Cal Poly and UC Irvine Battle on ESPN3 in Key Matchup
Big West Women's Basketball Weekly Release No. 15
Cal Poly and UC Irvine will renew aquaintences on ESPN this week, a matchup that will go a long way towards helping the winner secure a top-two seed in next month's Big West Tournament.
WEEKLY PRIMER (Saturday, February 10)
Cal Poly (14-9, 8-3 Big West) at UC Irvine (16-8, 8-2 Big West)
The two teams staged an epic battle on January 18 as the Mustangs went on a 13-0 run over the final three minutes to rally to a 79-76 win in San Luis Obispo.
Long Beach State (3-21, 1-9 Big West) at UC Davis (20-4, 10-1 Big West)
The Aggies commit the fewest turnovers per game in the Big West (14.8), but the Beach forced them into a season-high 27 miscues in the first game on February 1. LBSU is third in the league with 19.3 turnovers forced per game.
CSUN (13-12, 6-5 Big West) at UC Riverside (7-18, 4-7 Big West)
The Highlanders' Michelle Curry is averaging 25.0 points per game over her last two games, while the Matadors' Channon Fluker is looking to get back in the double-figure column after having her 19-game streak snapped last time out.
Cal State Fullerton (7-16, 2-8 Big West) at UC Santa Barbara (9-14, 6-5 Big West)
The Gauchos have won two of three after dropping four of their previous five. The Titans' Jade Vega is averaging 12.0 points, 4.1 rebound and 4.1 assists at home during conference play.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Hawai’i head coach Laura Beeman reached a milestone with her 100th career win last week. She becomes just the second coach in program history to reach barrier, joining legendary Rainbow Wahine coach Vince Goo in the annals.
ANOTHER COACHING MILESTONE ON THE WAY
Cal Poly head coach Faith Mimnaugh is the second winningest coach in Big West history with 290 wins. Ten more victories will make her just the second coach all-time to win 300 games. Mimnaugh will likely join the 300-win club early next season but could make a run at it with a long win streak to end this campaign.
ANTEATERS REACHING NEW (OLD) HEIGHTS
UC Irvine has made a dramatic turnaround this season, posting a +11 improvement (and counting) in the win column. The ‘Eaters are off to their best 10-game conference start (8-2) in school history and have their longest win streak since 2010. The team is also four wins shy of 20 which would be just the first since 1984-85 and just the third 20-win campaign in school history. UCI also had a historic offensive showing a couple weeks ago as the club reached 100 points in a game for the first time in 39 years.
DYNN MOVING UP
Cal Poly’s Dynn Leaupepe’s 26.6 scoring average in conference play has vaulted her to the top of the overall league leaderboard with a 20.9 point per game average. Leaupepe is also entering rare company in Big West history with her 1,517 career points, highest among active players. She is the 36th player in league history to record 1,500 points and has a good chance to crack 1,600 by season’s end. That would place her among the top 26 scorers in league history.
LENDING MANY HELPING HANDS
Hawai’i’s Tia Kanoa has made an immediate impact on the Rainbow Wahine offense, leading the Big West in assists per game (5.0) and total assists (121). The junior is within striking distance of the single season UH assists record of 161, set by Melanie Azama in the 1992-93. Kanoa also is the first ‘Bows player to record double-digit assists in a game since 1998, having done so against Seattle on November 12.
GAUCHOS FEELING THE LOVE
The month of February has been kind to UC Santa Barbara as the club is 2-1 after dropping four of five before the month. Senior forward Drew Edelman has been a catalyst, averaging 23.3 points, 11.rebounds and collecting double-doubles in each of the Gaucho contests this month.
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 (992), Cal Poly’s Lynn Leaupepe (981), CSUN’s Tessa Boagni (901) and UC Davis’ Dani Nafekh (819) all have a chance to add the accomplishment this season.
FAST BREAK POINTS
6 - Blocks by UC Davis' Morgan Bertsch against Cal Poly, a career-high and one off the school record.
8 - Combined 30-point games by Cal Poly's Dynn Leaupepe (5) and UC Irvine's Morgan Green (3) in conference play.
12 - Player of the Week awards claimed by CSUN's Channon Fluker, one off tying the all-time Big West record.
20 - UC Davis reached 20 wins faster than any other team in program history this season.
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.
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