Teams: UC Davis at Long Beach State; at Cal State Northridge
Records: Aggies, 15-8(7-4); 49ers, 10-14(5-6): Matadors, 14-10 (8-3)
Where: Walter Pyramid – Long Beach, Calif.; The Matadome – Northridge, Calif.
When: Today at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m.
Who to Watch: Head Coach Jennifer Gross has stressed that this team is one that fights, battles and hustles for every ball. You can see this playing style in its fullest when Brianna Salvatore comes off the bench.
The sophomore hailing from Villa Park, Calif. has earned playing time in every game and a burst of energy off a UC Davis bench that has been so strong for the Aggies this year.
Salvatore’s tenacious play has brought her to fourth on the team in rebounds, all in her short amount of playing time off the bench. She grabbed four rebounds and shot 3-3 to total eight points against UC Riverside on Saturday.
Did you know? Cal State Northridge has really turned things around this year. They finished last in the Big West Conference for the past four years, having a 4-12 conference record in each of the past three years and 0-16 record in the 2007-08 season.
This has been quite the revival for their program, as they currently stand in first place in the Big West, with an 8-3 conference record. One of those losses, however, was to the Aggies earlier this season.
Preview: The UC Davis women’s basketball program is currently locked into a tight battle for the Big West Conference regular season title. The Aggies are 7-4 in conference, and are tied for third.
With a strong performance in the final five conference games, the Aggies could find themselves in first place.
The Aggies will begin the week by traveling to Long Beach State for the first of its final three games on the road. UC Davis took down the 49ers by a 78-62 margin earlier this season in a game that that saw senior Kasey Riecks break the 1,000 career point barrier.
LBSU is coming off an impressive win over first place CSU Northridge in double overtime — handing the Matadors only their third loss in conference.
Gross has stressed the importance of each game, and stated they will not be overlooking the game against the 49ers.
“Long Beach is a different team, their style is different and you have to be focused going into that game,” she said. “We know it’s not just Northridge we have to beat, we have to beat every team in the conference.”
Two of the Matador’s three conference losses have been in overtime (the other was to UC Davis).
The Aggies know that a win against CSU Northridge on Saturday would help ensure that UC Davis can control its destiny.
“We’re not hoping that somebody loses to somebody or that somebody beats somebody else,” Gross said. “The focus is on us.”
— Matthew Yuen