Teams: UC Davis at Pacific
Records: Aggies, 13-3 (3-2); Tigers 5-14 (2-3)
Where: Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium – Stockton, Calif.
When: Saturday at 4 p.m.
Who to watch: Junior Lauren Juric has provided a spark off the bench for the Aggies.
The Grass Valley, Calif. native is shooting 46 percent this season and is second on the team with five blocked shots.
Did you know? The last time UC Davis faced Pacific, the Tigers had a shooting performance for the ages on their way to a 74-58 win.
Pacific made a school record 15 three-pointers, shooting 68 percent from beyond the arc – 82 percent in the second half.
Preview: If the Aggies plan to take home a victory in this season’s first matchup with Pacific, they will have to contain Danielle Peacon.
The 6-foot-3 freshman made her mark with a 33-point game in her first collegiate contest and is leading the team with 12.4 points per game.
“She’s a force,” said coach Sandy Simpson. “She’s physical and she has just a little bit of a mean streak in her which is a great quality in a post player.”
Despite her reputation as a scorer, the most important thing for the Aggies may be keeping her off the glass. Peacon is averaging over seven rebounds per game, and UC Davis’ zone defense sometimes gives it a disadvantage on the boards.
“Anytime you face a team with a rebounder like Peacon, she has to be a focal point,” said Simpson. “You just have to try to be aware of where she is on the court and when the shot goes up sometimes you have to send two bodies at her to keep her off the board.”
If the Aggies shut down Peacon, they will have a great chance to get a win during an important stretch of the season.
Following this contest, UC Davis will play four straight games against its most difficult opponents in the Big West Conference. The Aggies will match-up against four of the top five teams in the league. This string of games will be a barometer for the team.
“This is a key stretch for us,” Simpson said. “After these games we’ll have a good idea of where we’re at this season.”
– Trevor Cramer