Feb. 18, 2014
TIP-OFF: With a weekend off to recover and regroup, the UC Davis women’s basketball team is ready for its close-up, heading to Southern California to take on Long Beach State for a second time this season on Thursday (Feb. 20) at 7 p.m., in a game to be televised nationally on ESPN3. The Aggies then return home on Saturday (Feb. 22) to host Hawaii at 2 p.m. in its annual “Pink Game” at The Pavilion.
IN THE POLLS: Neither UC Davis, Long Beach State, nor Hawaii, are ranked in the national polls entering the week.
AGGIES “PLAY PINK”: The UC Davis women’s basketball team will join in the fight against breast cancer while honoring one of its own this weekend, hosting its annual “Pink Game” on Saturday, Feb. 22, during its Big West Conference clash versus Hawaii at 2 p.m. at The Pavilion.
Fans are encouraged to join the Aggies and Rainbow Wahine in wearing pink to show their support of the cause and UC Davis has partnered with the UC Davis Health System to collect donations toward breast cancer research at its cancer center in honor of former Aggies’ women’s basketball player Genevieve Costello, who lost her brief but courageous battle with the disease on May 7, 2013, at the age of 26.
Those who wish to donate can participate by visiting https://secure.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/giving/donations/online.html, filling out all the required fields, selecting “Cancer Center” in the “Please Select Recipient” drop down menu, and adding “Genevieve Costello Breast Cancer Research Fund” under the “Special Instruction for This Gift” section.
UC Davis will be sporting special game jerseys featuring “G. Costello” on the back for each Aggie player and a patch reading “GC12” at the neck line in honor of the UC Davis standout guard. First-arriving fans to Saturday’s game will receive pink UC Davis shirts compliments of West Village.
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 week’s games, as well as broadcast locally on KDVS 90.3 FM with Greg Wong and Sammy Meckler on the call. 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.
“HI, MOM!”: This week’s ESPN3 game at Long Beach State will be UC Davis’ second appearance on TV this season following its appearance at top-ranked Connecticut on Dec. 5 in Hartford. A familiar voice in UC Davis men’s play-by-play announcer Scott Marsh will handle the call from The Pyramid with analyst Richie Schueler and sideline reporter Sanaz Tavassol. Fans can watch the broadcast live via the following link: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/1501783/Womens-College-Basketball-UC-Davis-vs-Long-Beach-State-(Exclusive)
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 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.
GOT TICKETS?: All-session tickets for the 2014 Big West Conference women’s basketball tournament are now on sale for $69 with premium all-session tickets located in the first four rows of seating available for $149. The women’s first-round (March 11) and quarterfinal (March 12) games will be played at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., with the semifinals (March 14) and championship game (March 15) to follow at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. For more information, please visit http://www.bigwest.org/sports/wbball/info/champs/.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE 49ERS: Long Beach State enters the week with a 14-11 overall record and a 6-5 mark in Big West Conference play to stand fourth in the league -- one-half game ahead of the Aggies in the standings... the 49ers are 10-3 on their home floor at The Pyramid this season, having won two in a row and five of their last six... Long Beach split its two games last weekend on the road, falling at UC Santa Barbara (80-69) before upsetting league-leading Cal Poly (85-72)... freshman guard Raven Benton leads the offense, averaging 13.3 ppg and shooting .416 from the field while gathering 5.6 rpg... junior guard Alex Sanchez and junior guard Lauren Spargo are also in double figures for the 49ers, averaging 10.4 ppg apiece... as a team, Long Beach State is averaging 71.4 ppg and surrendering 71.4 ppg while shooting .396 from the floor to .398 for the opposition.
THE SERIES: The series between the Aggies and 49ers is knotted at 11 wins apiece dating back to the 1971-72 season following UC Davis’ dramatic, 63-60, victory over Long Beach State at The Pavilion on Jan. 11 after Kelsey Harris nailed a left-corner three-pointer with :14 remaining for the win... the two programs entered the year having split the regular season series in each of the last three years... the Aggies are just 3-6 against hte 49ers on the road (with the location of three games unknown) and have lost their last three trips to Long Beach dating back to a 70-46 win in the second meeting of the 2009-10 season -- the last in a three-game winning streak in Long Beach.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE RAINBOW WAHINE: Hawaii enters the weekend with a 13-10 overall record and a 7-4 mark in Big West Conference play for third place in the standings following a sweep of its games last week at home over UC Riverside (67-54) and Cal State Fullerton (65-52)... the Rainbow Wahine have won seven of their last 10 overall, but are just 4-7 away from the islands this season, having lost three of their last four on the road... senior forward Kamilah Jackson leads the offense, nearly averaging a double-double at 15.5 ppg and 9.7 rpg, while shooting .504 from the floor... junior guard Ashleigh Karaitiana (10.7 ppg) and senior guard Shawna-Lei Kuehu (10.3 ppg) are also in double figures... Hawaii is averaging 66.4 ppg while allowing 63.7 ppg and is shooting .399 from the field as a team to the opponents’ .387 from the floor.
THE SERIES: Hawaii leads the all-time series with UC Davis by a 4-2 count dating back to the first clash in 1975-76, and have won all three meetings as members of the Big West Conference... the Aggies posted back-to-back wins in the series during the 2007-08 (73-52) and 2011-12 seasons (62-57) at the Stan Sheriff Center for their wins in the series.
WE SURVEYED 100 PEOPLE...: And the top three Aggies are on the board. Three UC Davis players are listed among the NCAA’s top 100 individuals in various categories, while UC Davis (as a team) also stands among the top 100 programs in three statistical rankings entering the week. Junior Kelsey Harris stands among the best in two different categories: ranking 33rd in the nation in three-pointers per game (2.83 pg) while standing 41st in three-point percentage (.406). Molly Greubel adds to the list, ranking 46th in the NCAA in free throw percentage (.855), while teammate Sydnee Fipps is 90th in scoring at 17.9 ppg. As a team, the Aggies are ranked eighth in the country in free throw percentage (.776), 30th in three-pointers per game (7.7 pg), and 95th in field goal percentage (.420).
DEJÁ FIPPS: The sensation that we’ve seen this scoring before. Already with a string of five-consecutive 20-point scoring performances under her belt this season, junior Sydnee Fipps is at it again, notching her fourth-consecutive 20-point game against Cal State Fullerton last week with her 20 points against the Titans to follow up three-straight 21-point performances against UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge, and UC Irvine. The Mariposa, Calif., native has reached the 20-point plateau 12 times this season (and 19 in her career) while holding the longest streak of consecutive 20-point scoring games in almost two decades since Aimee Conner closed out the 1992-93 campaign with six-straight games of 20 points or more.
20-POINTS OF LIGHT: If Fipps keeps it up, she could challenge the school record for most 20-point games in a season, currently held by Staci Stevens and her 18, 20-point performances during her senior campaign in 1987-88.
DON’T CALL ME ‘JUNIOR!’: Already the school record holder for the most points scored by a sophomore in the history of the UC Davis women’s basketball program, Fipps is closing in on the mark for a junior as well, entering the week with 412 points and at least six games remaining in her 2013-14 campaign. Fipps, who is averaging just under 18 points per game this season, needs just 51 more to match the record held by Staci Stevens, who scored 463 points during her junior season in 1986-87.
MOVIN’ ON UP: George and “Weezy” never had it this good. With her 20 points against Cal State Fullerton last week, Fipps made a huge jump up the Aggies’ all-time scoring list, leaping past Kasey Riecks (2008-12) and matching current UC Davis assistant coach (and Aggies’ All-American) Des Abeyta for the No. 13 spot with 1,080 career points. Fipps stands nine shy of Sarah Allen (1998-03) for 12th and just 23 points back of Brenda Wyneken (1981-84) for 11th, while 58 more points will move her past Colleen Turnbull (1999-03) and into the top 10.
THREE-CO-LAAAAA: A large part of Fipps’ scoring explosion against the Titans last week came from beyond the arc where the junior nailed all but one of her seven field goals en route to her 20-point night. The career-high six three’s were the most by an Aggie this season and fell just one make shy of the school’s single-game record of seven shared by Karen Boisvert (four times, last at Cal State Stanislaus, Feb. 9, 1991) and Lindsey Jones (vs. Cal Poly, Jan. 11, 2007).
SHE’S JUST ALY FROM THE BLOCK: Sophomore forward Alyson Doherty enters the week having accounted for nearly half (26) of the team’s 53 blocks this season -- notching her fourth game of three-or-more blocks against Cal State Fullerton last week -- and ranks second in the Big West with 1.31 blocks per game. Her four blocks against 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 three blocks shy of Sarah Allen (1998-03) for 10th on the all-time list.
PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES: Of UC Davis’ 1,230 shot attempts this season, better than 44 percent (542) have come from beyond the arc -- the highest percentage of any school in the Big West. The Aggies are second in the league in three-point makes (177) and attempts, but rank ninth in field goal attempts overall (1,230) -- 83 fewer than eighth-place Cal State Fullerton -- despite standing second in the league with a .420 field goal percentage.
GREUBEL NOT GREEDY: Sophomore Molly Greubel is here to help... a lot. Enough so that she went ahead and decided to take down a UC Davis single-game school record that had stood for 24 years with her career-high 14 assists on Feb. 8 at UC Irvine. Greubel, who had 11 assists in the first half alone, broke the previous mark held by Sara Lillevand, who had 13 assists at Cal State Stanislaus on March 10, 1990, and became the first Aggie with at least 10 assists in a game since Kim Omer finished with 10 against San Francisco State in 2004.
MISS CONSISTENT: Since being held to single digits on Dec. 8 at Hofstra, Fipps has railed off 15 consecutive double-digit scoring performances with her 20-point effort against Cal State Fullerton averaging 19.4 ppg over that span (including 10, 20-point performances) and has reached double figures in all but two games in 2013-14 (eight points in the season opener against USC being the other), leading, or sharing the team lead, in scoring in 17 of the team’s 23 contests.
DOUBLE DIPPING: Fipps enters the week as one of five players in the Big West Conference who enter the week ranked among, both, the league’s top 15 in scoring and rebounding -- including four of the top-10 scorers in the conference and the top three rebounders. Fipps, who ranks third in the conference in scoring and 13th in rebounding, joins Cal Poly’s Molly Schlemer, UC Irvine’s Camille Buckley, Hawaii’s Kamilah Jackson, and UC Santa Barbara’s Destini Mason, on the list.
SIXTY IS NIFTY...: What a difference a point makes. When UC Davis scores 59 points or fewer this season, it has yet to win a game in six tries, thus far. However, when scoring that pivotal 60th point, the chances of an Aggies victory improve dramatically as they have gone 10-7 in those contests.
...BUT EIGHT(Y) IS GREAT(Y): Coupled with its 82 points in a win over UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 1, the Aggies’ 82 points against the Matadors gave them back-to-back 80-point scoring performances for the first time this season and the first time since Jan. 29 at UC Irvine (W, 91-72) and Feb. 3 vs. Cal Poly (W, 81-61).
GIMME FIVE!!!!!: It’s a lot easier to win a game when you get this kind of scoring. The Aggies finished with five players in double figures in their, 82-74, win over Cal State Northridge on Feb. 6 -- the first time that has happened this season and the first time since Jan. 2, 2011 (also against the Matadors), that UC Davis has seen that kind of offensive production. In that game, Vicky Deeley (22), Heidi Heintz (11), Paige Mintun (11), Blair Shinoda (11), and Samantha Meggison (10), all reached double figures for the Aggies in a 78-56 victory.
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 this week of Big West Conference play shooting a league-high .776 from the line -- a total that also has them among the top 20 teams in the nation in that category (No. 8) as of Feb. 16. Sophomore Molly Greubel (3rd - .855) and junior Sydnee Fipps (6th - .816) 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 17 times in 23 contests overall.
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.