Dec. 12, 2013
TIP-OFF: After an arduous trip to the East Coast, the UC Davis women’s basketball team (2-6 overall) stays somewhat local for its only contest this week, making the short jaunt south to Moraga, Calif., to take on Saint Mary’s College in game five of its six-game road trip. Tip-off on Sunday (Dec. 15) is scheduled for 1 p.m. at McKeon Pavilion on campus.
IN THE POLLS: Neither Saint Mary’s nor UC Davis are ranked in either the Associated Press or 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 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 Sunday’s contest in Moraga, Calif., 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.
I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: The Aggies are in the midst of their longest stretch of road games in almost two decades beginning with their trip to the Holiday Beach Classic 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).
A QUICK LOOK AT THE GAELS: Saint Mary’s College enters the weekend with a 7-1 overall record and will host UC Davis on Sunday in its only game of the week, as well... the Gaels are 2-0 against the Big West Conference this season, having already defeated UC Santa Barbara (89-79) and Cal Poly (77-69) earlier this year in back-to-back games on Nov. 21 and Nov. 23, respectively... Saint Mary’s has not lost at McKeon Pavilion in five games this season, and has won 11-straight in the regular season at home dating back to a, 73-70, loss against San Diego on Jan. 17 of last season... the Gaels have won 27 of theri last 34 games at home over the last two-plus campaigns... senior guard Jackie Nared is one of four players averaging double figures, scoring 24.2 ppg and grabbing 8.5 rpg while shooting 58 percent from the floor... senior forward Danielle Mauldin (19.4 ppg, 14.0 rpg), sophomore guard Lauren Nicholson (14.9 ppg), and senior guard Kate Gaze (13.9 ppg) join Nared... Saint Mary’s is averaging 84.8 ppg and shooting .488 from the floor as a team while allowing 74.5 ppg and just .394 shooting from the field.
THE SERIES: The series between the Aggies and Gaels is tied, 10-10, dating back to the 1978-79 season... this will be the seventh-consecutive season that the two programs have met on the court, with Saint Mary’s having won the last two meetings following a four-game winning streak by UC Davis (tied for the longest by either team in the history of the series) from 2007-11... the Aggies are 3-5 against the Gaels in Moraga, falling by the score of 75-58 in their last trip in 2011-12... UC Davis’ last win on Saint Mary’s home floor came in 2009-10 by the score of 71-59.
CONFERENCE CALL: UC Davis is a combined 36-45 against the current alignment of the West Coast Conference, including 12-12 against former Big West rival Pacific... the Aggies have faced seven of the 10 teams currently in the conference, having met every team save for BYU, Loyola Marymount, and San Diego... UC Davis is 1-3 against Pepperdine, 5-6 against San Francisco, 10-10 against Saint Mary’s, 8-9 against Santa Clara, 0-2 against Portland, and 0-3 against Gonzaga... the Aggies are 0-2 against the WCC this season, having fallen at Pacific (86-78) on Nov. 11 and against San Francisco (69-67) on Nov. 29... UC Davis has lost four-straight (and eight of their last 10) against the WCC dating back to a 70-59 win over Santa Clara last season.
DOHERTY DOES WORK: Cheered on by a large contingent of family and friends, sophomore forward Alyson Doherty did not disappoint for the Aggies in their East Coast finale at Hofstra on Saturday, posting a game- and career-high 24 points -- 15 of those in the second half -- against the Pride, hitting 9-of-16 from the floor while adding five rebounds and two blocks in 28 minutes. It was her first career 20-point game and the third by an Aggie player this season after junior teammate Sydnee Fipps accomplished the feat against Pacific and Akron earlier this year.
AS EASY AS A-B-CELIA: The Aggies’ trip to New York was also kind to sophomore Celia Marfone, who finished with her first career double-double in her team’s clash with Hofstra. The Laguna Hills, Calif., native finished 4-of-8 from the floor (including the team’s only two three pointers against the Pride) for a season-high 10 points to go with a career-high 10 rebounds in 24 minutes. It was her sixth career double-digit scoring performance and the second double-double for an Aggie this season, joining classmate Alyson Doherty and her 13-point, 10-rebound performance against San Jose State on Nov. 26.
BLOCK PARTY: Doherty added two more blocks to her resume over the weekend at Hofstra to give her 10 for the season -- one of just five players in the Big West to tally double digits in that category entering the week and ranking in a tie for fourth in the league with 1.25 blocks per game. Her 37 career blocks stand just 19 back of Sarah Allen, who swatted 56 shots from 1998-03, for 10th on the school’s all-time list.
SALVATOR-THREE!: Junior forward Brianna Salvatore is the Big West’s top sharpshooter from three-point range entering this week’s contests, hitting 10-of-17 from long distance to pace the league with a .588 three-point percentage. Half of her 20 makes this season have come from beyond the arc as she leads all Aggie regulars in three-point shooting and a .526 field goal percentage overall.
BOMBS AWAY: Despite an 0-for-7 performance from beyond the arc at Hofstra last weekend, junior Kelsey Harris remains as one of the Big West’s top threats from three entering the week, leading the conference with 2.75 three-pointers made per game and standing second with 22 makes from beyond the arc overall. Harris, who has made all but four of her baskets from long range this season, also ranks ninth in the league in three-point percentage (.361).
SWIPER, NO SWIPING: Stealing is bad, but try telling that to junior Brianna Salvatore, who has, clearly, been good at it this season. The Villa Park, Calif., native leads the team with 15 steals -- just six shy of UC Riverside’s Brittany Crain for the league lead -- and stands tied for sixth in the conference with 1.88 steals per game entering the week. Salvatore has at least one steal in each of the last three contests, and six of eight overall, including a career-high tying four swipes against Akron on Nov. 30 in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
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 six of the team’s eight contests this season and features six players averaging better than 22 minutes per game.
HOME, SWEET HOME: Although the sample size is small, the statistics show that the Aggies clearly cannot wait until they return home on Dec. 21 against Houston Baptist for only their third home game of the season. UC Davis is averaging 75.0 ppg and shooting .419 from the floor in its two home contests this season compared to just 59.7 ppg and .369 from the field in six games away from The Pavilion.
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 eight contests and standing just behind teammate Alyson Doherty (5.6 rpg) for the team lead with 5.5 rpg this season.
BALANCE ON THE BOARDS: Through eight games this season, the Aggies have had six players lead them in rebounding with Kelsey Harris and Sydnee Fipps (twice each) the only “repeats” on the list. Seven different players have grabbed at least 20 rebounds this season with four of those players are averaging better than four rebounds per contest.
“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.
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 38 games.
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 eight games by a total of 52 points. UC Davis has a pair 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) has also been a reliable scorer 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 41 points overall (5.1 ppg) and 23 rebounds (2.9 rpg) -- including 11 on the offensive glass -- as a reserve.
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.