Teams: UC Davis at UC Santa Barbara; at Cal Poly
Records: Aggies, 12-6 (4-2); Gauchos 8-9 (3-3); Mustangs 6-12 (3-3)
Where: Thunderdome — Santa Barbara, Calif.; Mott Gym — San Luis Obispo, Calif.
When: Thursday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m.
Who to Watch: It has been a season of milestones for UC Davis, and yet another Aggie is making a push for a historic mark.
Junior Samantha Meggison tallied a steal against Pacific, which brought her career total to 150. She needs just six more to pen her name into UC Davis’s top 10 career steals list.
Did you know? If the Aggies beat UCSB tonight, they will travel to San Luis Obispo to battle Cal Poly on Saturday with a four-game winning streak.
Yet they will be looking to break a losing streak they have built over the past three years. The Aggies have not won at Mott Gym since the 2008-09 season.
Preview: UC Davis has shot the ball well as of late, and they’ll be hoping this is a turning point for them. They will need their shots to fall in this week’s match-ups.
No doubt the Aggies’ defense is working, as they rank second in the Big West Conference in scoring defense, allowing an average of only 61.4 points per game. UC Santa Barbara leads the conference, however, allowing just 50.7 points per contest.
The Gauchos, though, do not post big numbers on offense, as they are also ranked last in the Big West with only 52.1 points per game.
“We’re playing great teams as well, so it’s going to be really fun,” head coach Jennifer Gross said. “Both teams heavily focus on the defensive side of the ball and I’m excited to see who can come out on top.”
UCSB is coming off a close victory over first-place California State University, Northridge, which is 5-2 in the Big West. UC Davis handed the Matadors their first league defeat on Jan. 12.
The Aggies now hold a 4-2 league record, good for third place in the Big West — locked in a three-way tie with 3-3 records are UCSB, Pacific and Cal Poly, who UC Davis plays on Saturday.
The Mustangs have lost three games in a row after starting out 3-0 in conference play this season. But they are a dangerous team, ranking second in the Big West with 71.4 points per game. They closely follow Pacific, which averages 71.5 points per game. The Aggies’ game plan will be to keep the Mustangs from putting too many points on the board, as they kept the Tigers to just 51 points last week.
“For us, we’ve focused on our team and the strength of our team, so we don’t worry too much about other teams and what’s going on with them,” Gross said. “We feel like the best way to win is to win in a team fashion.”