Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Riverside
Records: Aggies, 13-6 (5-1); Highlanders, 7-12 (4-2)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Today at 7 p.m.
Player to watch: Haylee Donaghe is making the most of her final season with the Aggies.
She leads the team with 47 steals while shooting .467 from the floor. In addition, Donaghe filled the stat-sheet on Saturday, narrowly missing a triple-double with 18 points, nine steals and eight rebounds.
“She was a beast up top,” said forward Paige Mintun. “They just couldn’t get around her.”
Did you know? The Aggies are the victims of a few scheduling quirks this season.
In addition to two stretches where they play four games in nine days, UC Davis plays conference foes Pacific, Cal Poly, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara twice before they play Long Beach State for the first time. The Aggies will welcome the 49ers to the Pavilion on Feb. 18 and then travel to Walter Pyramid one week later.
Preview: The Aggies are in sole possession of first place in the Big West Conference and are in the midst of a six-game winning streak.
Not so fast, though. There’s a catch.
As the top team in the conference, UC Davis gets the best effort the opposing team has to offer. This is a fact that won’t change when UC Riverside enters the Pavilion tonight.
“I’ve said all season that any team can beat you in this conference,” said coach Sandy Simpson. “[Riverside] had snuck in there while people were looking the other way. However, when you look at the scores they put up on UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly, they will get your attention.”
The Highlanders, who come to Davis riding a four-game winning streak, could give the Aggies trouble.
“They’re a team that has had me concerned,” Simpson said. “They have some new transfers this year so you felt like they hadn’t gelled earlier this year. They certainly have the talent to win.”
Though Riverside is on fire, they may fall victim to their Achilles heel – playing on the road.
While each of the four wins during their current streak came at home, the Highlanders are just 1-8 on the road this season and have lost seven straight away from the Student Recreation Center.
The Aggies, who are 6-3 at home and 7-3 on the road, believe that you have to be at your best when playing an away game, something the Highlanders will try to improve on.
“You win this league on the road,” Simpson said. “You have to hold service at home and win when you’re away.”
Lately, the Aggies have proven they can win any type of game.
“The cool thing about this season,” Donaghe said, “is when you look at all of our games and the way we’ve won. You see that we can compete in almost every situation.”