Dec. 20, 2013
TIP-OFF: For the first time in almost a month, the UC Davis women’s basketball team won’t have to pack a bag as the Aggies (3-7 overall) host Houston Baptist on Saturday (Dec. 21) at 12 p.m. in the first game of a doubleheader with the men’s team (vs. Air Force) at The Pavilion. It will be the first home game for the UC Davis since defeating San Jose State on Nov. 26 and only the third home appearance thus far this season for the Aggies.
IN THE POLLS: Neither Houston Baptist 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 Wednesday’s contest in Santa Clara, 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.
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.
BIG WEST PARTNERSHIP FEATURES AGGIES: The Big West Conference announced on 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.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE HUSKIES: Houston Baptist enters Saturday’s contest with a 3-6 record following an, 81-61, loss at CSU Bakersfield on Thursday night... the Huskies have lost three-straight, including a road clash at No. 9 Baylor on Dec. 15, dating back to a three-point win at South Alabama on Nov. 25... Houston Baptist is just 1-5 away from home this season... junior forward Shanice Steenholdt leads all Huskies at 15.4 ppg and 8.7 rpg while shooting .467 from the floor... junior forward Erin McGarrachan is also in double figures at 12.2 ppg along with 6.6 rpg while shooting .460 from the field... Houston Baptist is averaging 66.0 ppg and shooting .409 from the field while giving up 76.2 ppg and allowing opponents to hit .442 from the field.
THE SERIES: Saturday night will mark only the second meeting between the two programs... UC Davis won the inaugural meeting last season, 77-64, at Houston Baptist in the Husky Classic following an overtime win over Navy to claim the tournament title... last year’s meeting between the two schools was the Aggies’ first-ever against a team from the Southland Conference.
EXTENDED STAY: After wrapping up their longest road trip in almost two decades, the Aggies turn the tables on the schedule, opening a season-long five-game homestand on Saturday against Houston Baptist. The run is the longest for the program since playing five-straight home contests during the 2004-05 season, taking on Portland, Hampton, Saint Mary’s, Cal State Fullerton, and UC Riverside, in that stretch.
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 63.0 ppg and .381 (169-for-444) from the field in eight games away from The Pavilion.
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.
LET’S PLAY TWO!: Ernie Banks would be proud. Saturday’s matinee with Houston Baptist will mark the Aggies third doubleheader of the season (not counting the tournament games in San Luis Obispo over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend), looking to improve on a 2-0 mark in such games. UC Davis defeated San Jose State on Nov. 26 (the Aggie men hosted Sacramento State) and pinned a loss on Santa Clara on Wednesday night (the Bronco men hosted Sacred Heart afterward). The Aggies will have one more twinbill scheduled following the clash with the Huskies, as both the UC Davis men and women will host the NAIA’s Simpson University on Jan. 2 to ring in the New Year.
FOURSCORE AND Sydnee Fipps AGO: Junior forward Sydnee Fipps continued her torrid scoring pace over the first third of the 2013-14 regular season on Wednesday night at Santa Clara, finishing with a game-high 22 points to help the Aggies down the Broncos. It was the fourth, 20-point game of the season for Fipps (and the 11th of her career), finishing with 16 of her 22 in the second half while hitting 7-of-13 overall and 8-of-9 from the line for the contest. Entering the week as the Big West Conference’s fifth-leading scorer, Fipps has been the leader of the pack for the Aggies, pacing the team in scoring in seven of its 10 contests this season.
AWWW, SNAP!: Wednesday night’s win at Santa Clara ended a five-game losing streak against West Coast Conference schools dating back to an 11-point win over the Broncos last season and put an end to a three-game losing streak overall for the Aggies.
BACK-TO-BACK: Coupled with her 23-point outing against Saint Mary’s in the Aggies’ only contest last weekend, Fipps posted back-to-back 20-point scoring performances for the second time in her career Wednesday night at Santa Clara, last accomplishing the feat on Jan. 26 and 31 at UC Riverside (23 points) and at home versus Long Beach State (a career-high 29 points), respectively, last season. A third-straight 20-point performance on Saturday against Houston Baptist would be a first for the Mariposa, Calif., native, and the first by an Aggie since Jessica Campbell accomplished the feat from Dec. 17-28, 2007, against Saint Mary’s (28), San Francisco (29), and Bradley (21).
THE “HEIDI” GAME: Although many long-time fans of the Oakland Raiders will have an adverse reaction to that phrase, Aggie fans didnt miss much of Heidi Johnson’s performance on Wednesday night at Santa Clara after the sophomore went off against the Broncos in the second half to help UC Davis to the win. Johnson scored 13 of her 15 points in the second period, finishing 5-of-5 from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc against Santa Clara, tallying her second double-digit scoring performance of the season (17 at Pacific on Nov. 11). Johnson set career highs with three, three-pointers and 29 minutes played, while matching career bests in assists (3) and field goals made (6).
DIALING IT UP FROM LONG-DISTANCE: Entering the week ranked No. 17 in the NCAA in three-pointers made per game (8.4 pg), the Aggies continued to be dialed in from beyond the arc, sinking 9-of-21 (.429) against Santa Clara en route to the five-point victory. It was the fifth time in 10 contests this season that UC Davis has finished with at least that many makes from three-point range, including a season-high 15 against San Francisco on Nov. 29, posting a 3-2 record in those outings.
LIGHTS OUT: UC Davis finished Wednesday night’s win shooting .471 from the field against Santa Clara, mere percentage points behind its season high of .472 set against San Jose State back on Nov. 26.
NOT HALF BAD: When the Aggies took a two-point, 34-32, lead into the locker room at halftime on Wednesday night at Santa Clara, it marked only the fourth time in 10 games this season that they have led at the break. That seems to be a good omen for UC Davis, which is 3-1 this season when leading at halftime, posting three-straight wins over San Jose State, Akron, and the Broncos, following a hard-fought loss to Pacific.
SWEET SOUNDING QUARTET: Fipps (22), Johnson (15), Kelsey Harris (14), and Molly Greubel (11), all finished in double figures on Wednesday night at Santa Clara, as UC Davis improved to 2-0 when it has four players in double figures this season (San Jose State on Nov. 26). The Aggies are unbeaten in their last six games with a quartet in double digits dating back to a loss at Saint Mary’s on Dec. 10, 2011.
BALANCE ON THE BOARDS: Through 10 games this season, the Aggies have had seven different players lead them in rebounding with Kelsey Harris, Sydnee Fipps, and Celia Marfone (twice each), the only “repeats” on the list. Junior Brianna Salvatore is the latest member of the club, grabbing a game- and career-high nine rebounds on Wednesday night against Santa Clara -- the third time this season that she has grabbed six-or-more boards in a game. In all, seven different players have grabbed at least 30 rebounds this season with four of those players averaging better than four rebounds per contest.
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 10 contests this season and features six players averaging better than 22 minutes per game.
SALVATOR-THREE!: Junior forward Brianna Salvatore is the Big West’s top sharpshooter from three-point range entering Saturday’s contest, hitting 10-of-19 from long distance to pace the league with a .526 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 stands second with a .476 field goal percentage overall (Alyson Doherty - .516).
BOMBS AWAY: Junior Kelsey Harris got back in the groove from beyond the arc against Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara, combining to hit 7-of-12 (.583) from long range following an 0-for-7 showing at Hofstra, to keep her among the Big West’s top threats from three-point land entering the weekend. Harris leads the conference with 2.90 three-pointers made per game and 29 makes from beyond the arc overall. Harris, who has made all but five of her baskets from long range this season, also ranks 10th in the league in three-point percentage (.397).
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 18 steals -- just five shy of UC Riverside’s Brittany Crain for the league lead entering the weekend -- and stands tied for seventh in the conference with 1.80 steals per game. Salvatore has at least one steal in each of the last five contests, and eight of 10 overall, including a career-high tying four swipes against Akron on Nov. 30.
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.