Dec. 6, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. --
TIP-OFF: Following its clash against the nation’s top-ranked team, the UC Davis women’s basketball team looks for a split of its East Coast trip on Saturday (Dec. 7), traveling to Hempstead, N.Y., to take on Hofstra at 10 a.m. (PT) at the Mack Sports Complex.
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 both of this weekend’s contests from the East Coast 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 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.
BIG WEST PARTNERSHIP FEATURES AGGIES: The Big West Conference announced Tuesday (Nov. 19) that the Aggies’ contest at Long Beach State on Feb. 20 will be one of three women’s regular season games to be broadcast live on ESPN3 thanks to the league’s new partnership with the network. In addition to the Jan. 18 game featuring UC Riverside and Hawaii and the Feb. 22 contest between Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine, six of the women’s conference tournament games will be carried on ESPN3 leading up to the championship game, which will be shown on FOX Prime Ticket. For a complete schedule, visit the Big West Conference’s website at http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17352.
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.
A LOOK BACK -- #1 CONNECTICUT: Juniors Sydnee Fipps and Kelsey Harris each finished in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively, and the Aggies held an early lead against the nation’s top-ranked team, but the host Huskies had too many weapons, handing UC Davis a, 97-37, defeat on Thursday night at the XL Center. A 9-0 run erased the one-point deficit for Connecticut and a 22-0 burst from the unbeaten Huskies sealed the win as they held the Aggies scoreless for almost six minutes and led, 60-17, at the break en route to the win. Bria Hartley led all scorers with 25 points on 8-of-9 from the floor in 25 minutes, pacing four other teammates in double figures.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE PRIDE: Hofstra enters Saturday’s contest with a 3-3 overall record following a, 101-38, win over Concordia University of New York on Dec. 2, setting a new program record for margin of victory and a home mark for points scored... the win snapped a two-game losing skid for the Pride, who had fallen to Northwestern and Virginia Tech in their previous two contests... Anma Onyeuku leads a trio of double-digit scorers for Hofstra, averaging 12.8 ppg and 6.0 rpg while shooting .483 from the floor and .538 from beyond the arc... Annie Payton (12.2 ppg) and Andreana Thomas (10.0 ppg) are also in double figures while Elo Edeferioka paces the team on the boards at 7.7 rpg... the Pride average a conference-best 72.5 ppg and are shooting .381 from the floor while allowing just 66.0 ppg and a .389 field goal percentage for the opposition... Head Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey is in her eighth season at the helm, having led Hofstra to three appearances in the Women’s NIT (2007, 2010, 2012).
THE SERIES: This is the first-ever meeting between the Aggies and the Pride... it is also the first-ever meeting with a school from the current alignment of the Colonial Athletic Association... Saturday’s contest will mark the third-consecutive meeting with a first-time opponent this season following contests against Akron and Connecticut.
EMPIRE STATE OF MIND: Saturday’s contest at Hofstra will mark the Aggies’ first game in the State of New York and only the second against a school from the “Empire State” following a, 75-55, loss to Syracuse at the Brown Classic in Providence, R.I., on Dec. 2, 2006.
I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: This week’s trip to the Northeast will mark the midway point of the Aggies’ longest stretch of road games in almost two decades beginning with last weekend’s tournament in San Luis Obispo. The six-game “roadie” is the longest for UC Davis since making the jump to Division I in 2007-08 and the program’s longest since they played seven-straight away from home in 1994-95, posting a 6-1 record during that trip. The Aggies will not play in front of the hometown faithful again until Dec. 21, when they host Houston Baptist at 12 p.m., to open a five-game homestand (its longest of the season).
BOMBS AWAY: Leading the charge from beyond the arc is junior Kelsey Harris who, in her last four contests, is shooting a robust .533 (16-for-30) from long distance, and entered the week leading the Big West Conference (and ranking No. 21 in the nation) with 3.00 three-pointers made per game and standing tied for seventh in the league in three-point percentage (.400). Of her 26 makes this season, 22 have come via the three-pointer, while 54 of her 63 field goal attempts have been from beyond the arc.
HARRIS HEATING UP: Thanks to her performance from beyond the arc, Harris has also been on fire in the scoring column as of late, reaching double digits in points in each of her last four games, averaging 13.8 ppg in that span and shooting 45 percent (18-of-40) from the floor overall.
“A” FOR EFFORT: The Aggies set a school single-game record with 39 three-point attempts in their Holiday Beach Classic opener last Friday (Nov. 29) against San Francisco, eclipsing the previous mark of 36 set against Stanford on Dec. 28, 2008. Of UC Davis’ 20 made baskets in the game against the Dons, a season-high 15 of those went in from long-distance as the Aggies finished shooting just under 40 percent from three-point range for the night. The 15 makes from beyond the arc nearly matched the school record, falling just two shy of the mark of 17 set against Cal Poly in 2007.
FIPPS-ING OUT: After being held to single digits in the opener, junior forward Sydnee Fipps has found a groove offensively over the Aggies’ last six contests, reaching double figures in all six games while averaging 17.5 ppg, shooting 44 percent (34-for-77) from the floor, and just under 80 percent (27-for-34) from the line.
MISS CONSISTENT: Not only has Fipps been one of the Aggies most consistent scorers this season, the junior from Mariposa, Calif., has been one of the team’s top rebounders, grabbing exactly six rebounds in six of the team’s seven contests and matching teammate Alyson Doherty for the team lead with 5.7 rpg this season.
BENCH MOB: The UC Davis bench has given their team a huge lift, outscoring their counterparts from the opposing team in five of the team’s seven games by a total of 69 points. UC Davis has a trio of players in double figures when coming off the bench, led by Brianna Salvatore, who is averaging 11.7 ppg while shooting just under 65 percent from the floor (11-for-17) and 70 percent (7-of-10) from three-point range. Kelsey Harris (10.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and Molly Greubel (10.0 ppg) have also been reliable scorers when part of the Aggies’ “second unit,” while Heidi Johnson, who has come off the bench in all seven games thus far this season, leads the team with 37 points overall (5.3 ppg) and is second with 15 rebounds (2.1 rpg) -- including eight on the offensive glass -- as a reserve.
MINUTES FOR EVERYBODY!: With an efficient roster of just 11 players, the Aggies have seen every member of the squad play at least one minute in five of the team’s seven contests this season and features six players averaging better than 22 minutes per game.
DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP)... DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): The 58 points allowed in the Aggies’ 13-point win over Akron were the fewest scored by an opponent this season and the lowest point total for a UC Davis opponent since the Aggies held UC Irvine to just 43 points in a 47-43 victory on Feb. 28, 2013.
POINTS TAKEN: The 95 points scored against San Jose State on Nov. 26 were a season high and the most since the Aggies finished off a 102-62 win over the Spartans on Dec. 21, 2010. With its 71 points against Akron on Nov. 30, UC Davis reached the 70-point plateau for only the 11th time in the team’s last 37 games.
SWIPER, NO SWIPING: The Aggies finished with a season-best 18 steals against the Zips -- the most since UC Davis finished with 19 steals in back-to-back games against Navy and Houston Baptist on Nov. 23 and 24, 2012, respectively. Sydnee Fipps, Brianna Salvatore, and Kelsey Harris, each finished with four steals apiece to lead the way as the Aggies’ total matched their output from their previous three games combined.
“O” MY: A season-high 95 points and their third game of at least 70 points this season highlighted a big offensive week for the Aggies, who saw their standing improve in a number of categories in the Big West entering this week’s games. UC Davis, which entered Thanksgiving week ranked last in the Big West in scoring (60.3 ppg), has now moved into the league’s upper half, improving by almost nine points per contest to stand fourth in the conference at 69.0 ppg. After shooting 42 percent from the floor in their three games, the Aggies moved up from seventh (.379) to start the week to third (.402) overall, while their three-point shooting improved them from sixth (.284) to a league-best 36 percent.
BALANCE ON THE BOARDS: Through seven games this season, the Aggies have had five players lead them in rebounding with Kelsey Harris and Sydnee Fipps (twice each) the only “repeats” on the list. Six different players have grabbed at least 20 rebounds this season with four of those players are averaging better than four rebounds per contest.
STANDOUT HIGH SCHOOL QUINTET JOINS AGGIES: UC Davis head women’s basketball coach Jennifer Gross announced that five high school standouts have signed National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Aggies beginning with the 2014-15 season.
Among the group of recruits, three are California natives, one more hails from Oregon, and the final signee will join UC Davis from Canada. Morgan Bertsch (Santa Rosa, Calif./Santa Rosa HS), Pele Gianotti (Roseburg, Ore./Roseburg HS), Dani Nafekh (Oakville, Ontario, Canada/Oakville Trafalgar HS), Rachel Nagel (Cerritos, Calif./Whitney HS), and Lauren Seyranian (Piedmont, Calif./Piedmont HS), will join the Aggies’ roster beginning next season.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the quality and character of the five student-athletes joining our Aggie family next season,” Gross said. “This is an extremely exciting class with talent, size, and versatility, that gives us depth at every position. Each individual provides a unique skill set on the court that will help our program compete as one of the top teams on the West Coast in the coming years.
“However, they also have a few things in common. In addition to being great people, who completely buy into the ‘team’ culture that we pride ourselves on here at UC Davis, they are tremendous students who are highly motivated to succeed both on and off the court.”
For more information on the Aggies’ signees, the complete release is available at http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/111913aac.html.
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 88-48 (.647) 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.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW: After scouring the record books it was uncovered that Fipps’ 17 free throws made at Pacific on Nov. 11 were a school record, breaking the previous mark of 15 set by Jackie Turpin against Cal Poly on Feb. 9, 2006. Fipps’ 20 attempts were just off the school record of 22, currently held by Lisa Jo Kellogg against Chico State set on Feb. 15, 1991.
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.