March 10, 2011
ampm Big West Tournament
No.4 seed UC Davis 72, No. 5 seed UC Irvine 45
March 8 www.ucdavisaggies.com KDVS (90.3 FM) Big West TV
No.4 seed UC Davis (22-8) vs. No. 3 seed UC Riverside (19-11)Approx. 2:30 p.m. March 11 Honda Center Anaheim, Calif.
www.ucdavisaggies.com KDVS (90.3 FM) Big West TV
1 p.m. March 12 Honda Center Anaheim, Calif.
www.ucdavisaggies.com KDVS (90.3 FM) FSN Prime Ticket
OPENING TIPS: UC Davis makes its third appearance in the ampm Big West Tournament semifinal in the past four years on Friday as the fourth-seeded Aggies face third-seeded UC Riverside in a rematch of last year's tournament championship game... The Highlanders advanced to Friday's semi with an 83-68 win over sixth-seeded Long Beach State on Tuesday while UC Davis downed fifth-seeded UC Irvine 72-45 in the first postseason game on Hamilton Court since 1999... The Aggies have lost four straight to UC Riverside and six of the past seven dating back to the 2008-09 season... However, five of those games in a row were decided by four points or less... Friday's winner will meet the survivor of the other semifinal game between top-seeded Cal Poly (17-11) against seventh-seeded Pacific (9-21) in Saturday's title game... UC Davis is 2-0 in its other semifinal matchups, beating the Highlanders during its inaugural appearance in 2008 and UC Santa Barbara last year, both by 63-53 scores... The Aggies are hoping this year's trip to Anaheim results in their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth... This season marks the final one for head coach Sandy Simpson who announced prior to the season that this would be his last... UC Davis has back-to-back 20 wins seasons and its most wins since winning 25 in 1998-99... P Paige Mintun has scored in double figures 20 of her last 21 games, the exception in that run coming when UC Riverside held her to nine points during an 83-67 win on Hamilton Court on Feb. 24... Mintun was named to the All-Big West Conference first team on Monday, the first player in program history to earn three all-conference first-team honors... W Heidi Heintz was a second-team honoree while W Vicky Deely, the team's leading three-point shooter with 59, was honorable mention as well as the league's "Sixth Woman of the Year."... The Aggies continue to add to their school-record three-pointers, making nine against UC Irvine on Tuesday for 230 in the season... They set the previous record of 206 last year... UC Davis was has not been outrebounded for four straight games, its longest stretch of the season.
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. UC RIVERSIDE: The Aggies lead the Highlanders 23-19 in the all-time series but have lost both games this year... G TRE'SHONTI NOTTINGHAM scored 22 points and G BRITTANY WADDELL added 14 for UC Riverside on Jan. 27 as the Highlanders broke a 23-23 halftime tie with a big second half while winning 72-50... P Paige Mintun scored 12 points for UC Davis... Nottingham scored 25 points in the teams' second meeting later at The Pavilion, offsetting 20 from W Vicky Deely as the Highlanders completed the season sweep with a 74-62 win... UC Riverside has won the last four games and six of the past seven... The Aggies last win in the series came 54-50 at home last season.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE HIGHLANDERS: UC Riverside has won six games in a row, three of them on the road, as it moved into the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament... G TRE'SHONTI NOTTINGHAM (13.7), an All-Big West first-team selection leads four players in double figures, a quartet that also includes ALYSSA MORRIS (12.5) - also a first-team pick - BRITTANY WADDELL (12.0) and RHAYA NEABORS (10.5)... The four have also combined for 154 of the team's 177 three-pointers... Waddell has 47 while Morris has 44... Nottingham has had an impressive season, adding 64 assists and 68 steals while shooting 89.3 percent from the line... The Highlanders are third in the league in defense (61.2), second in field goal percentage defense (.380) and second in steals (10.1), trailing only UC Davis (11.5) in the latter.
LAST GAME - UC DAVIS 72, UC IRVINE 45: P Paige Mintun and W Vicky Deely each scored 14 points on Tuesday as the UC Davis women's basketball team advanced to the ampm Big West Tournament semifinals for the second straight year with a 72-45 win over UC Irvine at The Pavilion... The Aggies trailed UC Irvine 9-7 in the opening minutes but rattled off 10 straight points to lead 17-9 near the midway point... TAYLER Champion's three-pointer with 7 minutes, 33 seconds left brought the Anteaters to within 23-20 but UC Davis eventually built the lead to 38-26 at halftime... But an 8-0 run early in the second half, keyed by four points from Mintun, pushed UC Davis' lead to 46-28 and UC Irvine wouldn't get closer than 16 points the rest of the way... Defense helped highlight the Aggies' effort on Tuesday night, especially in the first half from guard G Hannah Stephens who had four of UC Davis' nine steals... W Lauren Juric added eight boards in the first 20 minutes, six of them on the offensive end, as the Aggies took a 20-16 rebounding advantage into the break... She finished with a season-high 11 rebounds.
TOP 100 NCAA RANKINGS: The Aggies entered the week among the top 100 teams in a dozen NCAA statistical areas including turnover margin (11th), three-pointers (13th), steals (22nd), and 39th in assists (15.2)... Individually, W VICKY DEELEY, who was as high as No. 2 in three-point percentage, is currently No. 39 (.400) while P Paige Mintun, who tied a school record with seven blocks against Pacific, is 60th (1.8) in that department.
MID-MAJOR RANKINGS UPDATE: After spending most of the season ranked among the top 20 in CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll, UC Davis slipped five spots to No. 23 last week before jumping one spot to No. 22 this week... The Aggies debuted in the poll after the first weekend of the year, rose to as high as No. 8 before moving down since the start of the conference season... Three other Big West teams received votes in this week's poll: Cal Poly (11), UC Santa Barbara (9) and UC Riverside (3).
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT HISTORY: UC Davis owns a 22-11 (.667) record in all-time conference tournament games All of the Aggies' postseason games prior to its Big West membership came as part of the NCAC (during its Div. II era)... UC Davis is 3-3 (.500) in Big West Tournament games, advancing to title matchups in 2008 and 2010, and losing in the quarterfinal round in 2009.
ALL-BIG WEST TEAMS ANNOUNCED: The league announced its postseason awards on Monday and the Aggies had three honorees... P Paige Mintun became the first three-time all-conference first-team honoree in team history, W Heidi Heintz earned second-team recognition for the second straight year, and W Vicky Deely was named honorable mention as well as "Sixth Woman of the Year."
DOWNTOWN RECORD: UC Davis has set a school record for most three-pointers in a season, canning 230 this season to break the previous mark of 206 (for an overall season) set last year... The Aggies are averaging 7.6 per game and entered the week ranked 13th in Div. I... They've made at least 10 treys in seven games and over a three-game span against UC Irvine, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara in the middle of the Big West schedule, made 32... UC Davis had a season-high 14 at San Jose State on Dec. 21.
REACHING 20 WINS/DIV. I ERA: The Aggies have won 20 games in a season for the second year in a row, for the second time in four seasons as a Div. I program and for the fourth time under head coach Sandy Simpson... UC Davis is 73-49 (.598) since moving to Div. I, launching its new era in 2007-08, finishing 19-12 and becoming the second team in Big West history to advance to the title game in just its first year of membership... The Aggies have also been to a pair of Women's National Invitational Tournaments (WNIT), losing at Gonzaga in 2008 and in overtime to eventual champion Cal last year.
SUCCESS AGAINST TOUGH SCHEDULE: Another challenging slate of games has not deterred UC Davis this season which already owns wins against the Pac-10 (Washington State), SEC (South Carolina), Ivy League (Yale), Big Sky (Sacramento State), Missouri Valley (Wichita State) and WCC (San Francisco, Pepperdine, Saint Mary's, Santa Clara)...The Aggies have also faced then-No. 15 UCLA of the Pac-10 and Kansas State from the Big 12.
RECORDS UPDATE: P Paige Mintun has 1,330 career points and is No. 4 all-time, passing former teammate P Ellen Porshneva (1,251) during last month's win over Seattle... She also has a school-record 149 career blocks, including a school-record 55 this season... She went over 1,000 points on Dec. 1 and broke the blocks mark (120) at Pacific... She is now T-8th in rebounds (591) and with 158 steals is T-8th on that list as well... W Heidi Heintz went over 1,000 career points (split between seasons at San Francisco and UC Davis) at UCSB in January... She and Mintun were honored for their scoring achievements during pregame ceremonies on Feb. 5.
SIMPSON ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT: HEAD COACH Sandy Simpson announced in October that the upcoming 2010-11 season will be his last in order to spend more time with his family... Simpson, in his 14th season, has a 249-152 (.621) overall record and is the program's all-time leader for wins... He has been coaching for 33 seasons overall including a tenure as an assistant at UC Davis prior to becoming head coach... Simpson led the Aggies to a program-best 29-3 record as interim coach in 1997 as UC Davis finished third at the NCAA Division II Elite Eight Championships... Associate head coach Jennifer Gross, who played on the 1997 squad, has been named as Simpson's replacement on a permanent basis beginning next season.
ON THE AIR AND ON THE INTERNET: All UC Davis games are simulcast on www.ucdavisaggies.com and KDVS (90.3 FM)... Pregame shows begin 15 minutes prior to tipoff... Live stats for all home games, as well as most road matchups, are also available by visiting www.ucdavisaggies.com.