Teams: UC Davis vs. Long Beach State; Cal State Fullerton
Records: Aggies, 7-12 (3-5); 49ers, 4-16 (1-7); Highlanders 11-9 (7-1)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Today at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 5 p.m.
Who to watch: The last time UC Davis faced Long Beach State, the Aggies found themselves down by one point with nine seconds remaining.
Freshman Kasey Riecks then drove the ball to the basket, drew a foul and hit both free throws to give UC Davis the narrow margin of victory.
Riecks scored 15 points in 35 minutes of play for the game. The Auburn, Calif. native has started all 19 of the Aggies‘ games this season and has averaged 8.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in those games.
Did you know? UC Davis has played five games this season in which the final outcome has been determined by two possessions or less. They are 1-4 in those close games, with their only win coming in a 55-54 win at Long Beach State on Jan. 10, the same game in which Riecks hit two free throws with two seconds left to give UC Davis the win.
Preview: UC Davis is halfway through the Big West schedule, but still has a lot of basketball yet to play.
With only a few adjustments, coach Sandy Simpson foresees a strong showing from his team as the final nine games of the season approach.
“We understand that if we clean up some normal things like taking care of the ball and boxing out, we can anticipate a strong second half,” said Simpson. “We are young and gaining experience.“
UC Davis will attempt to begin that strong second half as they host Long Beach State tonight.
The 49ers are 1-7 in Big West action, with their only win coming against Cal State Fullerton.
The 49ers are led offensively by junior Whitney Fields, who averages 11.8 points and 8.2 rebounds. She also has a team-high 33 steals on the season.
After Long Beach State, UC Davis will face a UC Riverside team that is second in the conference standings and that handed the Aggies a 56-52 loss on Jan. 8 in Riverside.
The Highlanders are led offensively by senior Kemie Nkele who scores 17.7 points and grabs 7.8 boards per contest.
The San Diego, Calif. native will likely be matched up in the low post with sophomore Paige Mintun, UC Davis’s leading scorer at 13.6 points per game.