UC Irvine's Road Swing Featured On ESPN3
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 13
UC Irvine will be in the spotlight this week as the club will appear in a pair of road contests on ESPN3. The second place Anteaters will face off against Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State as they look to extend their three-game win streak.
WEEKLY PRIMER (Saturday, February 3)
UC Riverside (6-16, 3-5 Big West) at Cal Poly (12-8, 6-2 Big West)
Each of the Mustangs' six victories in Big West play have been come from behind affairs. Lauren Holt has 38 of UCR's 80 made three-pointers on the season.
Hawai'i (9-13, 2-7 Big West) at UC Santa Barbara (7-13, 4-4 Big West)
UCSB is coming off a season-low 30 points against CSUN which is more than 30 points below its season average. The 'Bows are the best in the Big West at getting to the line as they lead the league in conference play in free throws made (134) and attempted (206).
UC Davis (18-3, 8-0) at CSUN (12-10, 5-3 Big West)
A matchup of top Player of the Year candidates in the Aggies' Morgan Bertsch (19.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.6 bpg) and the Matadors' Channon Fluker (20.6 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 2.9 bpg).
UC Irvine (14-8, 6-2) at Long Beach State (2-19, 0-7 Big West)
Two of the top pressure defenses in the Big West collide. The Beach forces a league-leading 19.9 turnovers and is second in steals at 9.1 per contest. The Anteaters force 19.4 turnovers, take the ball away 7.5 times per game and allow 69.6 points per outing.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Hawai’i head coach Laura Beeman is closing in on a career milestone. Beeman is just one win away from 100 for her career, a run that has included a Big West regular season crown and a Tournament title over her five-plus seasons. The ‘Bows will visit the Central Coast this week in search of Beeman’s milestone victory.
LIVING THE GRAND LIFE
Hawai’i guard Sarah Toeaina reached the 1,000-point milestone last week, passing the mark in the fourth quarter in the loss to CSUN. The senior is the 21st player in UH history to reach 1,000 career points.
PARADE TO THE CHARITY STRIPE
Cal State Fullerton has shown an agressiveness on the offensive end and its paying off at the foul line. The Titans lead the league in free throw attemps (421) and are second in free throws made (290). CSF is also the only Big West team to rank in the top 65 nationally in free throws made (63rd) and attempts (48th).
OWNING THE GLASS
Thanks in large part to the tandem of junior Channon Fluker (12.1) and senior Tessa Boagni (6.8), CSUN is one of the top rebounding teams in the Big West and NCAA. The Matadors lead the league in total rebounds (934), rebounds per game (44.4) and rebound margin (+9.0). Among the rest of the country, CSUN ranks 13th in total rebounds, 12th in rebound margin and eighth in rebounds per game.
UC Riverside is powered by its senior duo of Michelle Curry and Lauren Holt. The duo (30.1) is responsible for almost half of the points scored per game (64.3) by the Highlanders this season. In conference play, they’ve been scoring at an even higher clip as they combine for 37.0 of the 68.4 points UCR has averaged. Both players are also efficient from the floor against Big West opposition, combining for 48.5% from the floor and 78.9% from the foul line.
‘EATERS STILL ROLLING
After a pair of wins last week, UC Irvine is 5-2 against league foes and 13-8 overall heading into the midway point of conference play. The Anteaters are 11-3 since the 30th of November, tying league-leading UC Davis for the best mark in the conference during that time. UCI is also off to its best start in Big West play since the 2011-12 season when it was also 5-2.
GRAND STATUS 2017-18 EDITION
UC Davis junior Morgan Bertsch, CSUN junior Channon Fluker, UC Riverside senior Michelle Curry, UC Davis’ Pele Gianotti and Hawai’i’s Sarah Toeaina became members 138-142 of the Big West 1,000-point club this season.
Several players around the league are also approaching the 1,000-point milestone. UC Davis’ Rachel Nagel (947), Cal Poly’s Lynn Leaupepe (943), CSUN’s Tessa Boagni (855) and UC Davis’ Dani Nafekh (800) all have a chance to add the accomplishment this season.
FAST BREAK POINTS
7 - Consecutive 20-point games by Cal Poly's Dynn Leaupepe to start conference play before being snapped last week.
13 - Wins by UC Irvine this season. It had 17 combined over the last three seasons.
17 - Consecutive wins by UC Davis against Big West foes, a program record.
173 - Field goals made by Morgan Bertsch of UC Davis, 20 more than the next highest in the league.
The Big West Tour sponsored Fox PrimeTicket, Smile Generation and GEICO returns for 2018, running January 10th through March 3rd. Over the course of the Tour, Big West representatives will make stops at the eight Big West campuses in California, giving fans opportunities to win prizes from the Big West spin wheel.
The Big West Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament returns to Honda Center for the 2018 season, the event's ninthth year at the Anaheim-based arena. The tournament runs March 8-10, with the women's first and second rounds March 6-7 at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Gym and the women's semifinals and finals at Honda Center March 9-10. The entire men's tournment will be played at Honda Center March 8-10. For more information on the 2018 Big West Tournament please visit: www.bigwesttournament.com.
FOLLOW ALONG ALL SEASON