Aloooha! First-Place Aggies Head to the Islands

Sophomore Alyson Doherty is averaging 11.3 ppg and 6.6 rpg while shooting just under 60 percent from the floor since her return from an illness that sidelined her for three weeks.
 
Sophomore Alyson Doherty is averaging 11.3 ppg and 6.6 rpg while shooting just under 60 percent from the floor since her return from an illness that sidelined her for three weeks.
 

Jan. 21, 2014

THIS WEEK...
UC Davis (8-9, 3-1) at Hawaii (8-7, 2-1)
Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014
9 p.m. (PT)
Honolulu, Hawaii | Stan Sheriff Center
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio (KDVS 90.3 FM) | Video | UC Davis Notes | Hawaii Notes 

TIP-OFF: Winners of three-in-a-row, and six of its last eight overall, the UC Davis women’s basketball team (8-9 overall, 3-1 in the Big West Conference for a share of first place) closes out a three-game road swing with a single game this week, heading to Honolulu to take on Hawaii on Thursday (Jan. 23) at 9 p.m. (PT) from the Stan Sheriff Center.

IN THE POLLS: Neither Hawaii, 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 Thursday’s game, 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. For those adventurous enough to stay up late on a school night, Thursday’s game at Hawaii will also be carried on Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Honolulu and streamed live at www.ocsports.tv.

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 RAINBOW WAHINE: Hawaii enters the week with an 8-7 overall record and a 2-1 mark in the Big West Conference for a tie for fourth place in the league standings entering the week... the Rainbow Wahine, who will also host UC Irvine on Saturday, have won their last two-straight, heading to the mainland to hand UC Riverside a 74-61 defeat in the Inland Empire... Hawaii’s only loss in league play thus far came in the opener to Cal Poly, 78-74... Five of the Rainbow Wahine’s eight wins have come at home, where they are 5-3... senior forward Kamilah Jackson paces Hawaii with a double-double, averaging 16.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game (ranking sixth and second in the Big West, respectively, entering the week), while shooting 51 percent from the floor (good for fourth in the conference)... junior guard Ashleigh Karaitiana, a New Zealand native, and senior guard Shawna-Lei Kuehu, are both averaging double figures with 10.3 and 10.1 ppg, respectively... Hawaii is averaging 65.3 ppg (sixth in the league) and shooting .378 from the floor collectively, while allowing a league-low 65.2 ppg and conference best .389 from the field by their opponents... Head Coach Laura Beeman is in her second season with the Rainbow Wahine, leading them to a 17-14 overall record and a 13-5 conference mark -- good for a tie for second place.

THE SERIES: Hawaii leads the all-time series with UC Davis by a 3-2 count dating back to the first clash in 1975-76, including sweeping the inaugural Big West Conference meetings last season by the scores of 71-63 at The Pavilion and 59-48 in Honolulu... the Aggies’ posted back-to-back victories in the series during the 2007-08 season (73-52) and 2011-12 (62-57) at the Stan Sheriff Center -- the former part of a five-game winning streak to tip-off the season.

MILLENNIUM WATCH: Fipps is rapidly closing in on a significant milestone with a standout junior season, needing just 35 points to become only the 16th Aggie to reach 1,000 career points. With her 297 points this season, the forward enters Saturday with 965 to her name, following a UC Davis sophomore-record 512 points in 2012-13, and would be the first Aggie to reach 1,000 career points since Kasey Riecks (1,071) in 2011-12. If she holds true to her current scoring average (17.5 ppg), Fipps could cover the remaining points and reach the millennium mark as soon as Jan. 30 at home against Cal Poly, and inch closer to Kendall Greene (1992-96), who ranks No. 15 on the all-time scoring list with 1,027.

OH, YES, THEY CALL IT A STREAK: Aside from being the longest active winning streak in the conference heading into this week’s games, UC Davis’ three-straight wins are a season-high and marks only the second time this year that the Aggies have won back-to-back games (Dec. 18 at Santa Clara and Dec. 21 vs. Houston Baptist. The streak is the team’s longest since it won three-in-a-row from Jan. 24-31, 2013, which, ironically, also included wins over Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside, and Long Beach State. A win at Hawaii would give UC Davis its longest run of victories since Jan. 12-26, 2012.


OT? OK!: An extra five minutes of basketball? Bring it on say the Aggies, who improved to 2-0 in overtime contests this season following their two-point win at Cal State Fullerton last weekend. UC Davis, which improved to 4-6 in its last 10 overtime contests dating back to 2007-08, has now gone to overtime twice in each of the last two seasons after going two seasons without one. Another game with “bonus basketball” will give the Aggies the most overtime games in a single season since they played a school-record three during the 2009-10 campaign. UC Davis is 12-16 in overtime dating back to the 1974-75 season, including an 0-2 mark in double overtime with losses at San Francisco State (72-67) in 1982-83 and at Chico State (65-61) in 1986-87.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GET BACK INTO THE LINEUP: Just when it looked like the Aggies had kicked the injury/illness bug with the return of sophomore Celia Marfone, junior Brianna Salvatore became the third UC Davis player to miss time due to injury after suffering a leg injury in practice prior to last weekend’s trip to Southern California. Salvatore, out for the Aggies’ last two games, is listed as game-to-game with no timetable set for her return. Combined, a trio of UC Davis players have missed 12 games with Marfone out six games from Dec. 15-Jan. 9 with a leg injury, Doherty missing three games from Dec. 15-21 with an illness, and Beyer out for one game (Jan. 2 vs. Simpson) with an elbow ailment.

YOU *CAN* GO HOME AGAIN: There’s no place like home. Saturday night at Cal State Fullerton, it felt just that was as a quartet of Aggies staged an impromptu homecoming to help the Aggies to a harrowing win over the Titans. Alyson Doherty, Molly Greubel, Kelsey Harris, and Celia Marfone -- all of whom prepped within a 25-mile radius of the Cal State Fullerton campus -- combined for 45 of UC Davis’ 69 points, 25 of the team’s 44 rebounds, and shot just over 48 percent (16-for-33) combined from the field.

NO PRESSURE: Greubel finished a perfect 6-for-6 from the line at Cal State Fullerton last weekend, but it was her last two that were, perhaps, the most important as the sophomore drew a charge on an inbounds attempt, calmly stepped to the line with her team down two, and buried a pair with 0.5 seconds remaining to tie the game and send the Aggies to overtime. It’s not the first time this season that Greubel has been put in that position as the sophomore hit 7-of-8 from the line in the final 27 seconds to hold off Santa Clara on Dec. 18 and was a perfect 4-for-4 in the final 23 seconds of overtime to help beat Houston Baptist on Dec. 21.

CRUNCH TIME: The Aggies are a combined 72-for-91 (.791) from the line in the final five minutes of the game this season, with five regulars shooting better than 70 percent from the stripe when it counts. Those on the “no foul” list? Fipps leads the way, hitting 19-of-21 (.905), followed by Celia Marfone (8-of-9 - .889), Greubel (15-of-17 - .882), Kelsey Harris (7-of-9 - .778), and Alyson Doherty (12-of-17 - .706). Opponents on the other hand? Hitting just .695 from the line in the final five minutes against the Aggies.

SHE’S AT IT AGAIN: While her consecutive 20-point scoring games streak came to an end on Jan. 9 against Cal State Northridge, junior Sydnee Fipps has still found a way to get hers, averaging 19.6 ppg over her last nine contests since being held to single digits (eight points) 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, or shared the team lead, in scoring in 13 of the team’s 17 contests thus far.

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 8.7 rpg (52 total) over her last six 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.

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 11.3 ppg since her return -- reaching double figures in each of her last five contests -- to go with 6.6 rpg and shooting just under 60 percent from the floor (29-for-49). Doherty averaged 14.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg last week in Southern California, reaching double figures for the eighth and ninth times this season against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton.

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: Continuing the “comeback” theme, sophomore Celia Marfone has been a welcome addition to the line up after missing six games due to injury, and she has not disappointed. The Laguna Hills, Calif., native is averaging 12.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, and 3.0 apg, since her return, shooting 50 percent (10-for-20) from the floor and hitting 15-of-20 (.750) from the line over the team’s last three contests, including a career-high 19-point effort at UC Riverside on Jan. 16.

SWEET SOUNDING QUARTET: Saturday at Cal State Fullerton marked the second-straight game that the Aggies finished with four players in double figures as Sydnee Fipps, Alyson Soherty, Kelsey Harris, and Celia Marfone, gave opposing defenses fits. It marked the fifth time overall that UC Davis has had such a quartet in double figures this season, posting a perfect 5-0 mark in such games.

SHE’S JUST ALY FROM THE BLOCK: Alyson Doherty enters the week having accounted for 19 of the team’s 38 blocks this season and ranks 3rd in the Big West with 1.36 blocks per game. The sophomore’s four blocks against the Long Beach State on Jan. 11 were a career high and were the most since Lauren Juric knocked down four shots against Cal Poly on March 1, 2012. Doherty, who had 27 blocks during her rookie season, enters the week just 10 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 on Jan. 11 tied a season high, equalling the mark set against Sacramento State on Dec. 28. The totals are the highest since UC Davis knocked down eight Anteater shots against UC Irvine on Feb. 2, 2013.

WINDEX WOMEN: The Aggies have been dominant on the boards as of late, out-rebounding their opponents in four of their last six contests and having at least one player in double-digits on the glass in four of those games. UC Davis is plus-35 on the boards since its Dec. 28 game against Sacramento State, including a season-high 19-rebound margin (44-25) against Cal State Fullerton in its last outing on Jan. 18.

SHOOTER!: The Aggies’ offense has been on fire during its recent run of success, combining to shoot just over 44 percent (185-for-420) over the team’s last eight games (six wins and two losses by six points or fewer), 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. UC Davis, which is 7-2 overall this season when shooting better than 40 percent from the field, has shot better than 44 percent from the floor in five of its six wins during that stretch and defeated Houston Baptist in overtime despite shooting just .298 from the floor.

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 third week of Big West Conference play tops in the league with its .760 free throw percentage -- a total that also has them among the top 20 teams in the nation in that category (No. 16) as of Jan. 19. Sophomore Molly Greubel (4th - .833) and junior Sydnee Fipps (T-6th - .821) 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 13 times in 17 contests overall.

NOT HALF BAD: The Aggies are a combined 7-1 this season when going into the locker room at halftime tied or with a lead, winning seven straight after falling at Pacific on Nov. 11 with a 42-39 advantage at the break.

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 shares the team lead with 25 steals (Sydnee Fipps) -- just seven shy of Cal State Northridge’s Ashlee Guay for the league lead entering the week -- and stands tied for fifth in the conference with 1.67 steals per game. Salvatore has at least one steal in each of the last nine contests she has appeared in, and 13 of 17 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 77 points at UC Riverside on Jan. 16, UC Davis reached the 70-point plateau for only the 16th time in the team’s last 49 games.