Teams: UC Davis vs. Pacific; at Long Beach State
Records: Aggies 17-5 (7-3); Tigers 6-17 (3-7); 49ers 5-19 (3-7)
Where: The Pavilion; Walter Pyramid – Long Beach, Calif.
When: Today at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m.
Who to watch: Junior Kasey Riecks has had the hot hand in recent weeks.
The Auburn, Calif. native has averaged 12.5 points per game over the Aggies’ last four contests and is second on the team with 33 three-pointers this season.
Did you know? UC Davis has been ranked in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll every week since the start of the season.
Despite their position in the rankings, the Aggies will ultimately be judged on whether or not they qualify for March Madness.
“It’s good for recruiting,” said coach Sandy Simpson, “but in the end, if we don’t make the NCAA Tournament, I don’t think anyone in going to say, ‘Well at least we were ranked in the Mid-Major Poll for the whole year.'”
Preview: This weekend, the Aggies will play two of the three bottom teams in the Big West Conference.
Simpson knows UC Davis better show up ready to play regardless of the opponent’s position in the standings.
“If we go into the game thinking the teams we’re facing don’t have great records, we’re going to be in trouble,” he said. “We need to stay focused.”
The Aggies may be able to find an advantage in these games by using their experience from earlier this season.
In its win over Pacific on Jan. 22, UC Davis was able to frustrate Pacific freshman Danielle Peacon. Peacon leads the Tigers in rebounds and points per game.
While the Aggies know stopping her will be a more difficult task this time around, they plan to approach the game with the same strategy.
“She’s been getting better week-by-week,” Simpson said. “It won’t be as easy to limit her this time. All we want to do is make her work for everything she gets.”
The Aggies will have another freshman to deal with when they face the 49ers on Saturday.
Brandi Henton scored 25 on the Aggies in the teams’ previous meeting. Simpson said his team needs to slow her down in order to be successful.
Regardless of the competition, however, UC Davis believes it will need to keep its three-game winning streak going if they want a chance to win the Big West regular season title.
“Winning breeds winning,” Simpson said. “Our confidence is up, and that’s something we’ll be able to maintain. We might need to be perfect the rest of the way if we want a shot to win the conference.”
– Trevor Cramer