Madness Begins Tuesday at Big West Tournament

March 11, 2014

THIS WEEK...
UC Davis (14-15, 9-7) at Big West Conference Tournament
#5 UC Davis vs. #8 UC Santa Barbara
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
6:00 p.m.
Long Beach, Calif. | Walter Pyramid
Game Coverage:
Watch ESPN3.com | Live Audio (KDVS 90.3 FM) | Live Stats | UC Davis Notes

The Last Meeting
UC Davis65
UC Santa Barbara47
March 1, 2014
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Aggies Sweep Series From Gauchos With 65-47 Win
UC Davis junior Sydnee Fipps finished with game high's of 18 points and eight rebounds to pace three Aggies in double figures and the visitors led wire-to-wire Saturday afternoon en route to a 65-47 win over host UC Santa Barbara in a Big West Conference women's basketball match-up at The Thunderdome.

TIP-OFF: The road to the NCAA Tournament begins this week for the UC Davis women’s basketball team (14-15 overall, 9-7 in the Big West Conference), as the Aggies take the No. 5 seed to Southern California for the 31st Annual Big West Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament. UC Davis opens tournament play on Tuesday (March 11) at 6 p.m., taking on eighth-seeded UC Santa Barbara in a first-round match-up at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.

#FORGENEVIEVE: The UC Davis women’s basketball team joined in the fight against breast cancer while honoring one of its own, hosting its annual “Pink Game” on Saturday, Feb. 22, during its Big West Conference clash versus Hawaii as pink clad fans showed up in support of the cause as the Aggies rallied for a, 56-52, victory over the Rainbow Wahine.

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.

FIPPS, DOHERTY EARN ALL-BIG WEST HONORS: UC Davis junior Sydnee Fipps was named to the All-Big West Conference First Team for the second-straight season, while sophomore Alyson Doherty earned second-team laurels as the league’s all-conference honor roll was announced on Monday.

Fipps joins Paige Mintun (a first-team honoree for three-straight seasons from 2009-11) as the only Aggies to have earned multiple first-team all-conference honors in the Big West, and continunes a string that has seen a UC Davis player earn a first-team all-conference award every season since joining the league.

Monday’s honor is the first all-conference award for Doherty after the sophomore was named to the Big West All-Freshman Team in 2013.

For more information and the complete all-conference teams, please visit http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/031014aaa.html.

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 all of the Aggies’ contests at the Big West Conference Tournament, 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.

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.

AGGIES IN THE TOURNEY: UC Davis has qualified for the Big West Conference Tournament in every season since becoming a full-fledged member of the league in 2007-08... the Aggies have made the conference tournament championship game three times in that span (2008, 2010, and 2011), including winning the tournament title in 2011 to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time at the Division I level... UC Davis is 5-5 all-time in the Big West Tournament, but has lost its last two tournament games after falling in the first round in 2012 (vs. Pacific) and 2013 (vs. Cal State Northridge.

2008: 1-1 (W, UC Riverside... L, UC Santa Barbara)
2009: 0-1 (L, Cal State Northridge)
2010: 1-1 (W, UC Santa Barbara... L, UC Riverside)
2011: 3-0 (W, UC Irvine... W, UC Riverside... W, Cal Poly)
2012: 0-1 (L, Pacific)
2013: 0-1 (L, Cal State Northridge)

A QUICK LOOK AT THE GAUCHOS: UC Santa Barbara enters the Big West Tournament with an 8-21 overall record and finished 3-13 in conference play during the regular season... the Gauchos have lost their last four straight since a 10-point win over Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 22, falling to Hawaii (73-60) and Cal Poly (79-68) in their final two regular season contests... senior guard Nicole Nesbit is one of three UCSB players in double figures, averaging a team-best 15.4 ppg to go with 3.6 apg while shooting .352 from the floor... senior guard Melissa Zorning (14.3 ppg and 15.4 ppg in conference play) and senior guard Destini Mason (11.3 ppg) are also in double figures... the Gauchos are averaging 64.5 ppg (8th in the Big West) and shooting .411 from the floor (3rd in the Big West), while opponents are averaging 70.5 ppg (5th in the league) and shooting .449 from the field (9th in the league).

THE SERIES: UC Santa Barbara leads the all-time series with UC Davis, 15-11, but the Aggies swept the regular season series from the Gauchos with an 82-70 win at The Pavilion and a 65-47 victory at The Thunderdome -- the first regular season sweep for the “good guys” since the 2010-11 campaign... UC Davis is 1-1 against UCSB in the Big West Tournament, facing the Gauchos in the 2008 championship game in their first-ever Big West Tournament (L, 74-59) and, again, in the 2010 semifinals (W, 63-53)... the Aggies are 9-7 against UCSB since becoming members of the Big West, including a six-game winning streak from 2009-12.

DON’T GET CAUGHT LOOKING AHEAD: The players and the coaches probably won’t admit to it, so we’ll do it for them. Should the Aggies prevail on Tuesday night against the Gauchos, it would set up a third meeting this season with fourth-seeded UC Irvine on Wednesday (March 12) at approximately 8:30 p.m.

AND, NOW... THE REST OF THE FIELD...: Fresh off its first Big West Conference regular season title, Cal State Northridge is the top seed in this week’s tournament and, along with second-seeded Cal Poly, have earned a bye into the semifinal round of the tournament which begins play on Friday (March 14) at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Hawaii and UC Irvine are the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, respectively and await the winners of Tuesday’s first-round games featuring the Aggies and Gauchos and No. 6 Long Beach State against No. 7 Cal State Fullerton.

WE SURVEYED 100 PEOPLE...: And the top four Aggies are on the board. Four 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 four statistical rankings entering the week. Sophomore Alyson Doherty is a newcomer to the list, entering the week ranked No. 23 in the nation in field goal percentage (.557), while classmate Molly Greubel is among the top 30 free-throw shooters in the country, standing 29th (.865) in the NCAA in that category. Junior Kelsey Harris is among the best in two different categories, ranking 37th in three-pointers per game (2.72) and 41st in three-point percentage (.401), while junior Sydnee Fipps is 97th in the country in scoring at 17.8 ppg. As a team, the Aggies are ranked 10th in the country in free throw percentage (.775), 43rd in three-pointers per game (7.5 pg), 82nd in field goal percentage (.423), and 86th in assists (14.4 apg).

THIS CLOSE: A couple of balls bounce the other way for the Aggies and the 2013-14 season could look a lot different. Of UC Davis’ seven conference losses, five of those came by nine points or fewer -- a total of 52 points -- while eight of their 15 losses overall this season were by single digits.

A “GROSS” MISCALCULATION: But in a good way... for most everyone but Sydnee Fipps. Our crack research staff has uncovered 100 points that were not creditied to UC Davis Head Coach Jennifer Gross from her playing days, giving her a boost to 1,243 career points without her even having to lace ‘em up. The total breaks a tie for ninth that she previously held with Lisa Jo Kellogg and catapaulted her past both Kari Sivesind and Fipps into seventh place all time, 60 points ahead of her current charge after Fipps had, apparently, passed her coach earlier this season with an 18-point night against UC Santa Barbara back on March 1 in Santa Barbara.

AND FIPPS MAKES THREE: Despite her dropping a spot on the all-time scoring list, Fipps is still among a select group in Aggie women’s basketball history, joining all-time leading scorer Carol Rische (1979-83) and Ellen Porshneva (2003-06, 2007-08) as the only players to reach the 1,000 career point plateau as a junior.

THE SYDNEE 500: Fipps’ 515 points this season marks only the fifth 500-point season by a UC Davis women’s basketball player in the history of the program and she ranks third on the school’s single-season list, passing the 512 points she scored last season as a sophomore. She stands just 46 points shy of Aimee Conner (561 in 1992-93) for second place, but probably needs a deep run into the postseason to catch Staci Stevens’ 1987-88 single-season record of 600 points.

DON’T CALL ME ‘JUNIOR!’: Fipps’ scoring exploits this season has allowed the junior to etch her name in the record books for a second-straight year as the Mariposa, Calif., native supplanted Staci Stevens as the highest-scoring junior in the history of the program with 515 points (and counting). 

#WINNING: UC Davis’ 14 wins overall and nine Big West Conference victories eclipsed the Aggies win totals in both categories from all of last season and are the most since they finished 17-13 overall and 9-7 in the Big West during the 2011-12 campaign.

SALVATORE’S A GOOD SPORT: UC Davis junior guard Brianna Salvatore was honored by the Big West Conference with the league’s 2013 Sportsmanship Award on March 7, as voted on by her peers. Each school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee voted for a male and female representative who best displayed sportsmanship during the 2013 calendar year. Sportsmanship, as defined by the SAAC Council, is “conduct or practice of fairness, courtesy, and honor, while participating in sports; the ethos carried, not only in victory, but also in the face of defeat.” This is the first year of a modified Sportsmanship Award, which now recognizes individuals as opposed to teams under the old format.

ROOM TO BOARD: Sophomore Celia Marfone has found the glass to be quite inviting as of late, grabbing double-digit rebounds in three of her last four contests, including a career-high 15 rebounds in a win over UC Riverside last week -- a total that stood just three shy of the Aggies’ single-game top 10 and seven off the single-game record of 22 set by Kendall Greene vs. Humboldt State on March 3, 1995. She also had 12 rebounds at Cal Poly on Feb. 27 and 10 more against UC Irvine on March 8 as part of double-doubles, and is averaging 10.8 rpg over her last four outings. The performances have pushed into the top 15 on the Big West charts, entering the tournament ranked No. 11 in the league at 6.0 rpg.

WINDEX WOMEN: Speaking of rebounds, the Aggies outrebounded visiting UC Irvine, 41-37, in their regular season finale at The Pavilion, marking the fourth consecutive game that UC Davis has held an advantage on the glass dating back to a 13-rebounds advantage at Cal Poly on Feb. 27. The Aggies have outrebounded the opposition just 12 times in 29 games this season and are 9-3 in those contests thus far.

HARRIS HOISTS UP THE THREE: Of Kelsey Harris’ 102 field goal makes this season, 79 of those (77 percent) have come from beyond the arc, inching her closer to the top spot in the UC Davis single-season record books. Harris enters the week ranked second on the list, just two back of the single-season record held by Karen Boisvert, and her 81 three-pointers, in 1991.

SHE’S JUST ALY FROM THE BLOCK: Sophomore Alyson Doherty racked up a career high-tying four blocks against UC Irvine in the regular season finale, giving her 35 for the year and moving her into a tie with Paige Mintun (2009-10) for seventh on the school’s single-season list. She is just three swats shy of Staci Stevens (38 blocks in 1987-88) for sixth entering this week’s tournament and has accounted for better than half of her team’s 68 blocks on the year. Coupled with her 27 blocks as a freshman, Doherty remained in sole possession of ninth on the school’s career blocks list with 62, just two back of Kari Sivesind (64 from 1992-96) and three behind Lauren Juric (65 from 2008-12) for seventh all-time.

DOHERTY ON A ROLL (HOLD THE MAYO): Capped by her 20-point performance against UC Irvine in the regular season finale, Doherty enters the Big West Tournament on a bit of a roll, scoring in double figures in each of her last seven contests, averaging 14.9 ppg and 6.7 rpg while shooting just over 53 percent (43-for-81) from the floor. Doherty has scored at least 20 points five times this season (the first 20-point games of her career) and has tallied the first three double-doubles of her career against San Jose State (13 pts.-10 reb.), Cal State Northridge (10 pts.-11 reb.), and Cal Poly (22 pts.-10 reb.).

AGGIES OUT TO PAINT THE TOWN: Powered, in large part, by Alyson Doherty’s emergence inside, the Aggies have led their opponents in the “points in the paint” category in five of the team’s last six games (the sixth being a tie at Cal Poly on Feb. 27), outscoring their counterparts by 56 points over that stretch -- including a 40-12 advantage against UC Riverside on March 6. When UC Davis has won the battle down low, the Aggies have been good, posting an 11-5 record in 16 such games. However, when the opponent has found its way inside, UC Davis is just 2-10.

DOUBLE DOUBLE-DOUBLE: That’s a lot of doubles. When sophomore forward Alyson Doherty (22 points and 10 rebounds) and classmate Celia Marfone (12 points and 12 rebounds) doubled-up on Cal Poly in the Aggies’ eight-point win on Feb. 27, it marked the first time since the 2004-05 season that UC Davis has had a pair of double-doubles in the same game. That season, Jessica Campbell (10 points and 11 rebounds) and Lara Gray (14 points and 13 rebounds) accomplished the feat in the Aggies’ season opener at Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 19.

HELPING HAND: UC Davis’ 19 assists against both UC Riverside and UC Irvine marked the second and third times this season that the Aggies have had at least that many helpers, ranking behind only the 22 assists set against the Anteaters on Feb. 8 in Irvine.

ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER: For the first time since the beginning of Decemeber, an opposing defense found a way to stop junior forward Sydnee Fipps, who was held to a season-low five points in the regular season finale against UC Irvine. The total ended a run of 19 consecutive double-digit scoring performances for the Mariposa, Calif., native, who had been averaging 19.4 ppg (including 12, 20-point performances) over that stretch. All was not lost, however, as Fipps did her best to set up her teammates, tallying a career-high five assists against the Anteaters to go with seven rebounds.

20-POINTS OF LIGHT: Fipps registered her 15th, 20-point performance of the year (and 22nd of her career) last Thursday in UC Davis’ win over UC Riverside and, if she keeps it up, the junior 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.

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 .775 from the line -- a total that also has them among the top 20 teams in the nation in that category (No. 10) as of March 3. Sophomore Molly Greubel (2nd - .865) and junior Sydnee Fipps (5th - .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 21 times in 29 contests overall -- including the last four at better than 80 percent.

PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES: Speaking of percentages, of UC Davis’ 1,546 field goals attempted this season, almost 44 percent (675) have come from beyond the arc -- the highest percentage of any school in the Big West. The Aggies are the most efficient shooting team in the conference, taking the fewest field goals, but leading the league with a .423 field goal percentage, while ranking second in the league in both three-point makes (217) and attempts (675).

DOUBLE DIPPING: UC Davis’ Sydnee Fipps and Alyson Doherty both enter the week as members of a select group of six players in the Big West Conference who rank among, both, the league’s top 15 in scoring and rebounding -- including the top four scorers in the conference and the top three rebounders. Fipps, who ranks third in the conference in scoring and 15th in rebounding, and Doherty, who is 14th in the league in scoring and ninth in rebounding, join Cal Poly’s Molly Schlemer, UC Irvine’s Camille Buckley, Hawaii’s Kamilah Jackson, and UC Riverside’s Brittany Crain, on the list.

NOBODY’S PERFECT: However, the Aggies’ Molly Greubel did her best to be over the last four games. The sophomore did not miss a shot from the 2:47 mark of the second half against Cal Poly on Feb. 27 until she missed her first attempt of the game at the 6:46 mark of the first half against UC Irvine on March 8 -- a span of 89:39 of game time. During that stretch, Greubel was a perfect 8-of-8 from the field (including draining both of her three-point attempts) and an unblemished 8-of-8 from the line, helping the Aggies to wins over UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside, in the process. Greubel is the third UC Davis player to finish perfect from the field this season (with a minimum of three makes), but the only one of the three to have made all their field goals, three-pointers, and free throws. Earlier in the year, sophomore Lauren Beyer had the best perfect day against San Jose State, finishing an unblemished 5-for-5 from the floor and was joined in that game by junior Brianna Salvatore, who was 3-for-3 from the field -- including 2-for-2 from three-point range.

DOUBLE-DIGIT DOMINATION: With four players in double figures last week against UC Riverside, the Aggies have had at least that many reach 10-or-more points in the same game eight times this season. Not shockingly, UC Davis has yet to lose one of those contests, improving to 8-0 when that happens in 2013-14.