Yale (7-4, 0-0 Ivy League) vs. UC Davis (9-2, 0-0 Big West)
Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 | 12:30 p.m. | Rose Hill Gym | Bronx, N.Y.
RADIO: KDVS 90.3 FM (PBP: Greg Wong… ANALYST: Max Agress)
FOLLOW: Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats | UC Davis Notes | Yale Notes
UC Davis (9-2, 0-0 Big West) vs. Fordham (7-4, 0-0 Atlantic 10) or Hartford (7-4, 0-0 America East)
Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 | 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. | Rose Hill Gym | Bronx, N.Y.
RADIO: KDVS 90.3 FM (PBP: Greg Wong… ANALYST: Max Agress)
FOLLOW: Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats | UC Davis Notes | Fordham Notes | Hartford Notes
TIP-OFF: Start spreadin’ the news... the Aggies are leaving Tues-day. After a few days off following the Christmas holiday, the UC Davis women’s basketball team returns to the road this week, heading cross-country to join three other teams at the Fordham Holiday Classic. The Aggies and host Rams are joined by Yale and Hartford in the two-day event, which begins Thursday (Dec. 28) and concludes Friday (Dec. 29) at historic Rose Hill Gym in Bronx, N.Y. UC Davis faces the Bulldogs in the opening game on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. PT, with the winners and losers of day one action competing on Friday beginning at 10 a.m. PT.
AGGIES HOLD STEADY IN MID-MAJOR TOP FIVE: UC Davis held steady at No. 5 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll released on Tuesday (Dec. 19), marking the second consecutive week that the Aggies have stood among the top five in that poll. UC Davis has been ranked in the top 25 of the College Insider poll every week this season, debuting at No. 20 in the preseason poll and breaking into the top 10 on Nov. 28. New rankings will be released on Tuesday (Dec. 26).
AGGIES PACE BIG WEST IN THE RPI: After reaching as high as No. 42 in the nation in the RPI at one point this season, the Aggies continue to pace their Big West sistren as of Dec. 22, ranking 58th in the RPI to stand as the only Big West team in the top 100 thus far (Hawai’i is second at No. 159). The No. 42 ranking this season was the highest that UC Davis had been ranked in the RPI dating back to Dec. 29, when the Aggies stood 40th in the nation.
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.
SCOUTING YALE: The Bulldogs enter the tournament with a 7-4 record overall after having their four-game winning streak snapped with a, 72-68, loss to Indiana in their last game on Dec. 21... Yale had been unbeaten in the month until that point, posting wins over Binghamton, Stony Brook, Central Connecticut State, and Saint Peter’s... The Bulldogs have been strong away from home, winning five of six on the road... Senior guard Tamara Simpson leads a trio of players in double figures, averaging 17.8 ppg and shooting 44 percent from the field... Senior forward Jen Berkowitz (14.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, .530 FG%) and sophomore guard Roxy Barahman (13.5 ppg) are also in double figures... Yale averages 70.9 ppg and shooting .415 from the field as a team, allowing just 65.5 ppg and .425 shooting from the floor on the year.
SERIES NOTES: UC Davis leads the all-time series with Yale, 2-0, posting a, 60-55, win over the Bulldogs in New Haven, Conn., on Dec. 19, 2009, before coming back the next season to win, 73-62, at The Pavilion on Nov. 26.
SCOUTING FORDHAM: The host Rams enter the tournament with a 7-4 record after suffering a, 67-30, loss to No. 11/12 UCLA on Dec. 20 to end a three-game winning streak... Fordham has won five of six on its home floor in historic Rose Hill Gym this season, with the loss to the Bruins ending a run of 10 consecutive wins at home dating back to last year... Senior forward G’mrice Davis and freshman guard Bre Cavanaugh lead the offense, averaging 14.7 ppg and 14.3 ppg, respectively, while Davis paces the Rams on the boards, averaging 13.4 rpg... Fordham averages just 56.8 ppg and shooting .378 from the floor, but allows only 54.7 ppg and holds opponents to 39 percent shooting.
SERIES NOTES: Day two of the tournament could mark the first-ever meeting with Fordham in women’s basketball.
SCOUTING HARTFORD: The Hawks enter the tournament with a 7-4 overall record, having won their last four straight following a, 71-62, win over Siena on Dec. 21... Hartford has also posted wins over Niagara, Central Connecticut State, and Bryant, during its winning streak... The Hawks are 4-2 away from home and is 2-0 on neutral courts, posting wins over Charleston Southern and Alabama A&M at the FIU Thanksgiving Tournament... Junior guard Lindsey Abed leads a quartet of Hawks in double figures at 12.4 ppg to go with 4.7 rpg and 3.8 apg... Sophomore guard Sierra DaCosta (11.5 ppg), Senior forward Janelle Harrison (11.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg), and senior forward Darby Lee (10.5 ppg) are also in double figures.
SERIES NOTES: Day two of the tournament could mark the first-ever meeting with Hartford in women’s basketball.
CONFERENCE CALL: Other than the two wins over Yale, the Aggies have faced only one other Ivy League team, posting a, 72-63, win over Brown on Dec. 2, 2006... UC Davis has never faced a team from the Atlantic 10 Conference, and is only 1-0 against the America East, falling to Albany, 80-70, on Dec. 18, 2015, at the Women of Troy Classic.
AS THE WORLD TOURNEYS: This week’s trip to the Bronx marks the Aggies first appearance in a regular season tournament since the 2015-16 season when UC Davis competed in the Women of Troy Classic hosted by USC... In the program’s Division I history UC Davis is 11-5 in regular season tournaments, but has lost four of its last six after winning nine of its first 10... The Aggies are also 4-0 when facing the host schools in those events, but has not done so since a, 78-69, win over USC during the 2012-13 season.
EMPIRE STATE OF MIND: This week marks the only the second-ever trip to the state of New York for the Aggies, the first coming on Dec. 7, 2013, in Hempstead, N.Y., with a, 76-57, loss at Hofstra. The big lights have yet to inspire UC Davis, however, as the Aggies are 0-4 against schools from New York: 0-1 vs. Albany, 0-2 vs. Hofstra, and 0-1 against Syracuse.
NOTHING FOR FREE: UC Davis did a good job of not shooting itself in the foot last week against nationally ranked Oregon State, tying a school single-game Division I record with only six turnovers against the Beavers. It was the fewest since the Aggies turned the ball over six times against CSUN on Jan. 14, 2017, and tied the mark set against the Matadors in 2010-11 and matched against UC Riverside in 2011-12.
DAMMING THE BEAVERS: Despite a loss against nationally ranked Oregon State, the Aggies’ defense kept them in the contest, holding the Beavers to their lowest point total (61) and field goal percentage (.362) of the year.
DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): No. 17 Oregon State became the eighth team this season held to under 38 percent shooting from the field by the UC Davis defense, as the Aggies have allowed only three opponents (Washington State, Portland State, and UCF) to shoot higher than that mark. The Aggies enter the week continuing to lead the Big West in scoring defense (61.5 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.356) -- the latter ranking No. 39 in the nation -- and three-point percentage defense (.306).
BOARDING TOWARD A BENCHMARK: Entering the week just 58 points shy of becoming the 19th player (and second this season) to reach 1,000 for her career, senior political science major Pele Gianotti is quickly approaching another milestone, needing just 16 more rebounds to become only the fifth player in the program’s Division I history to reach 500 for a career. Following her third nine-rebound performance in her last four games at No. 17 Oregon State, Gianotti could become only the fourth player in the program’s Division I history to hit 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds, joining Alyson Doherty (2012-16), Paige Mintun (2007-11), and Sydnee Fipps (2011-15).
MOVIN’ ON UP: Thanks to her 20 points at No. 17 Oregon State, junior forward Morgan Bertsch held steady at No. 10 on the all-time list, entering this week’s games in New York with 1,199 points to her name. The biomedical engineering major from Santa Rosa, Calif., needs just 44 more points to match UC Davis Head Coach Jennifer Gross (1,243 career points) for No. 9 on the list, with Aimee Connor (1989-93) and Ellen Porshneva (2003-06, 2007-08) just a combined 18 points beyond that for No. 7 all time.
DOUBLE-DIGIT DAMAGE: After tying the school’s Division I single-season record with 29 games with 10-or-more points, Bertsch is back at it again with 11 such performances in the Aggies’ first 11 games -- giving her 61 for her career and solidifying her hold on fourth place on the school’s Division I career list, just 10 back of Paige Mintun. Teammates Pele Gianotti (47) and Rachel Nagel (35) also rank sixth and ninth, respectively, on that same career list, chasing record-holder Sydnee Fipps, who collected 80 career games with double digits in the scoring column from 2011-15.
I’LL TAKE BERTSCH FOR 20 PLEASE, ALEX: Bertsch’s 20 points at No. 17 Oregon State last week marked her eighth 20-point performance in 11 games this season and 27 for her career -- well within striking distance of Sydnee Fipps’ all-time record of 32 from 2011-15. Bertsch’s six straight 20-point games this season are also a program Division I record, surpassing Fipps’ five straight from Dec. 15 to Jan. 2 during 2013-14.
BERTSCH BLOCKS: For the second straight outing, Bertsch finished with three blocks in a game at No. 17 Oregon State -- the 17th time in her career that she has collected at least three blocsk in a single game.
CENTURY MARK: Already the fifth Aggie to reach the century mark in career blocks at Seattle on Nov. 26, Bertsch’s performance in Corvallis, Ore., gave her 111 for her career, moving her past Janae Henning (1998-02) and into fourth-place on the all-time list. Bertsch, who set the school single-season record with 57 swats last season, needs just eight more to match Kendall Greene (1992-96) for third and is well-within striking distance of career record holder Paige Mintun (2006-11) and her 150 blocks.
SWAT TEAM: Just one year after setting the school’s single-season record with 129 blocks as a team, the Aggies have seemingly picked up right where they left off, ranking second in the Big West Conference entering the week at 4.6 bpg, while collecting at least four blocks in a contest for the eighth time in 11 games at No. 17 Oregon State. UC Davis is nearly halfway to last year’s total with 51 swats thus far this season, paced by Bertsch’s 18 and 11 more from senior design major Marly Anderson.
THREEE-CO-LA!: The Aggies enter the week ranked No. 27 in the NCAA in three-pointers per game (9.0), No. 13 in three-point percentage (.401), and No. 38 in total three’s made (99).
WIN-VEMBER: With its win over Sacramento State on Nov. 30, the Aggies completed an unbeaten month of November (7-0) -- only the fourth unbeaten month in the program’s Division I history and its best unbeaten month since they finished 7-0 in February of 2008.
IN THE MARGINS: The seven-point margin of victory against the Hornets on Nov. 30 was the Aggies’ second smallest, trailing only the five-point win over Pepperdine on Nov. 12. In the other eight wins, UC Davis has posted an combined average margin of victory of 19.6 ppg -- the largest being a 32-point win at Pacific on Nov. 20.
‘TIS THE SEASON OF GIVING: UC Davis has been the queens of making the extra pass this season, entering the week ranks No. 13 in the nation in assists per game (19.1 apg) and No. 32 in overall assists (210), while ranking No. 22 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.35). Meanwhile, Kourtney Eaton enters the week ranked No. 35 in assists per game (5.5), No. 52 in total assists (61), and No. 57 in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.35).
MAKING GOOD ON THOSE PASSES: A good number of those assists this season have been thanks to the reliable hands of Bertsch, who enters the week ranked No. 7 in the NCAA in made baskets with 103, trailing only Iowa’s Megan Gustafson (120), Seattle’s Alexis Montgomery (118), Rutgers’ Tyler Scaife (118), Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell (111), South Carolina’s A’Ja Wilson (99), and Florida State’s Shakayla Thomas (101), as of Dec. 22. The junior from Santa Rosa, Calif., also ranks among the top 50 in the nation in points (No. 40) and points per game (No. 18), while standing No. 56 in field goal percentage.