Teams: UC Davis vs. Pacific
Records: Aggies, 12-16 (7-10); Tigers, 23-6 (13-4)
Where: The Pavilion — Davis, Calif.
When: Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Who to Watch: Freshmen often struggle to get accustomed to the rigors of college. This sentiment holds true in sports as well. Most freshman athletes are not accustomed to the faster, taller and more talented players they face in college.
However, freshman Molly Greubel is playing like a veteran. Her lack of experience has not hindered her at all this season, as she has played at an impressive level. Her maturity was on display during the last game between UC Davis and Pacific, as she had a career night.
Greubel’s impressive stat line included three assists, three steals and a career-high 18 points. She contributed two of the Aggies’ total five three-pointers.
Greubel is going to be a key for the Aggies if they hope to pull off an upset against the Tigers. She needs to be a consistent threat on offense in order to free up sophomore Sydnee Fipps and senior Cortney French. As UC Davis’ third leading scorer, averaging 6.1 points per game, her play is going to be critical against a tough Pacific team.
Did you know? Sophomore Sydnee Fipps has just been named Big West player of the week. This is the second time this season that an Aggie has earned this honor. The first was senior Cortney French, who earned it in November.
Fipps earned this award due to her fantastic performances shooting and rebounding. She shot 50 percent from the field overall this past week, including an incredible 56.3 percent from three-point land. This efficient shooting percentage is made more impressive by the fact that she averaged 18 points during the week.
Fipps also averaged 6.5 rebounds per game this past week. She will need to continue and ride the momentum into Saturday’s game against the Tigers.
Preview: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde would be a character representation of the Aggies’ season. At certain points this season, they have been absolutely brilliant with a barrage of three-pointers and stifling defense. However, at other points in the season, they have struggled rebounding and shooting the basketball.
Depending on which UC Davis team shows up in the showdown against league-leaders Pacific, the game could be either an exciting or excruciating journey. The Tigers will be trying to hold on to their number one seed heading into the tournament and also continue their four-game win streak.
In the first matchup between these two teams, Pacific simply overwhelmed the Aggies, 78-64. The loss was due in part to the shooting struggles of Fipps and French, who shot a combined 7-24 from the field. This included only hitting two of their eleven three-point attempts.
Simply put, UC Davis must do better at scoring the basketball. The Tigers, who lead the conference in scoring, averaging 70.5 points a game, will put up a fair share of points. Thus, the Aggies must find some way of keeping up with the high-octane Pacific offense. Whether the scoring comes in the form of a monster night from Fipps or a more balanced attack, UC Davis must score. Then they must score some more.
— Kenneth Ling