UC Davis puts its 19-game home court winning streak on the line against UC Santa Barbara in a showdown for first place Thursday.
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UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis Ready For Clash
Big West co-leaders UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis are set for a key showdown on Thursday at the Pavilion. Both squads enter the game at 7-2 in Big West play. The Aggies bring a 19-game home court winning streak into the contest. UCSB (18) and UC Davis (16) are the league’s two winningest programs, and also possess the two longest current winning streaks – the Gauchos at six straight and the Aggies at four.
Aggie Home Streak Fourth Longest In Nation
UC Davis is 8-0 at home this season. Coupled with an 11-0 mark at the Pavilion last season, UC Davis currenlty owns the fourth longest home court winning streak nationally. Only Cincinnati (37), Purdue (21) and Vermont (20) have longer streaks.
Gauchos Holding Court Too
UC Santa Barbara set a school record by starting out 11-0 at home following Saturday’s 75-51 victory against CSUN. Dating back to last season, UCSB has won 12 straight in the Thunderdome, the program’s longest streak since reeling off 15 in a row between the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons.
On The Tube, On The Tablet
Three games will be available this week via Big West broadcast partners FOX and WatchESPN.
Wed., Feb. 7 – CSUN at UC Irvine
Thur., Feb. 8 – Cal Poly at Cal State Fullerton
FOX SPORTS WEST
Sat., Feb. 10 – Cal Poly at Long Beach State
The UCSB and UC Davis matchup Thursday pits programs with two of the most improved squads in recent Big West history. This year’s UCSB squad, with 18 victories, has tripled its win total of six from a years ago. The +12 improvement in the win column is tied for seventh all-time in Big West history. Meanwhile, UC Davis also improved by +12 from the 2015-16 (11-19) to 2016-17 (23-13) seasons. The all-time biggest year-to-year win improvement is +16 – shared by Utah State (1981-82 to 1982-83) and UC Davis (2013-14 to 2014-15).
Here Come The ‘Eaters
Preseason Big West media favorite UC Irvine started conference play 1-2, but has won three straight and five of six to move to 6-3. The Anteaters are just one game out of first place.
Still A Logjam
Five teams are within two games of the Big West lead. Long Beach State is one and a half games back, and Cal State Fullerton is two games off the lead.
Levin Sets Records
Long Beach State senior Gabe Levin set Big West single-game records for free throws made (24) and attempted (28) in last Saturday’s 105-104 loss in double overtime to UC Davis. Levin finished the game with 45 points, the most scored in the Big West since Cal State Fullerton’s Bobby Brown had 46 against Bethune-Cookman on Dec. 16, 2006.
PRIOR TO TIPOFF
CSUN AT UC IRVINE (WatchESPN) - UC Irvine has won six straight against CSUN in the Bren Events Center. The Matadors have not won at UCI since Feb. 5, 2011 in Russell Turner’s first year as Anteater head coach. UCI junior Jonathan Galloway became the 14th player in school history to surpass 600 rebounds with nine versus Cal State Fullerton last week. He now has 602. CSUN senior Tavrion Dawson has five double-doubles in the last six games, averaging 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in that span. PXP: Rahshaun Haylock • ANALYST: Richie Schueler
UC RIVERSIDE AT HAWAI‘I (BIGWEST.TV) - Hawai‘i has lost three straight games for the first time all season, falling from first place to sixth in the Big West standings. UC Riverside is seeking its first conference win and has lost 10 straight overall. However, UCR has won at UH in its last two trips to the islands. UH had a season low eight turnovers in its last outing against Cal Poly. Highlander guard Chance Murray has dished out 20 assists in his last two contests.
CAL POLY AT CAL STATE FULLERTON (WatchESPN) - After a 4-0 start to Big West play, Cal State Fullerton has dropped four of its last five games. Cal Poly went 2-0 at home last week. The Mustangs are seeking their first Big West road win (0-4). Cal Poly junior Donovan Fields is No. 2 nationally in free throw percentage (.926). The Titans shot just 32.8% (19-of-58) against UCI on Saturday in their worst shooting performance during league play. Kyle Allman has scored 20 or more in three straight. PXP: Trent Rush • ANALYST: Bill Herenda • SIDELINE: Megan Reza
UC SANTA BARBARA AT UC DAVIS (BIGWEST.TV) - In conference games, both teams are ranked in the top four in scoring offense, scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. UC Davis junior TJ Shorts II had a career-high 31 points in a 105-104, double OT victory at Long Beach State on Saturday, including a game-winning three-point runner. The Aggies posted their second 100-point game as a Big West member. UC Santa Barbara senior Gabe Vincent is now No. 2 in school history with 223 three-point field goals. He has at least one trey in 19-of-23 games this season.