Dec. 26, 2013
TIP-OFF: Riding a modest two-game winning streak following an overtime triumph over visiting Houston Baptist to kick-off a five-game homestand, the UC Davis women’s basketball team (4-7 overall) looks to ring in the New Year in style this weekend, hosting Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State (7-1) in a Saturday matinee at The Pavilion on Dec. 28 at 2 p.m.
IN THE POLLS: Neither Sacramento State 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 Saturday’s contest, as well as broadcast locally on KDVS 90.3 FM. 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.
FIPPS CAPTURES BIG WEST WEEKLY HONORS: UC Davis junior Sydnee Fipps captured Big West Conference Player of the Week honors for the period ending December 22, it was announced by the league office Monday. The Mariposa, Calif. native scored a total of 45 points in Aggie victories against Santa Clara and Houston Baptist. This is the first weekly award for a UC Davis women’s basketball player since Fipps claimed such honors back on March 4 of last season. The 5-foot-10 forward scored 22 points - including 16 in the second half - in the Aggies’ 75-70 win at Santa Clara on Wednesday. She followed that with 23 points and five rebounds in Saturday’s overtime victory against Houston Baptist. Fipps was particularly effective from the line, sinking 14 of 15 free-throw attempts in the two games. She also totaled nine rebounds and six assists for the week.
CAUSEWAY CUP UPDATE: Entering Saturday’s clash, UC Davis leads the year-long Causeway Cup series with Sacramento State, 37.5-12.5, after the Hornets posted a six-point win in men’s basketball back on Nov. 26. Complete standings for the race for the 2013-14 Cup are available here: http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/ot/causeway-classic-1314.html.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE HORNETS: Sacramento State enters the weekend on a bit of a roll, having won five-straight en route to a 7-1 overall record this season... the Hornets, who haven’t lost since a 102-80 setback at Oregon State on Nov. 15, defeated UC Irvine by five (99-94) in their last outing on Dec. 14, and are 2-0 against the Big West this season following a, 92-73, win over Cal State Northridge in their season opener... Alle Moreno leads a quintet of Sacramento State players in double figures, averaging 17.8 ppg while shooting .410 from the field, while the Hornets’ offense is averaging 93.1 ppg collectively... Hallie Gennett (13.0 ppg), Fantasia Hilliard (11.6 ppg), Andrea Chenier (11.6 ppg), and Takara Burse (10.9 ppg) are also in double figures... Margaret Huntington paces the team on the boards at 8.5 rpg.
THE SERIES: Causeway rival Sacramento State leads the all-time series with UC Davis, 28-24... the Hornets snapped the Aggies’ three-game winning streak in the series with a last-second, 66-65, overtime victory in Sacramento last season... UC Davis has won 12 of the last 15 meetings, however, dating back to the 1989-90 campaign... this will be the 10th consecutive year that the two programs have met dating back to the 2004-05 season after having not met since the 1993-94 campaign... the Aggies have won the last seven meetings at The Pavilion (five of those decided by nine points or fewer), the last coming in a, 68-57, win in 2011-12... the Hornets’ last win in Davis came during the 1988-89 season, claiming a 69-67 victory... UC Davis is 14-7 against Sacramento State at home dating back to the 1977-78 season, with the locations of the first 11 meetings from 1971-77 unknown.
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 last Saturday against Houston Baptist. The run is the longest for the program since UC Davis played 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.
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 89-48 (.650) 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.
OH, YES, THEY CALL IT A STREAK: Last Saturday’s win over the Huskies gave UC Davis back-to-back wins for the first time this season -- the longest winning streak for the Aggies since they won three-straight from Jan. 24-31 last season.
BONUS BASKETBALL: Fans were treated to an extra five minutes of basketball last week in the Aggies’ 63-58 win over Houston Baptist. Just think of it as our holiday gift to you. It marked the first overtime game of the season for UC Davis and its first since suffering a heartbreaking, 66-65, loss at Sacramento State on Dec. 30, 2012. Prior to that, the Aggies last posted a win in overtime on Nov. 23 of last season, edging Navy, 66-63, at the Houston Baptist Tournament.
LET’S PLAY TWO!: Ernie Banks would be proud. Last Saturday’s matinee with Houston Baptist marked the Aggies third doubleheader of the season (not counting the tournament games in San Luis Obispo over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend), as they improved to 3-0 following their overtime victory. UC Davis has also defeated San Jose State on Nov. 26 (the Aggie men hosted Sacramento State) and pinned a loss on Santa Clara on Dec. 18 (the Bronco men hosted Sacred Heart afterward) in its previous two doubleheaders, and will have one more twinbill scheduled as both the UC Davis men and women will host the NAIA’s Simpson University on Jan. 2 to ring in the New Year.
FIVE IS FINE FOR FIPPS: Junior forward Sydnee Fipps continued her torrid scoring pace over the first third of the 2013-14 regular season last Saturday against Houston Baptist, finishing with a game-high 23 points and five rebounds to help the Aggies down the Huskies. It was the fifth, 20-point game of the season for Fipps (and the 12th of her career), marking the eighth time in 11 games this season that the Mariposa, Calif., native has paced the team in scoring.
BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK: Coupled with her 23-point outing against Saint Mary’s on Dec. 15 and 22 more against Santa Clara on Dec. 21, Fipps made it three-straight 20-point perfomances last Saturday against Houston Baptist, adding a game-high 23 points in the Aggies’ five-point win. It marked the first time a UC Davis player has gone for 20 points in three consecutive games since Jessica Campbell accomplished the feat from Dec. 17-28, 2007, against Saint Mary’s (28), San Francisco (29), and Bradley (21).
SHE’S AT IT AGAIN: Since being held to just eight points at Hofstra on Dec. 7, Fipps is averaging 22.7 ppg over her last three contests and has reached double figures in nine of the team’s 11 contests overall thus far this season.
NOT HALF BAD: For the first time in seven such contests this season, the Aggies came back from a halftime deficit to post a victory last Saturday against Houston Baptist, turning a two-point gap at the break into a five-point overtime win. Conversely, UC Davis is a solid 3-1 when leading at the break in 2013-14, posting three-straight wins over San Jose State, Akron, and Santa Clara, following a hard-fought loss to Pacific.
‘HEIDI-HO!’ GOOD NEIGHBOR: With two of her teammates in the post sidelined due to illness (Alyson Doherty) and injury (Celia Marfone), sophomore Heidi Johnson has seized her opportunity and has shined in the Aggies’ last two victories. Two of her three double-digit scoring performances have come in her last two contests, averaging 15.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg while shooting .474 (9-of-19) from the floor, .500 (4-for-8) from beyond the arc, and .800 (8-of-10) from the line, while averaging 31.0 mpg. Over the last two games, she has seen her scoring average jump nearly two points per game from 5.4 ppg following the Saint Mary’s game on Dec. 15 to 7.2 ppg entering the week -- good for fourth on the team.
HOW DO YOU SPELL “CLUTCH?”: G-R-E-U-B-E-L. Sophomore Molly Greubel has been just that at the line to help seal the Aggies’ last two wins, finishing off Santa Clara with a 7-of-8 performance in the final 27 seconds on Dec. 18 and adding an ice-water-in-her-veins 4-for-4 against Houston Baptist in the last 23 seconds of overtime on Dec. 21 as UC Davis held off the Huskies. In all, Greubel is 27-for-34 from the line this season and ranks third on the team with a .794 percentage at the stripe.
BALANCE ON THE BOARDS: Through 10 games this season, the Aggies have had eight different players lead them in rebounding with Kelsey Harris, Sydnee Fipps, and Celia Marfone (twice each), the only “repeats” on the list. Sophomore Heidi Johnson is the latest member of the club after grabbing a game- and career-high nine rebounds (five offensive) last Saturday against Houston Baptist. In all, six players have grabbed at least 40 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 eligible member of the squad play at least one minute in nine of the team’s 11 contests this season with a lineup that features six players averaging better than 22 minutes per game.
THEY DON’T ALL HAVE TO GO IN, RIGHT?: UC Davis was held to a season-low field goal percentage of .298 in last week’s win over Houston Baptist -- its lowest shooting percentage in a victory since they shot .258 against former Big West Conference rival Pacific on Feb. 2, 2008 (W, 58-54).
SWIPER, NO SWIPING: Stealing is bad, but don’t tell that to junior Brianna Salvatore, who has, clearly, been good at it this season. The Villa Park, Calif., native leads the team with 19 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 1.73 steals per game. Salvatore has at least one steal in each of the last six contests, and nine of 11 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.
SALVATOR-THREE!: Junior forward Brianna Salvatore is the Big West’s top sharpshooter from three-point range entering Saturday’s contest, hitting 11-of-20 from long distance to pace the league with a .550 three-point percentage. Half of her 22 makes this season have come from beyond the arc as she leads all Aggie regulars in three-point shooting and stands second with a .449 field goal percentage overall (Alyson Doherty - .516).
BOMBS AWAY: Junior Kelsey Harris has found her way back from beyond the arc in her last three games, combining to hit 9-of-18 (.500) 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 2.82 three-pointers made per game and 31 makes from beyond the arc overall. Harris, who has made all but five of her baskets from long range this season, also ranks seventh in the league in three-point percentage (.392).