Homestand begins against top Big West contenders

Feb. 6, 2018

Cal Poly (13-8, 7-2) at UC Davis (18-4, 8-1)
Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. | The Pavilion | Davis, Calif.
RADIO: KDVS 90.3 FM (PBP: Greg Wong... ANALYST: Max Agress)
FOLLOW: Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio | UC Davis Notes | Cal Poly Notes

CSUN (13-10, 6-3) at UC Davis (18-4, 8-1)
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 | 2:30 p.m. | The Pavilion | Davis, Calif.
RADIO: KDVS 90.3 FM (PBP: Greg Wong... ANALYST: Max Agress)
FOLLOW: Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio | UC Davis Notes | CSUN Notes

TIP-OFF: The UC Davis women's basketball team (18-4, 8-1) looks to bounce back quickly from its first Big West Conference defeat of the season as the Aggies host one of their toughest league weekend slates of the year at The Pavilion. First-place UC Davis opens on Wednesday (Feb. 7) at 7 p.m. against second-place Cal Poly, before a rematch against the team that knocked the Aggies from the ranks of the unbeaten in CSUN on Saturday (Feb. 10) at 2:30 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the men's team (vs. Cal State Fullerton).

CHECK YOUR CALENDARS: UC Davis' home contest against Long Beach State on Feb. 15 at The Pavilion has been moved up an hour to 6 p.m., giving more fans an opportunity to attend the Aggies' annual "pink game" for breast cancer awareness and a celebration honoring Girls and Women in Sports Day.

BE A FOLLOWER: Fans can keep up with the latest in UC Davis athletics by "liking" us on Facebook ( and following us on Twitter (@UCDavisAggies). You can also "like" women's basketball ( as well as follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@ UCDavisWBB). In-game updates on game day are also available on Twitter by following @UCDavisWBB.

MID-MAJOR MOVERS: Despite suffering its first loss of the season, UC Davis remained in the top 10 of the latest College Insider Mid-Major poll released on Tuesday, moving down three spots to No. 10 in this week's rankings. It marks the ninth time in 14 weeks that UC Davis has been listed among the top 10 programs in the country, reaching as high as No. 5 in back-to-back weeks on Dec. 12 and Dec. 19, while standing among the top 25 of the College Insider poll every week this season, debuting at No. 20 in the preseason and opening a run of five consecutive weeks in the top 10 on Nov. 28.

Tracking the Aggies in the poll
Preseason - No. 20
Nov. 14 - No. 17
Nov. 21 - No. 11
Nov. 28 - No. 8
Dec. 5 - No. 8
Dec. 12 - No. 5
Dec. 19 - No. 5
Dec. 26 - No. 7
Jan. 2 - No. 12
Jan. 9 - No. 10
Jan. 16 - No. 8
Jan. 23 - No. 8
Jan. 30 - No. 7
Feb. 6 - No. 10

1. Carol Rische (1979-83) - 1,711 points
3. Staci Stevens (1985-88) - 1,417
4. Jessica Campbell (2003-06, 2007-08) - 1,413
5. Morgan Bertsch (2015-pres.) - 1,401
14. Brenda Wyneken (1981-84) - 1,103
15. Sarah Allen (1998-03) - 1,089
16. Pele Gianotti (2014-pres.) - 1,082
19. Kendall Greene (1992-96) - 1,027
-- Rachel Nagel (2014-pres.) - 960
-- Dani Nafekh (2014-pres.) - 809

AGGIES PACE BIG WEST IN THE RPI: After reaching as high as No. 42 in the nation in the RPI at one point this season, the Aggies continue to pace their Big West sistren as of Feb. 5, ranking 70th in the RPI and standing as the only Big West team in the top 100 thus far (Cal Poly is second among league members at No. 161). The No. 42 ranking earlier this season was the highest that UC Davis had been ranked in the RPI dating back to Dec. 29, when the Aggies stood 40th.

BRACKETOLOGY: In his latest bracketology projection of 2018 released on Feb. 5, ESPN's Charlie Creme has the Aggies carrying the Big West banner into the NCAA Tournament as a No. 13 seed -- holding steady from last week, and taking on No. 4-seeded Texas A&M in College Station, along with No. 5 DePaul and No. 12 Gonzaga.

SCOUTING CAL POLY: The Mustangs enter the week on a four-game winning streak since their loss to UC Davis back on Jan. 20, improving to 13-8 overall and 7-2 in league play with wins over Hawai'i and UC Riverside last week... Reigning Big West Player of the Week Dynn Leaupepe leads the offense, averaging 20.5 ppg and shooting .473 from the floor, while her sister, Lynn, is second on the team in scoring at 11.2 ppg and leads the team at 5.9 rpg... Cal Poly is averaging 73.3 ppg and shooting .406 from the floor, allowing opponents 73.0 ppg and a .423 field goal percentage.

SERIES NOTES: UC Davis leads the all-time series with Cal Poly, 30-23, including a 12-10 advantage during the program's Division I history... The Aggies, who have won five straight in the series after their 80-76 win on Jan. 20 in San Luis Obispo, Calif., are 16-9 against the Mustangs at The Pavilion, winning the last two meetings (and six of the last eight dating back to the 2009-10 season) there over the last two seasons... Each of the last three meetings between the two teams has been decided by single digits, but UC Davis has scored at least 80 points against Cal Poly in three of the last four meetings.

SCOUTING CSUN: The Matadors have won five of their last six to improve to 13-10 overall and 6-3 in Big West play, two games behind the Aggies for the league lead... Junior Channon Fluker and senior Tessa Boagni, who each had double-doubles in the win over UC Davis on Saturday, are the only two CSUN players in double figures -- the former averaging 20.6 ppg and 12.5 rpg while shooting .527 from the floor, while the latter averaged 11.7 ppg and 6.9 rpg, shooting .450 from the field... The Matadors are averaging 65.7 ppg and shooting .394 from the floor, while allowing just 64.2 ppg and holding opponents to a .364 field goal percentage.

SERIES NOTES: UC Davis owns a 23-16 lead in the series with CSUN dating back to 1980, including a 17-7 mark in the program's Division I history... The Matadors snapped a four-game skid against the Aggies with their win on Feb. 3 in Northridge, but UC Davis has still won seven of the last nine meetings dating back to 2014... The Aggies are 13-5 against CSUN at home, winning the last three meetings at The Pavilion (and 11 of the last 12) following a 81-65 triumph last season... The Matadors' last win in Davis came on Jan. 9, 2014, with a 56-52 victory.

LET'S PLAY TWO!: Ernie Banks would be proud. The Aggies have won 10 straight doubleheader dates, 16 of their last 17, and are 23-4 in their half of a twinbill during the Division I era -- including an 12-2 mark against Big West opponents. In 27 all-time home doubleheaders, both UC Davis teams have swept the doubleheader 15 times, including eight of the last 10. The women will be the opening act in one more doubleheader with the men's team this season on Feb. 24 as part of "Senior Day" against UC Irvine.

#PROTECTTHEPAVILION: A 9-1 start on Bob Hamilton Court has the Aggies humming at home, just one season after tying the program's Division I record with a 12-2 mark at The Pavilion. Despite its only loss at home coming on Dec. 17 against UCF this season, UC Davis has still been impressive in defending its home court, winning 24 of its last 28 at The Pavilion and posting a combined 58-33 (.637) record at home under Head Coach Jennifer Gross.

FIRST TO 20: Should the Aggies continue their torrid pace, they will reach 20 wins faster than any other team in the program's Division I history (the 2016-17 squad did so in 26 games) and rank as the seventh-fastest on the all-time list after the Aggies reached 20 wins in 22 games four times in 1991-92, 1995-96, 1996-97, and 1998-99, to set the record.

BACK-TO-BACK: Three more wins this season and the Aggies will have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the second time in the program's Division I history, the fifth time overall, and the first since UC Davis finished 21-11 in 2009-10 and 24-9 in 2010-11 -- the latter leading to an NCAA Tournament berth. The Aggies also posted back-to-back seasons in 1979-80 (20-9) and 1980-81 (23-8), four straight seasons from 1988-92, and a run of six consecutive 20-win seasons from 1993-99.

BONUS BASKETBALL: Saturday's result at CSUN marked the 16th overtime contest in the program's Division I history -- and the first since Dec. 3, 2015, at Saint Mary's -- moving UC Davis to 9-7 in those contests and snapping a five-game winning streak in such games. All but five of the 16 overtime games have been played away from the Davis campus (nine on the road, two at neutral sites), including each of the last four and six of the last seven.

NOT HALF BAD: The Aggies' win at Long Beach State on Feb. 1 saw them put up 52 points in the second half -- tied for the most in ANY half this season, matching the 52-point first half against Washington State in the season opener on Nov. 10. The win over the 49ers was the first in Long Beach for UC Davis since Feb. 25, 2010.

WINDEX WOMEN: In the win over the 49ers, UC Davis outrebounded Long Beach State, 42-19, for the game -- its largest rebounding margin (+23) since out-boarding UC Riverside by 25 (46-21) in the semifinals of the 2016 Big West Tournament. The 19 rebounds by the 49ers were the fewest by an Aggies' opponent in the program's Division I history

IT WAS A GOOD RUN: The Aggies' 8-0 start to Big West play this season was the best in the program's history and its best start to ANY conference schedule since the Aggies began 12-0 to open the 1998-99 California Collegiate Athletic Association campaign. Meanwhile, the 18 consecutive Big West regular season wins are tied for the sixth longest streak in the league's history -- and the longest for a conference school (current or former) since UC Riverside won 18 consecutive regular season conference games from Jan. 7, 2016, to Jan. 12, 2017.

THIS ONE'S STILL ALIVE, THOUGH: UC Davis has won its last 10 straight regular season home games against conference foes dating back to a, 64-51, loss against Long Beach State on Jan. 12, 2017.

BERTSCH MOVES INTO THE TOP FIVE: Back-to-back 20-point performances has junior biomedical engineering major Morgan Bertsch into the top five on the school's all-time scoring list, moving past Paige Mintun for fifth with 1,401 -- just 12 behind Jessica Campbell for fourth and 16 behind Staci Stevens for third. Bertsch's career total has her second in the program's Division I history, standing behind only Sydnee Fipps and her 1,636 career points, which ranks second on the all-time chart.

FIELD "GOALS": After 19 more makes from the field during the team's trip to Southern California last weekend, Bertsch upped her season total to 192 field goals made -- ranking sixth on the all-time single-season list, just four back of Staci Stevens' 1987 total for fifth, and nine behind Carol Rische's 1981 total for fourth. Bertsch, who owns the program's Division I record with 576 career makes, is rapidly approaching the all-time mark in that category, fittingly held by the Aggies' all-time leading scorer in Rische, who made 651 baskets from 1979-83.

MEET YOUR "MAKER": Bertsch enters the week ranked No. 4 in the NCAA in made baskets with 192, trailing Iowa's Megan Gustafson, who paces the nation with 228 makes from the floor. The junior also ranks among the best in the nation in points per game (No. 40), No. 46 in total points (435) while standing No. 34 in field goal percentage (.552).

DOUBLE-DIGIT DAMAGE: After tying the school's Division I single-season record with 29 games with 10-or-more points last season, Bertsch is back at it again with 22 such performances in the Aggies' 22 games -- giving her 72 for her career to move her into third place on the school's Division I career list, just one back of Alyson Doherty (73) for second and eight back of Sydnee Fipps (80) for the record. Teammates Pele Gianotti (55) and Rachel Nagel (41) also rank fifth and seventh, respectively, on that same career list.

MISS CONSISTENTCY: Bertsch's 22 consecutive double-digit scoring games to start this season ranks as the second-longest such streak in the program's Division I history, trailing only her own record of 23 straight double-digit performances from Feb. 18, 2016 to Jan. 5, 2017.

GIANOTTI CLIMBS TO 16TH: Thanks to 17 points at Long Beach State and 11 more at CSUN last weekend, senior political science major Pele Gianotti moved into 16th place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,082 career points, breaking a tie with Kasey Riecks and jumping past assistant coach Des Abeyta with her performances in Southern California. Gianotti now stands just seven points behind Sarah Allen for 15th and 21 behind Brenad Wyneken for 14th.

BOARDING SCHOOL: In addition to her 1,000-point milestone, Gianotti became only the the fourth player in the program's Division I history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career, joining Alyson Doherty (2012-16), Paige Mintun (2007-11), and Sydnee Fipps (2011-15). Gianotti's 547 career rebounds entering the week are the most of any active Aggie player, ranking fourth on the school's Division I list and 62 shy of Paige Mintun for 10th on the all-time chart.

NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH: However, there are such things as free points, and Gianotti has done well to take them when offered. The senior from Myrtle Creek, Ore., has made her last 10 from the line -- including an 8-for-8 performance against Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 24 -- and has missed from the charity stripe only four times ALL YEAR (34-for-38). It is fourth time this season that an Aggie player has hit 10-or-more consecutive free throws this season, joining Rachel Nagel (16 straight from Dec. 9 to Jan. 24), Morgan Bertsch (14 straight from Jan. 6 to Feb. 1), and Gianotti's first streak of the season (11 straight from Nov. 10 to Dec. 20). The all-time record is 27 held by Colleen Turnbull from Jan. 4, 2003, to Jan. 25, 2003.

WHATTA 1-2 PUNCH: Gianotti and Bertsch became the first teammates to reach 1,000 career points in the same year since Sarah Allen and Colleen Turnbull did so in 2002-03, and only the third combination after Kari Sivesind and Kendall Greene did so in 1995-96. The Aggies have never had three players reach 1,000 career points in a single season, which leads us to...

LET'S MAKE IT THREE: Senior psychology major Rachel Nagel could also join Gianotti and Bertsch in the 1,000 point club if she keeps it up, entering the week with 960 career points and needing to average just 5.7 ppg over the final seven regular season games to reach the mark.

I'M COMING FOR YOU, COACH!: Thanks to her 11 assists last weekend in Southern California, junior psychology major Kourtney Eaton moved past a pair of all-time Aggie greats and into third place on the school's career assists list with 353, putting both Jackie Turpin (344) and Kristin Coolidge (350) in her rear-view mirror in the process. Eaton now sets her sights on Sara Lillevand (396) in second, with her head coach, Jennifer Gross, waiting at the top with 448 career assists.

"KOURT" VISION: Eaton's 98 assists this season rank fifth on the school's Division I single-season list, just two shy of becoming the fifth time a player has reached 100 assists in a year since 2007-08 and six back of Molly Greubel's 2013-14 total for fourth place on the list. Eaton already owns the Division I single-season record with 142 assists in 2016-17, and stands third on that same list with 113 in 2015-16.

IN A GIVING MOOD: UC Davis has been the queens of making the extra pass this season, entering the week ranked No. 17 in the nation in assists per game (17.9 apg) and No. 26 in overall assists (393), while ranking No. 36 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.18). Meanwhile, Kourtney Eaton enters the week ranked No. 78 in the nation in assists per game (4.7), No. 103 in total assists (98), and No. 53 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.18).

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Well, at least no place like 10 miles from it. Playing in front of a number of friends and family just minutes away from her hometown of Cypress, Calif., freshman cell biology major Cierra Hall had herself quite a night at Long Beach State on Feb. 1, finishing with a career-high 17 points and seven rebounds, which hitting all six of her shots from the field -- including a pair from beyond the arc. It was her fifth double-digit scoring performance of the year and the second perfect shooting performance of the year by an Aggie player, joining senior design major Marly Anderson's 6-for-6 performance from the floor against Hawai'i back on Jan. 6.

BLOCK YOU VERY MUCH: Already the fifth Aggie to reach the century mark in career blocks at Seattle on Nov. 26, Bertsch collected her 126th career block at Long Beach State on Feb. 1, solidifying her hold on third place on the school's all-time list and placing her just 21 back of Alyson Doherty for second. After setting the school single-season record with 57 swats last year, the Santa Rosa, Calif., product is well-within striking distance of career record holder Paige Mintun, who blocked 150 shots from 2006-11, and is three shy of breaking onto the single-season list for a third time in her career.

SWAT TEAM: Just one year after setting the school's single-season record with 129 blocks, the Aggies have picked up right where they left off, ranking third in the Big West at 4.3 bpg, while collecting at least four blocks in a game for the 15th and 16th times in 22 games last week. UC Davis is rapidly closing in on last year's total with 94 swats thus far and, with six more blocks, would mark the third straight season with 100-or-more (125 in 2015-16 and 129 in 2016-17).

THREEE-CO-LA!: The Aggies enter the week with four of the league's top 10 three-point shooters and still stand among the best in the nation from long distance, ranking No. 7 in three-point percentage (.399), No. 28 in three-pointers per game (8.8), and No. 29 in total three-pointers made (189). Senior Dani Nafekh enters the week ranked atop in the conference in three-point percentage (.443), ahead of classmate Rachel Nagel, who stands tied for fourth with sophomore teammate Nina Bessolo (.406), and senior Pele Gianotti, who enters the week ninth (.389).