Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Irvine; vs. UC Riverside
Records: Aggies, 14-7 (6-3); Anteaters, 10-13 (6-4); Highlanders, 4-17 (2-7)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Thursday at 5 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m.
Who to Watch: The Aggies lost two key players to graduation last year and have brought a new look to the team for the 2011-12 season. Freshman Sydnee Fipps has helped fill some of the gaps left by graduating seniors.
Fipps has appeared in every game this year as a true freshman, averaging over 13 minutes a game. She is fourth on the team in three-pointers.
In her latest appearance, Fipps contributed eight points and a couple of key rebounds that helped UC Davis steal a 57-55 victory from Cal State Fullerton.
Did you know? Senior Hana Asano was scoreless in the last game against the Titans, but she still contributed to the offense with five assists.
Asano leads UC Davis with 65 assists this season, and her career total is now at 271. She needs three more to move up to eighth on UC Davis’ all-time career assists list.
The senior captain is under the tutelage of the best, as head coach Jennifer Gross stands atop that list with 448 career assists.
Preview: It is getting late in the season, and the games are starting to count. The UC Davis women’s basketball program will come home for two games with a thrilling victory tucked away in its pocket.
On Wednesday, the Aggies pulled out a 57-55 win over CSU Fullerton, their fifth win in their last six games.
The team continues to improve, and, as Gross has reiterated throughout the season, consistently receives contributions from each player every night.
It was senior Lauren Juric, Fipps and sophomore Kelsey Beard’s performances that had large impacts this past game. Junior Blair Shinoda’s clutch four points at the end of the game were just what UC Davis needed to steal the victory.
The Aggies are a respectable 6-5 in games on the road, but their 7-1 record at the Pavilion is what really scares teams as they travel to Hamilton Court.
The Aggies face UC Irvine and UC Riverside this week at home. UC Davis topped the Highlanders by a score of 70-53 earlier this season and then two days later dropped a game to the Anteaters the day before coming back from winter break.
“The key for us is we have to continue to defend; we’re going to do everything we can this time to play well and play hard,” Gross said. “It’s going to be about making small adjustments and battling for every possession.”
“One of our goals is to beat every single team in the conference,” Gross said. “If we can put pressure on [our opponents], we tend to be successful.”
— Matthew Yuen