Ranked Cardinal opens Aggies' basketball season

Preseason All-Big West selection, senior center Alyson Doherty, narrowly missed a double-double with 13 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks, in the Aggies' exhibition win over Humboldt State last week. (Photo by Mark Honbo/UC Davis Athletics Communications)
Nov. 11, 2015

THIS WEEK...
GAME 1: #16/14 Stanford (0-0) at UC Davis (0-0)
Friday, Nov. 13, 2015
The Pavilion (Davis, Calif.)
7:30 p.m.
TV: None
RADIO: KDVS 90.3 FM
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | Video | UC Davis Notes | Stanford Notes

TIP OFF: Coming off an overtime victory in its only exhibition contest of the season, the UC Davis women’s basketball team officially opens its 2015-16 campaign on Friday night (Nov. 13), welcoming No. 16/14 Stanford to The Pavilion for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off. The contest will be the nightcap of a doubleheader with the defending Big West Conference champion UC Davis men’s team, which hosts North Dakota State in its regular-season opener at 5:30 p.m.

IN THE POLLS: UC Davis is unranked to begin the season... Stanford opens the year ranked No. 14 according to USA Today and No. 16 according to the Associated Press.

AGAINST THE TOP 25: Since making the jump to the Division I level in 2007-08, UC Davis has played 13 games against teams ranked in one, or both, of the national polls, including the top-ranked team in the nation in each of the last three years: 2012-13 (Stanford), 2013-14 (UConn), and 2014-15 (UConn). The Aggies, however, have yet to post a victory in any of those contests against nationally ranked foes, coming no closer than 12 points against No. 22 South Dakota State on Dec. 17, 2008.

UC Davis vs. the Top 25 (Division I results only)
Dec. 2, 2007 - at #6 Stanford (L, 62-41)
Dec. 9, 2007 - at #18 Arizona State (L, 77-56)
Dec. 3, 2008 - vs. #25 Arizona State (L, 73-59)
Dec. 17, 2008 - at #22 South Dakota State (L, 59-47)
Dec. 28, 2008 - at #11 Stanford (L, 84-49)
Nov. 22, 2009 - vs. #2 Stanford (L, 76-51)
March 19, 2010 - at #2 Stanford (L, 86-59... NCAA First Round)
Nov. 21, 2010 - at #15 UCLA (L, 65-49)
Nov. 30, 2011 - at #5 Stanford (L, 93-44)
Nov. 30, 2012 - vs. #1 Stanford (L, 87-37)
Nov. 17, 2013 - at #2 Stanford (L, 66-48)
Dec. 5, 2013 - at #1 UConn (L, 97-37)
Nov. 14, 2014 - vs. #1 UConn (L, 102-43)

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 (facebook.com/UCDavisWomensBasketball) as well as follow them on Twitter (@UCDavisWBB) and Instagram (instagram.com/ucdaviswbb). In-game updates on game day are also available on Twitter by following @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 this season, as well as broadcast locally on KDVS 90.3 FM, beginning with this weekend’s exhibition against Humboldt State. Brian Fuller and Andy Clausen will handle the call for most of this year’s contests. 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, Big West TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews, and features, including every home and conference contest. Now in its 12th year, Big West TV will again air all of the Aggies’ home and conference clashes FOR FREE during the 2015-16 campaign. Log on to www.bigwest.org/thisweek for weekly schedules or visit the women’s basketball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com to access the links.

I NEED STATS, STAT!: Barring technical difficulties, live stats for all UC Davis home games, as well as most road contests, are available on your computer and mobile device courtesy the StatBroadcast platform. Visit the women’s basketball schedule page at UCDavisAggies.com or UCDavisLiveStats.com to access the links.

ABOUT THE CARDINAL: Stanford returns nine letter winners and three starters off of last season’s squad that finished 26-10 overall, clinched the program’s 11th Pac-12 Tournament title, and advanced to its eighth consecutive “Sweet Sixteen”... The Cardinal are coming off an 81-48 exhibition win over the Academy of Art on Saturday, led by junior forward Erica McCall’s double-double of 19 points and 16 rebounds... Junior guard Lili Thompson shared the team lead at 13.3 points per game a season ago, shooting .409 from the floor and ranking second on the team in both assists (81) and steals (30)... Karlie Samuelson (17) and Alanna Smith (12) were also in double figures for the Cardinal against the Urban Knights.

SERIES NOTES: The series between the Aggies and the Cardinal is all tied up at 10 wins apiece, but Stanford has won the last nine consecutive meetings dating back to the 1979-80 season... The Cardinal have won all eight meetings between the two programs during UC Davis’ Division I Era... The Aggies won nine straight at one point in the series according to year-by-year records that date back to the 1971-72 season, a run that lasted from 1971-72 until 1977-78... Friday night marks only the third time the two teams have played at The Pavilion since the Aggies made the jump, with the Cardinal coming out ahead in 2009 (76-51) and 2012 (87-37) -- the latter with Stanford coming in as the No. 1 team in the nation... Seven of UC Davis’ 13 meetings against top-25 schools have been against Stanford... The Aggies’ last win in the series came on Feb. 7, 1978, in a 61-54 win at home... With the location of four games in the series unknown, UC Davis is 3-2 against Stanford at home.

CONFERENCE CALL: UC Davis is a combined 21-23 (.477) against the current Pacific-12 Conference alignment, having faced eight of the 12 member schools... The Aggies have lost their last five meetings against Pac-12 opponents dating back to a 78-69 win over USC on Dec. 21, 2012... UC Davis has previously faced: Arizona State (0-3), California (7-3), Oregon State (0-2), Stanford (10-10), UCLA (0-2), USC (1-1), Washington (2-1), and Washington State (1-1).

LID LIFTERS: Friday’s contest against Stanford marks the fourth consecutive season that the Aggies will open the year in front of the hometown faithful, looking to snap a three-game skid in season openers following last season’s defeat to top-ranked UConn... The losing streak follows a five-game winning streak from 2007-12, the last win coming against Washington, 69-68, on the road in Seattle to tip-off the 2011-12 campaign... UC Davis is 23-18 all-time in season dating back to the 1974-75 campaign, including a 10-7 mark at home in that span (with the locations of three games unknown)... The Aggies’ last win when opening a season at home came on Nov. 11, 2007, defeating Sacramento State, 68-39, at The Pavilion... UC Davis is 6-4 in its last 10 home openers dating back to 2003-04.

LAST TIME OUT - UC DAVIS 77, HUMBOLDT STATE 64: The host Aggies withstood an end-of-regulation rally by visiting Humboldt State and opened overtime by scoring the first 14 points of the extra period, lifting UC Davis to a 77-64 exhibition win over the Lumberjacks at The Pavilion. Sophomore Rachel Nagel finished with a team-high 15 points and added six rebounds to lead a trio in double figures as Alyson Doherty posted 13 points, nine rebounds (seven offensive), and five blocks, while Celia Marfone finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Marfone (twice) and Pele Gianotti kicked off the overtime with three-pointers to spark the rally that pushed UC Davis’ lead to 12 with just over two minutes to play. Another basket by Gianotti, and a short jumper by Morgan Bertsch capped the scoring for the Aggies, who led by five with 39 seconds remaining in regulation before the Lumberjacks rallied to tie it.

BLOCKS A LOT: Led by five swats from Doherty, and two more by redshirt freshman Morgan Bertsch, the Aggies’ posted nine total blocks as a team in their exhibition win over Humboldt State which, had the stats counted, would have been the team’s highest total since they had the same number at home against UC Irvine on March 8, 2011. Doherty’s five blocks would also have been a career high and the most for a UC Davis player in a game since Paige Mintun had seven against Pacific on Feb. 9, 2011.

GOING THE OTHER WAY: Despite committing 23 turnovers against the Lumberjacks, the Aggies’ defense was able to limit the damage, holding Humboldt State to just 15 points off those miscues on Saturday night. On the other had, UC Davis was able to take advantage of their opponents’ mistakes, cashing in on 21 turnovers to the tune of 27 points.

ROOM TO BOARD: When not blocking the shot away from the rim, UC Davis was apt to take it off the rim, out-rebounding Humboldt State, 55-50, for the match -- a total that would have ranked tied for second in the school’s Division I Era for a single-game along with the 55 rebounds against Santa Clara on Dec. 16, 2012. The Division I mark for rebounds in a game was set last season with 56 against Sacramento State on Nov. 18, which was also the highest total for the Aggies since grabbing 56 boards against Corban University (formerly Western Baptist) on Dec. 28, 2001.

SO... HOW ‘BOUT THEM AGGIES?: The Aggies return a pair of starters and nine players overall off of last season’s squad that finished 15-16 overall and 8-8 in Big West Conference play to end in a tie for fifth. Wins over UC Irvine and Long Beach State in the first two rounds of the conference tournament propelled UC Davis into the semifinals for the first time since 2011, where the Aggies fell to tournament champion CSUN.

ACCOLADES FOR ALY: Senior center Alyson Doherty was one of six student-athletes named to the preseason All-Big West team announced by the league office on Oct. 27. She is one of four seniors on the all-upperclassman squad as selected by a media panel, joined by UC Riverside’s Brittany Crain and Annelise Ito, and Hawai’i’s Ashleigh Karaitiana, along with juniors Mokun Fajemisin of UC Irvine and Raven Benton of Long Beach State. Doherty was also one of 10 student-athletes named to the College Sports Madness All-Big West squad, joining Crain, Benton, Ito, and Fajemisin, on the first team.

AGGIES PICKED SIXTH IN BIG WEST RACE: UC Davis was picked to finish sixth in the league by a media panel that covers Big West women’s basketball with 75 points, finishing ahead of fellow Big West Tournament semifinalist Cal State Fullerton (46), UC Irvine (38), and UC Santa Barbara (26). Defending Big West regular season champion Hawai’i was picked to repeat, garnering 13 of the 17 first-place votes and 147 points overall. UC Riverside (two first-place votes, 127 points), Cal Poly (one first-place vote, 107 points), CSUN (100 points), and Long Beach State (one first-place vote, 99 points), round out the top five.

TOURNEY-TESTED SCHEDULE: A total of 11 games against opponents that reached the postseason a year ago, including a season-opening clash with NCAA “Sweet 16” star Stanford, highlights the Aggies’ 29-game regular season schedule for 2015-16. UC Davis faces off against NCAA Tournament participants Albany (first round), Stanford (“Sweet 16”), and CSUN (first round), which are joined by WNIT selections Pacific (first round), Saint Mary’s (quarterfinals), Sacramento State (third round), Long Beach State (first round), and Hawai’i (first round), on this year’s slate.

LET’S PLAY TWO: Harkening back to their old Division II days, the Aggies will join the UC Davis men’s team on the floor for five doubleheaders this season -- including four of those in Big West Conference play. Following the season-opening twinbill against Stanford, the Aggies will face UC Irvine (Jan. 14), UC Santa Barbara (Jan. 30), Cal State Fullerton (Feb. 13), and CSUN (Feb. 27), in the first game of a double-dip with the men’s squad, which will take on CSUN, Cal Poly, Long Beach State, and UC Irvine, respectively, after their season opener against North Dakota State on Nov. 13 that precedes the women’s contest against the Cardinal.

CRASHING MORE THAN THE BOARDS: If the post tandem of Alyson Doherty and Celia Marfone can clean the glass as well as they did last season, the duo will crash their way into the Aggie career record books in the process. Doherty (508) and Marfone (480) are both within striking distance of Jessica Campbell (2003-06, 2007-08) and Sarah Allen (1998-03), who are tied for ninth with 591 career rebounds to their name. The career record is held by Carol Rische, who grabbed 1,028 boards from 1978-83.

MORE ON MARFONE: In fact, Marfone’s 208 rebounds last season were quite a feat as the Laguna Hills, California, native became the first Aggie to grab at least 200 rebounds in a season since Lara Gray (204) in 2005 and posted the highest single-season total by an Aggie since Colleen Turnbull grabbed 278 boards in 2003. The single season record is held by Lisa Jo Kellogg, who finished with 301 rebounds during the 1990-91 campaign -- accounting for nearly half her career total of 698 that ranks fourth all time.

PATROLLING THE PAINT: Having posted two of the top-10 single-season block marks in school history over the last two years, senior Alyson Doherty in closing in on a defensive milestone of her own. Doherty, whose 35 blocks during her sophomore and junior years rank in a tie for seventh on the single-season list, enters her final year just three swats shy of 100 for her career -- a plateau that would put her among a select group of Aggies who have reached the century mark in the category alongside Paige Mintun (2006-11), Kendall Greene (1992-96), and Janae Henning (1998-02). With 97 blocks to her name, Doherty is just 12 back of Henning for third all-time, 22 behind Greene, and 53 back of career leader Mintun.

SEEING DOUBLE: When Karley (older by one minute) and Kourtney Eaton take the floor for the first time, it is believed to be only the second time in the history of the program that UC Davis women’s basketball will have had sisters take the floor together in the same season for the Aggies, joining Dru and Rachelle Hanft during the 1999 campaign. Taking it one step further, both sets of sisters are identical twins.

BY THE NUMBERS: With nine letterwinners returning for the 2015-16 season, the Aggies have a lot to work with. UC Davis returns 59 percent (1,178 of 2,010) of its points, 72 percent (785 of 1085) of its rebounds, 61 percent (434 of 717) of its made baskets, 65 percent (309 of 473) of its assists, and 52 percent (102 of 198) of its steals from the previous year. What does it all mean? We don’t know, but numbers are fun.

DECADE OF DOMINANCE AT THE PAVILION: The Aggies have defended the home court well over the last 12 seasons, winning nearly two-thirds of their contests at The Pavilion to the tune of a combined 101-59 (.631) 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 wins against only three defeats in 2010-11.

WELCOME, STEPHANIE!: Long-time assistant coach and former UC Santa Barbara standout Stephanie Shadwell has joined the UC Davis women’s basketball staff as the Director of Basketball Operations it was announced on Sept. 10. Shadwell takes over for the departed Heidi Heintz, who was named an assistant coach at UC San Diego. Shadwell comes to the Aggies after spending the 2014-15 campaign as an assistant at Cal State San Marcos, helping the Cougars to a 16-16 overall record and a second consecutive Association of Independent Institutions Conference title. CSUSM won 10 of its final 14 games en route to a berth in the NAIA Division I Championships. Read the complete release online at: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/091015aaa.html.

AGGIES INVADE EUROPE: The now-graduated trio of standouts Sydnee Fipps, Kelsey Harris, and Briana Salvatore, skipped right over taking their talents to South Beach, hopping a plane for Europe to compete professionally on an international stage. Harris was the first to sign, as the sharpshooter inked a deal to play for the WSG ‘81 Koenigs Wusterhausen Red Dragons in August in the German 2nd Bundesliga. Fipps followed suit, signing a six-month contract to play for Clube Desportivo Torres Nova in Portugal in September, and was followed quickly by Salvatore, who wrapped up an internship as a public relations specialist with the IDIAP Research Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland, before joining Esperance sportive Pully in the Swiss Ligue Nationale de Basket.

Stats (as of Nov. 11, 2015... via Eurobasket.com)
                             GP    PPG    RPG    APG
Kelsey Harris           6    7.8    3.0    1.7
Sydnee Fipps          4    6.0    5.5    0.5
Brianna Salvatore    5    13.4    9.0    4.8 

The Last Meeting
UC Davis59
Stanford71
December 22, 2014
Stanford, Calif.
Doherty, Fipps pace Aggies at #16 Stanford
Junior center Alyson Doherty finished with 17 points and seven rebounds to go with a pair of blocked shots, while senior Sydnee Fipps added 13 more on Monday afternoon, but a late 12-4 burst by host Stanford broke open what was a four-point game, lifting the No. 16 Cardinal to a 71-59 win over the Aggies at Maples Pavilion.