Nov. 11, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. -
TIP-OFF: The UC Davis women’s basketball team (0-1 overall in 2013-14) hits the road for the first time in the new campaign as the Aggies renew a rivalry with former Big West Conference foe Pacific (1-0) on Monday (Nov. 11) at 7 p.m. at the Spanos Center in Stockton, Calif.
IN THE POLLS: Neither Pacific, nor UC Davis, are listed among the Associated Press or USA Today Coaches Poll to start the 2013-14 campaign. However, two of the Aggies’ non-conference opponents are: Connecticut (Dec. 5) enters the season as the No. 1 team in the land after clinching its eighth NCAA National Championship in 2013, while Bay Area rival Stanford is ranked No. 3 in the nation after reaching the third round last season before falling to Georgia by two points. Pacific, which will host UC Davis on Nov. 11, is also receiving one vote on the USA Today list.
SO... HOW ‘BOUT THOSE AGGIES?: Under the direction of third-year Head Coach Jennifer Gross (UC Davis ‘97), the Aggies return three starters and seven letter winners overall off of last season’s squad that finished 12-18 overall and 7-11 in Big West Conference play (seventh place). UC Davis is led on the court by junior forward Sydnee Fipps, who ranked second in the conference in scoring at 17.1 ppg while starting all 30 contests for the Aggies, while Alyson Doherty (5.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and Celia Marfone (5.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg) also return to lead the charge.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE TIGERS: Pacific is 1-0 to start the season after handing Cal State Stanislaus a, 95-65, loss in its season opener on Friday (Nov. 8)... junior center Kendall Kenyon, the only returning starter off of last season’s squad and a second-team All-Big West selection as a sophomore, scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed a career-best 24 rebounds in the win over the Warriors after averaging 10.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game a season ago... the Tigers are in their first season in the West Coast Conference after 29 years as a member of the Big West Conference... Pacific won a school-record 27 games last season, advancing to the “Sweet 16” of the WNIT... Head Coach Lynne Roberts is in her eighth season at the helm... the new-look Tigers feature eight players who didn’t suit up for the team last season after graduating five seniors and losing four starters.
THE SERIES: Separated by just an hour’s drive, UC Davis leads the all-time series with Pacific, 12-11, in a series that dates back to the 1978-79 season... the Tigers have won the last three meetings after sweeping the regular season series from the Aggies in 2012-13, winning 78-64 at home and 59-54 at The Pavilion... UC Davis’ last win in the series came on Feb. 25, 2012, at the Spanos Center by the score of 65-61... the Aggies are 5-6 against the Tigers in Stockton, splitting the last four meetings... six of the last seven meetings between the two have been decided by 10 points or less.
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). 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 Friday’s clash with USC 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 season, 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 event schedules or visit the women’s basketball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com.
I NEED STATS, STAT!: Live stats will be 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.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: Junior guard Kelsey Harris finished with team highs of 14 points and seven rebounds while sophomore guard Molly Greubel added 10 more off the bench, but a pair of key three-pointers broke open a tie game and lifted visiting USC to a 64-55 win over UC Davis in the season opener for both teams on Nov. 8 at The Pavilion. The Trojans’ Aryia Crook finished with a game-high 24 points and hit a three-pointer with just over two minutes to play to break a 53-53 tie and sank another 35 seconds later as part of a game-ending 8-0 run that put it out of reach.
CONFERENCE CALL: UC Davis is a combined 34-41 against the current alignment of the West Coast Conference, including 11-12 against former Big West rival and Monday night’s opponent Pacific... the Aggies have faced seven of the 10 teams currently in the conference, having faced every team but BYU, Loyola Marymount, and San Diego... UC Davis is 1-3 against Pepperdine, 5-5 against San Francisco, 10-10 against Saint Mary’s, 8-9 against Santa Clara, 0-2 against Portland, and 0-3 against Gonzaga.
WHICH CONFERENCE ARE WE IN?: Monday night’s contest at Pacific will begin a “conference season” of sorts for the Aggies, marking the first of four contests against the WCC in 2013-14 with games against San Francisco (Nov. 29), Saint Mary’s (Dec. 15), and Santa Clara (Dec. 18) looming on the horizon. Last season’s, 70-59, win over Santa Clara at home snapped a five-game losing streak against the WCC (not counting games against then-Big West Conference rival Pacific) dating back to a, 64-50, win over San Francisco on Nov. 22, 2011. UC Davis hasn’t defeated a WCC school on the road since a 70-62 victory against Pepperdine in Malibu on Nov. 19, 2010.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Aggies have won five of their last six road openers after suffering a, 72-65, loss at San Francisco last season that stopped a five-game winning streak in such contests. Prior to that, UC Davis’ last loss in a road opener came in 2006-07, falling at Boise State, 73-56.
DECADE OF DOMINANCE AT THE PAVILION: The Aggies have defended the home court well over the last 10 seasons, winning nearly two-third of their contests at The Pavilion to the tune of a combined 87-48 (.644) record dating back to 2003-04. In that span, UC Davis has suffered a losing home record only twice in 2008-09 (5-8) and 2012-13 (5-9) while posting double-digit win totals four times, including a high of 12 victories against only three defeats in the 2010-11 campaign.
AGGIES... FOR FREEEE!!: UC Davis got off to a solid start from the free throw line in 2013-14, hitting its first eight from the line and 21-for-28 (.750) for the contest against USC in the season opener. The total marked the highest total for the Aggies since they finished 27-for-35 from the line in last year’s season opener against Pepperdine in an 83-63 loss to the Waves at home.
MINUTE WOMEN: Sophomores Molly Greubel and Alyson Doherty laid it all on the line Friday night against USC, setting new career highs with 33 and 35 minutes played, respectively for the Aggies. Doherty’s 35 minutes (which were eight more than her previous high of 27 set against USC and Cal State Fullerton last season) were second only to the Trojans’ Cassie Harberts’ 38 minutes in the game.
A NEW KIND OF LEADER: Junior Kelsey Harris led UC Davis with a team-high 14 points against USC, becoming the first Aggie not named Sydnee Fipps to lead the team in scoring dating back to Alyson Doherty’s 15-point night at Cal State Northridge on Feb. 16, 2013. Fipps was a monster in the point column en route to finishing second in the Big West in scoring last season, leading UC Davis in the point column in 21 of the team’s 30 contests as a sophomore.
RARE: Kudos to the USC defense, which held UC Davis’ high-scoring Sydnee Fipps to single digits for the first time since Feb. 2, 2013, when UC Irvine limited her to just three points -- just one of three such occassions in all of 2012-13. However, the junior from Mariposa seemed to bounce-back well, rattling off 10-consecutive double-digit scoring performances following that contest, including 27 points against UC Riverside on Feb. 21 -- her seventh, 20-point game of the year.
AGGIES PICKED SIXTH IN BIG WEST PRESEASON MEDIA POLL: UC Davis was picked to finish sixth in the race for the 2013-14 Big West Conference crown according to a vote of the league’s media members released by the conference office on Oct. 23. The Aggies garnered 72 points to finish ahead of Cal State Fullerton (59), UC Irvine (54), and UC Riverside (38). Defending conference champion Cal Poly was the popular pick to defending its title, receiving 17 first-place votes and 177 points overall to edge out second-place Hawaii (three first-place votes, 159 points). Cal State Northridge (121 points), Long Beach State (120), and UC Santa Barbara (100), round out the top five.
FIPPS HONORED: UC Davis junior Sydnee Fipps was one of six players named to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team by the members of the media, one season after being named to the All-Big West First Team. Fipps started all 30 games for the Aggies in 2012-13, leading the team (and ranking second in the league) in scoring while pacing the team at 5.1 rebounds per game. She shot .443 from the floor, .319 from three-point range, and .817 from the line, while amassing the most points (512) by a sophomore in the history of the program.
TOURNEY TESTED SCHEDULE: The Aggies will embark on yet another challenging campaign in 2013-14, facing two of the sport’s legendary programs in preseason No. 3 Stanford and top-ranked defending NCAA champion Connecticut, as well as nine schools overall that saw action in either the NCAA Tournament or WNIT postseason event last season. The Huskies completed their run to their eighth national championship with a finals win over Louisville while the Cardinal advanced to the third round of the tournament before falling to Georgia. Big West Conference Tournament champion Cal Poly is the third NCAA Tournament opponent on the slate for 2013-14 while six other opponents (Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, Hawaii, Akron, Pacific, and Saint Mary’s) were WNIT qualifiers.
HOWARD DEAN WOULD BE PROUD: Not only are the Aggies going to Stockton, they’re going to Palo Alto and San Luis Obispo and Hartford and Hempstead (New York) and Moraga and Santa Clara, in search of victories... YEAH! UC Davis will be playing eight of its first 10 contests away from the friendly confines of The Pavilion to tip-off the 2013-14 campaign with only regular season contests against USC (Nov. 8) and San Jose State (Nov. 26) contested in front of the hometown faithful in that stretch. The Aggies won’t return home for an extended stretch until Dec. 21, beginning a season-long five-game homestand against non-conference foes Houston Baptist (Dec. 21), Sacramento State (Dec. 28), and Simpson University (Jan. 2), before opening Big West Conference competition against Cal State Northridge (Jan. 9) and Long Beach State (Jan. 11). In all, UC Davis will host just 13 of its 29 regular season contests at The Pavilion this season.
ALL OVER THE MAP: Aside from its requisite slate of Big West Conference contests, the Aggies will face-off against opponents from eight different conferences, including four from the West Coast Conference (Pacific, San Francisco, Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara), two from the Pac-12 (USC and Stanford), and one each from the Mountain West (San Jose State), Mid-American (Akron), American Athletic (UConn), Colonial Athletic (Hofstra), Southland (Houston Baptist), and Big Sky (Sacramento State).
BY THE NUMBERS: With seven letterwinners coming back for the 2013-14 season, the Aggies return 65 percent (1,177) of their points, 75 percent (753) of their rebounds, half of their assists (182), just over half of their steals (173), and two-thirds of their blocked shots (67) from a season ago. What does that all mean? We don’t know, but numbers are fun.
THEY’RE BAAAAAAAAACK!: Aside from the new faces on the bench, Head Coach Jennifer Gross will also regain the services of a pair of players who missed out on last year’s campaign due to injury as Brianna Salvatore and Lauren Beyer bounce back to compete once again in 2013-14. Salvatore appeared in only six games last season before going down, scoring six points and grabbing 20 rebounds a season after averaging a career-best 3.5 ppg and 2.7 rpg as a sophomore. Beyer, a 2011 McDonald’s High School All-America nominee as a senior after helping Bradshaw Christian School to four CIF Sac-Joaquin Section titles, has missed the better part of the last two years since suffering a season-ending injury just two games into her freshman season sitting out all of 2012-13 to recover.