Aggies tussle with Tigers in rare Monday night clash

Sophomore Pele Gianotti reached double-digits in rebounds for the first time in her career, grabbing a career-high 10 against No. 16 Stanford in the season opener. (Photo by Wayne Tilcock/Davis Enterprise)
Nov. 15, 2015

THIS WEEK...
Pacific (1-0) at UC Davis (0-1)
Monday, Nov. 15, 2015
The Pavilion (Davis, Calif.)
7:00 p.m.
TV: None
RADIO: KDVS 90.3 FM
Game Coverage: Live Stats | Audio | Video | UC Davis notes | Pacific notes

TIP OFF: Following a season-opening battle with nationally ranked Stanford in its season opener, the UC Davis women’s basketball team (0-1 overall) remains within the friendly confines and welcomes former Big West rival Pacific to The Pavilion. The Aggies and Tigers tussle in a rare Monday night contest (Nov. 16) at 7 p.m.

IN THE POLLS: Both UC Davis and Pacific were unranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today preseason polls to start the season.

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. 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 TIGERS: After an exhibition win over Sonoma State, Pacific officially opened its season on Friday night with a road victory at CSU Bakersfield, 80-74, to give first-year head coach Bradley Davis his first career win... Senior guard Erin Butler scored 11 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Tigers to the win, including eight of those in the final 1:23... Sophomore guard GeAnna Luaulu-Summers finished with a career-high 19 points to go with nine rebounds and five assists... Pacific returns seven letter winners and welcomes seven newcomers to a program that finished 21-10 overall and third in the West Coast Conference, earning a WNIT bid ... The Tigers were picked to finish sixth in the WCC this season... Senior guard Hailie Eackles is the leading returning scorer from last season after averaging 11.9 points per game and shooting .387 from the floor.

SERIES NOTES: UC Davis holds a narrow, 13-12, lead over Pacific according to series records that date back to the 1978-79 season, snapping a four-game skid in the series with its 60-53 win at The Pavilion last season... The Tigers lead the series, 8-7, during the Aggies’ Division I Era... The Pavilion has been kind to UC Davis in the series as the Aggies have posted an 8-5 record there against the Tigers, but Pacific has won four of the last six held in Davis... UC Davis won six straight in the series at one point from 2005-08... The last two meetings, and eight of the last nine overall, have been decided by single digits, with the Tigers holding a 6-4 advantage in those contests.

CONFERENCE CALL: UC Davis is a combined 37-50 against the current West Coast Conference alignment, facing seven of the league’s 10 members... The Aggies have lost their last two meetings with WCC schools, falling to San Francisco (73-70) and Santa Clara (79-76) in back-to-back games... UC Davis was 1-3 against WCC schools last season, adding a win over Pacific and a loss to Saint Mary’s (57-55)... All told, the Aggies have faced Gonzaga (0-3), Pacific (13-12), Pepperdine (1-3), Portland (0-2), Saint Mary’s (10-12), San Francisco (5-7) and Santa Clara (8-11).

AGGIES SIGN THREE IN EARLY PERIOD: A pair of Californians and an Oregon native make up a trio of talented frontcourt players who have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers with the UC Davis women’s basketball program, Head Coach Jennifer Gross announced on Nov. 13. Forwards Sophia Song (Monterey Park, Calif. / Mark Keppel HS) and Nina Bessolo (Hayward, Calif. / Castro Valley HS) join post Emma Gibb (McMinnville, Ore. / Western Mennonite School) as early signees for the Aggies, who will begin their careers as true freshmen in 2016-17. The complete release, that includes bios on all of the signees, is available online at http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/111315aaf.html.

DOHERTY DOUBLE-DOUBLES HER PLEASURE: Facing double teams all night from nationally ranked Stanford, senior center Alyson Doherty did her best to battle inside, finishing with her 10th career double-double after posting 10 points and 11 rebounds (five of those offensive) against the Cardinal. Doherty’s 11 rebounds fell just one board shy of matching her career high of 12 set against Utah Valley on Nov. 26 at home. The performance also marked her 11th career double-digit rebounding contest, ranking second among active Aggies behind Celia Marfone and her 12 career performances.

QUE “BELLE”-A: Sophomore forward Pele Gianotti (who goes by “Belle”) was also a beast on the boards for the Aggies, finishing with a career-high 10 boards against Stanford -- her first career double-digit rebounding game. The performance doubled-up on her previous career best of five, last set in a win over Menlo College on Jan. 3 of last season.

PICKING UP RIGHT WHERE SHE LEFT OFF: Looking for a scoring solution following the departures of high-scoring Sydnee Fipps and sharpshooter Kelsey Harris, sophomore Rachel Nagel seems to be the answer. The second-year guard from La Palma, California, finished with a game-high 18 points against the Cardinal -- just two points shy of her career best of 20 set against UC Irvine in last year’s Big West Conference Tournament opener. It was her eighth career double-digit scoring contest and her third in the last four games after posting back-to-back games of 10 points-or-more in the first two rounds of the league tournament.

ROOM TO BOARD: The Aggies did their job on the boards against No. 16 Stanford, narrowly trailing the Cardinal in the category by a 47-45 count, and posting the most rebounds in a game (as well as the most offensive rebounds) since they grabbed 50 overall and 16 on the offensive glass against Menlo College on Jan. 3 of last season. The Division I mark for rebounds in a game was set last year with 56 against Sacramento State on Nov. 18, which was also the highest total for UC Davis since grabbing 56 boards against Corban University (formerly Western Baptist) on Dec. 28, 2001.

WINDEX WOMEN: Doherty’s 11 rebounds and Gianotti’s 10 boards gave the Aggies a pair of double-digit rebounders in the same game since Doherty had 11 and Celia Marfone finished with 10 against Hawai’i on Jan. 22.

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 (519) and Marfone (483) 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 Monday’s game against Pacific just two 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 98 blocks to her name, Doherty is just 11 back of Henning for third all-time, 21 behind Greene, and 52 back of career leader Mintun.

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.

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 101-60 (.627) 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

GREUBEL SIDELINED: Due to complications from the wrist injury that kept her out of all but the first three games of the 2014-15 season, UC Davis junior guard Molly Greubel will be sidelined for the 2015-16 season. The Santa Ana, California, native was coming off her best offensive season of her career in 2013-14, averaging a career-high 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds, while posting 104 assists (3.35 apg) over 31 games (27 starts) as a sophomore. She set a school single-game record with 14 assists against UC Irvine on Feb. 8, 2014, breaking a mark that had stood for 24 years (Sara Lillevand, 13 assists vs. Cal State Stanislaus, March 10, 1990) and became the first Aggie with at least 10 assists in a game (Greubel had 11 in the first half alone against the Anteaters) since Kim Omer had 10 against San Francisco State in 2004.