Games: UC Davis vs. Long Beach State
Records: Aggies, 13-3 (2-2); 49ers, 3-14 (1-3)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Tonight at 7 pm
Who to watch: Junior Samantha Meggison has been a solid force for the Aggies on the defensive end.
The Orange, Calif. native has started all 16 games for UC Davis this season and leads the team with 31 steals.
Did you know? UC Davis will be looking to move back up the Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Poll with a win on Thursday.
The Aggies fell out of the top-10 to No. 13 following last week’s loss to Cal Poly.
Preview: Meggison and her teammates will be looking to get some more takeaways when they face the 49ers.
This task shouldn’t be difficult as Long Beach State is among the nation’s worst when it comes to taking care of the ball.
Although it has been better in recent games, the 49ers are averaging over 22 turnovers per game this season, placing them in the bottom 20 nationally.
Conversely, UC Davis is currently in the top 15 nationally in both turnover margin and steals per game.
The combination of aggressive defensive and poor ball control could mean a long night for the 49ers.
“[Forcing turnovers] is part of the game-plan,” said coach Sandy Simpson. “We’re going to hope that they struggle with our pressure and make some bad decisions.”
While the Aggies will be looking to put pressure on the ball, they will also be on the lookout for the 49ers’ leading scorer – freshman Brandi Henton.
Henton has been up and down in her young career, but with four games of 23 points or more this season, she is a threat to go off at any time.
“She’s a very dynamic scorer,” Simpson said. “We need to be prepared to handle her defensively.”
A win in this game has added meaning.
Following its matchup with the 49ers, UC Davis will have a nine-day break – the longest of the Big West schedule.
The Aggies don’t want to spend that time thinking about a loss.
“You never want to go into a layoff with a bad performance,” Simpson said. “It’s too long to have to wait to get redemption. We want to do everything we can to avoid that.”
– Trevor Cramer