) from the line in a game 11 times in 15 contests overall.
MINUTES FOR EVERYBODY!: With an “efficient” roster of just 11 players, the Aggies have seen every eligible member of the squad play at least one minute in 13 of the team’s 15 contests this season with a lineup that features six players averaging better than 22 minutes per game.
SWIPER, NO SWIPING: Stealing is bad, but don’t tell that to junior Brianna Salvatore, who has, clearly, been good at it this season. The Villa Park, Calif., native leads the team with 25 steals -- just seven shy of Cal State Northridge’s Ashlee Guay for the league lead entering the week -- and stands 8th in the conference with 1.67 steals per game. Salvatore has at least one steal in each of the last nine contests, and 13 of 15 overall, including a career-high tying four swipes against Akron on Nov. 30.
DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP)... DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): The 46 points allowed in the Aggies’ 32-point win over Simpson on Jan. 2 were the fewest scored by an opponent this season and the lowest point total for a UC Davis opponent since the Aggies held UC Irvine to just 43 points in a 47-43 victory on Feb. 28, 2013.
POINTS TAKEN: The 95 points scored against San Jose State on Nov. 26 were a season high and the most since the Aggies finished off a 102-62 win over the Spartans on Dec. 21, 2010. With its 78 points against Simpson on Jan. 2, UC Davis reached the 70-point plateau for only the 15th time in the team’s last 47 games.