Portland State (0-2, 0-0 Big Sky) at UC Davis (2-0, 0-0 Big West)
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. | The Pavilion (5,931) | Davis, Calif.
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UC Davis (2-0, 0-0 Big West) at Pacific (1-0, 0-0 WCC)
Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 | 7:00 p.m. | Spanos Center (6,150) | Stockton, Calif.
RADIO: KDVS 90.3 FM (PBP: Greg Wong… COLOR: Max Agress)
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TIP-OFF: Riding the wave of an unbeaten opening weekend, the UC Davis women’s basketball team (2-0) closes out a three-game home stand on Friday (Nov. 17) at 7 p.m., welcoming Portland State to The Pavilion. The Aggies then make the short trip south to Stockton, Calif., to take on Pacific in their road opener on Monday (Nov. 20) at 7 p.m. at the Spanos Center.
AGGIES JUMP IN COLLEGE INSIDER MID-MAJOR POLL: Only one week into the regular season and the Aggies are on the rise nationally following a perfect start to their 2017-18 campaign. Following its wins over Washington State and Pepperdine, UC Davis rose to No. 17 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll released on Tuesday (Nov. 14), a jump of three spots after opening the season at No. 20 in the nation according to the website’s preseason mid-major poll released on Oct. 31. Last season, the Aggies spent a season-long four consecutive weeks among those receiving votes from Feb. 14 to March 7, making their debut in the “votes” column on Dec. 13 and picking up a season-high 11 votes on Jan. 10 after opening Big West play with a 2-0 mark.
ELSEWHERE IN THE POLLS: Neither Portland State, Pacific, and UC Davis, are unranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today top 25 polls.
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 (facebook.com/UCDavisWomensBasketball) as well as follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@ UCDavisWBB). In-game updates on game day are also available on Twitter by following @UCDavisWBB.
BY THE NUMBERS: Losing only one player off of last season’s roster means Head Coach Jennifer Gross has an embarassment of riches statistically to work with for the 2017-18 campaign. The Aggies bring back all but 17 of their 2,274 points, all but 20 of their 1,242 rebounds, all but seven of their 533 assists, all but five of their 846 field goals made, every one of their 252 three-pointers, and all but seven of their free throws, from the 2016-17 season. What does it all mean? We don’t know, but numbers are fun.
SCOUTING PORTLAND STATE: After finishing 16-17 overall a season ago, the Vikings enter the week with an 0-2 record after falling to UNLV (88-80) and Nevada (67-55) on the road... Friday’s game at UC Davis marks the third of five straight road contests to start the year for Portland State, which doesn’t play a home game until Nov. 25 aginst Multnomah... Junior guard Sidney Rielly, a transfer from Santa Clara, paces the Vikings offensively early on, averaging 19.5 ppg while shooting 43 percent from the floor... Freshman guard Kylie Jimenez (16.0 ppg) and junior guard Kiana Brown (16.0 ppg) are also in double figures... The two programs met four times in the NCAA Division II West Regionals (1992, 1993, 1995, and 1996), with Portland State winning all four.
SERIES NOTES: Portland State leads the all-time series with UC Davis, 9-4, according to records dating back to 1992, but the Aggies have posted wins in three of the last five meetings following an, 82-70, win in the Rose City in 2015... Friday marks the first meeting between the two in Northern California since the 2007-08 season when the Aggies posted an, 80-62, win at The Pavilion... This will be only the fifth meeting between the two programs on UC Davis’ home floor, with each team posting a pair of wins.
SCOUTING PACIFIC: The second West Coast Conference opponent of the season for the Aggies, the Tigers opened the year with an, 81-65, win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 13, and will host UC Merced on Nov. 15 before welcoming UC Davis to town... Freshman forward Anaya Brooklyn McDavid led all players with 17 points against the Titans, while GeAnna Luaulu-Summers (14) and Chelsea Lidy (10) were also in double figures... Pacific finished 10-21 overall a season ago.
SERIES NOTES: UC Davis leads the all-time series with Pacific, 14-13, according to records dating back to the 1978 season... The Aggies have won two of the last three meetings in the series after last year’s, 95-87, shootout win in Stockton, Calif... UC Davis is a combined 6-7 on the road against Pacific, snapping a two-game skid with its victory there last year... The Aggies’ 95 points in last year’s game are the most by either team in the history of the series, eclipsing the 91 scored by the Tigers in a 91-59 win in 1982.
CONFERENCE CALL: UC Davis is a combined 37-38 against the current Big Sky Conference alignment... Portland State is the first of three Big Sky opponents for the Aggies this season, with Southern Utah (Nov. 24) and Sacramento State (Nov. 30) remaining on the schedule... UC Davis has won two straight -- and five of its last six -- against Big Sky members... The Aggies have faced five of the league’s 12 current members: Montana State (1-0), Southern Utah (3-0), Northern Arizona (1-0), Portland State (4-9), and Sacramento State (28-29)... UC Davis is 44-51 all-time against the West Coast Conference, boasting a perfect 4-0 mark against the league last season and winning the last seven straight against the WCC... The Aggies have faced seven of the conference’s 10 members: Pepperdine (2-3), Portland (2-2), San Francisco (6-7), Pacific (14-13), Saint Mary’s (12-12), Santa Clara (8-11), and Gonzaga (0-3).
MILESTONE ACHIEVED: UC Davis junior forward Morgan Bertsch became the 18th player in the history of the program to reach 1,000 career points with her basket inside at the 1:49 mark of the third quarter on Nov. 12 against Pepperdine. Bertsch, who finished with a career-high tying 27 points -- 21 of those in the second half -- in the win over the Waves, became only the fourth junior in program history to accomplish the feat, joining all-time leading scorer Carol Rische, Sydnee Fipps (who ranks No. 2 on the all-time list), and Ellen Porshneva (who is No. 8 all-time in career points). The biomedical engineering major from Santa Rosa, Calif., enters this week’s games with 1,012 career points -- needing just 18 more to pass Kendall Greene (1992-96) for the next spot on the career list.
ALSO CLOSE: Bertsch may not be the only Aggie who could reach the 1,000-point milestone this season, as three of her teammates are also within striking distance. Senior Pele Gianotti, a political science major, is just 139 shy of 1,000 for her career, followed by classmate Rachel Nagel, a psychology major who needs only 263 points after finishing with 317 last season. Senior guard Dani Nafekh also has an outside chance of reaching the 1,000-point plateau this season, but if she repeats her scoring exploits of last year (352 points), the milestone is attainable as the managerial economics major needs 338 points to hit the mark.
HOW BIG WAS THE HOOP?: En route to her 27 points against Pepperdine, Bertsch broke the UC Davis Division I single-game record for field goals made in the process, making 13-of-18 from the field to eclipse Jessica Campbell’s mark of 12 against Saint Mary’s on Dec. 17, 2007.
BERTSCH NETS BIG WEST WEEKLY HONORS: Thanks to her efforts on opening weekend, Bertsch picked up Big West Conference Player of the Week honors for only the second time in her career on Nov. 13 -- the first since her 27-point night at San Francisco led to the honor on Dec. 26. The league award is the 15th earned by an Aggie since UC Davis joined the Big West in 2007-08, and the first since Pele Gianotti was honored on Feb. 27, 2017. Read the complete release: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/111317aaa.html.
DANI DISHES HER WAY TO PROGRAM RECORD: With her four assists last Friday against Washington State, senior guard Dani Nafekh set a new program Division I record with her 288th career assist, surpassing Hana Asano’s mark of 285 set from 2008-12. Nafekh, in the process, now stands ninth on the all-time list with 289, standing just 10 behind Kari Sivesind (1992-96) for eighth.
“TREY” BIEN!: There may have been a hotter team from beyond the arc somewhere in the country on opening night, but don’t tell that to the fans at The Pavilion, who witnessed a red-hot performance from long distance by the Aggies in their win over Washington State. UC Davis tied a school single-game record with 17 makes from three-point range against the Cougars, shooting 53 percent (17-of-32) overall and watching as six different Aggie shooters contribute to the barrage. The 17 makes ties the mark set on Jan. 11, 2007, against Cal Poly and later matched against Long Beach State on Feb. 19, 2015.
SEASON OPENER SUCCESS: There were a lot of storylines coming out of the Aggies’ win over Washington State on opening night, as UC Davis’ 91 points were the most in a regular season opener in the program’s Division I history, and the most overall since the 1998-99 squad set the school single-game scoring record with 117 points at Metro State on Nov. 13 of that year. The 91 points were also the most in a game since they put up 110 at Sacramento State last season and the 15-point margin of victory was the second-largest in the Division I era since defeating the Hornets by 29 points on Nov. 11, 2007.
RIGHT WHERE THEY LEFT OFF: After setting a school single-season record with 252 three-pointers made during their historic run last year, UC Davis has not cooled off from beyond the arc to start 2017-18, hitting 22-of-48 (.458) through the first two games. The Aggies rank fifth in the NCAA in three-pointers made, 12th in the nation in three-pointers made per game (11.0), and 29th in three-point percentage, as of Nov. 13.
#PROTECTTHEPAVILION: A 2-0 start on Bob Hamilton Court has the Aggies humming at home, just one season after tying the program’s Division I record with a 12-2 mark at The Pavilion last season. Thanks to last week’s victories, UC Davis has won 18 of its last 21 on its home floor, and is a combined 51-32 (.614) at The Pavilion under Head Coach Jennifer Gross.
SO… HOW ‘BOUT THEM AGGIES?: UC Davis returns all five starters and all but one player off of last season’s squad that finished 25-8 overall and 14-2 in the Big West Conference to clinch the regular season title. Although they were eliminated in the semifinals of the league tournament, the Aggies earned the program’s first-ever postseason victory with a win at Utah in the opening round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, and advanced all the way to the event’s round of 16 before falling on the road at Washington State. Junior post, and biomedical engineering major, Morgan Bertsch leads the way offensively after averaging 15.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game en route to All-Big West first team honors, while fellow first-teamer, Pele Gianotti, and second-team selection, Dan Nafekh, were also in double figures at 11.2 and 11.0 ppg, respectively.
AGGIES SIGN TALENTED GUARD DUO: UC Davis head women’s basketball coach Jennifer Gross reloaded her backcourt with a pair of signings on Nov. 8, inking local standout Makaila Sanders and Washington native Cierra Jo McKeown to National Letters of Intent. Sanders, a 5-9 guard from Sacramento’s Foothill HS, and McKeown, a 5-9 guard out of Walla Walla Community College and Touchet, Wash., will join the Aggies for the 2018-19 campaign. McKeown is the first junior college transfer in the program’s Division I history and the first since Tatiana Armstrong (College of San Mateo) in 2006-07. To read the complete release, including brief bios on the two signees, please visit: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/110817aab.html.
AGGIES WEARING BIG WEST TARGET: UC Davis was picked to repeat as Big West Conference champions by both the coaches and media, according to a vote released on Oct. 25. The Aggies received six of the nine first-place votes from the coaches and 16 of the 19 first-place nods cast by the media en route to the top spots. UC Davis finished with 77 points overall in the coaches poll to shade second-place CSUN (69) and UC Santa Barbara (63), while collecting 166 points in the media poll, to out-place the Matadors (148) and Gauchos (112).
DAVIS DUO ARE PRESEASON PICKS: The Aggies placed a pair of returning starters on the coaches’ six-member preseason all-conference team in junior post Morgan Bertsch and senior forward Pele Gianotti -- both All-Big West first team picks a season ago -- while Bertsch was also selected to the preseason all-league squad by the media. Bertsch earned a spot on the conference’s preseason squad for the second straight season, while Gianotti became the sixth UC Davis player to earn preseason laurels, joining Bertsch, Haylee Donaghe, Paige Mintun, Sydnee Fipps, and Alyson Doherty.
TOURNEY TESTED SCHEDULE: A non-conference schedule that features six postseason teams from a year ago, and eight that finished among the top 150 in the final RPI rankings, sets the scene for the the Aggies in 2017-18. UC Davis will take on a pair of NCAA Tournament teams from a season ago in Oregon State and Big West rival Long Beach State, while Washington State (semifinals), Seattle (first round), Saint Mary’s (first round), UCF (second round), and Fordham (second round), all made the postseason WNIT field.
BERTSCH’S BLOCK BONANZA: With her two blocks against Washington State in last year’s season finale, Bertsch set a new school record with 57 swats in 2016-17 and enters the new season with 93 for her career -- just seven shy of becoming the fifth player in school history to reach the century mark in that category. The biomedical engineering major from Santa Rosa, Calif., stands just 57 blocks shy of Paige Mintun (2006-11) and her 150 blocks for the career record.
LET’S PLAY TWO!: Ernie Banks would be proud. The UC Davis women’s basketball team will be the opening act in four home doubleheaders with the men’s team this season: San Francisco (Dec. 6), UC Santa Barbara (Jan. 27), CSUN (Feb. 10), and UC Irvine (Feb. 24). The Aggies have won eight straight doubleheader dates, 14 of their last 15, and are 21-4 in their half of a twinbill during the Division I era -- including an 11-2 mark against Big West opponents. In 25 all-time home doubleheaders, both the UC Davis men’s and women’s teams have swept both ends of the doubleheader 13 times, including six of the last eight.
WIN AND WHERE?: Wrapping up a record-setting 2016-17 campaign…
• The Aggies at least 20 games for the third time in the program’s Division I history, joining the 2009-10 team that finished 21-11 and the 2010-11 NCAA Tournament squad that finished 24-9...
• The 25 wins this season are a new Division I era record and the most for a UC Davis team since the Aggies finished 25-4 during the 1998-99 season...
• Overall, the 25 wins are tied for third in a single season, sitting behind a 26-5 season in 1990-91 and a record 29-3 mark in 1996-97...
• The Aggies’ 25 wins are the most by a Big West Conference school since former member Pacific finished 27-8 in 2012-13...
• The 14 Big West wins are also a school record, surpassing the 11-3 mark in league play during the 2009-10 season when the Aggies clinched their only Big West regular season title (21-11 overall), and are the most in any conference since they finished 14-8 against California Collegiate Athletic Association foes in 2001-02...
• UC Davis matched the Division I mark for home victories by finishing 12-2 at The Pavilion, equalling the 2010-11 squad that finished 12-3...
• UC Davis’ 13th win on the road on March 19 at Colorado State is a new Division I era mark for victories away from home, breaking the record set in 2010-11 (10-6), and posting the most since NCAA records are available beginning with the 1981-82 season.
STATE OF THE AGGIES: Half of the 16-member 2017-18 UC Davis women’s basketball roster is made up of players from outside the state of California -- the highest number of out-of-state student-athletes in the program’s Division I history. The eight out-of-staters have a decided Pacific Northwest tilt as the Aggie coaching staff has successfully mined the state of Oregon for three players (Pele Gianotti, Marly Anderson, and Emma Gibb), two more from Washington (Kourtney and Karley Eaton), and another from British Columbia (Sage Stobbart) -- giving UC Davis a pair of Canadians along with senior Dani Nafekh (Ontario). Transfer guard Katie Toole, who must sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules, hails from Farmington, Utah -- the first “Beehive State” native in the program’s Division I history.
SEEING DOUBLE: Karley (older by one minute) and Kourtney Eaton are believed to be only the second set of sisters to take the floor together in the history of the women’s basketball program, joining Dru and Rachelle Hanft, who played together during the 1999 campaign. Taking it one step further, both the Eaton’s and Hanft’s are identical twins.