UC Davis (3-5, 0-0 Big West) at Sacramento State (3-1, 0-0 Big Sky)
Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. PT | The Nest | Sacramento, Calif.
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Coming off a three-game week that saw it travel 2600 round-trip miles, the UC Davis women's basketball opens a December run that will see the Aggies stay somewhat local to close out the non-conference schedule, beginning this Friday (Dec. 7) with a Causeway Cup battle at Sacramento State. Tipoff from The Nest is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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IN THE POLLS:
Neither UC Davis, nor Sacramento State, are ranked nationally this week... The Aggies remain among those receiving votes in the Dec. 4 College Insider Mid-Major poll -- the 23rd consecutive week dating back to last season that UC Davis has been listed in that poll during the regular season.
UC Davis' game at San Francisco on Dec. 15 has been changed to 3 p.m., from the originally scheduled 5 p.m., at War Memorial Gym at The Sobrato Center.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, AGGIES!:
The two-time defending Big West Conference champion UC Davis women's basketball team is scheduled to make a pair of appearances — with the possibility of a third — on ESPN3 during league play, as announced by ESPN and the Big West office. The Aggies kick off the league's broadcast schedule with their Big West opener on Jan. 5 at UC Riverside at 2 p.m., in a rematch of last year's conference tournament semifinal clash at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. UC Davis will also be featured in its Jan. 24 road contest at CSUN, pitting last year's Big West tournament finalists against one another in Northridge with a 7 p.m. tip-off from The Matadome. Another appearance has the Aggies taking on Long Beach State on Feb. 28 at the Walter Pyramid at 7 p.m., one of two possible "wild card" selections that night. The decision on the game will be made closer to the date. UC Davis last appeared in a regular season ESPN3 broadcast on Jan. 8, 2015, at CSUN — a 60-49 victory in Northridge.
ABOUT THE HORNETS:
Sacramento State enters the week with a 3-1 record heading into a home game against San Francisco on Wednesday (Dec. 5)... The Hornets, who are 2-0 at home and in the middle of a three-game home stand that concludes with the game against the Aggies on Friday, have won their last two straight, out-slugging Illinois (109-107) and defeating Antelope Valley (86-80)... Junior guard Hannah Friend leads three players in double figures at 25.0 ppg to go with 9.3 rpg and shooting .405 from the floor... Junior guard Tiara Scott (16.5 ppg) and junior forward Kennedy Nicholas (14.8 ppg and 13.8 rpg) are also in double figures... Sacramento State leads the nation at 95.0 ppg, 51.5 rpg, and 23.0 offensive rebounds per contest, while standing second at 12.0 three-pointers per game.
According to records that date back to the 1971-72 season, the series between the Aggies and Hornets is tied at 29 wins apiece... UC Davis has won two straight -- and three of the last four -- in the series following a, 79-72, win at The Pavilion last season... The Aggies have won the last two straight meetings at The Nest in Sacramento, posting a, 110-78, victory in their last visit there in 2016... UC Davis is 12-11 in games on the road against the Hornets, with the location of seven games unknown from 1971-76... Sacramento State's last win in the series came on Dec. 13, 2015, in Davis by the score of, 92-77, while the Hornets last beat the Aggies on their home floor on Dec. 30, 2012, with a, 66-65, overtime win.
Sacramento State will be the fourth Big Sky Conference opponent for UC Davis this season following games against Portland State, Southern Utah, and Montana... The Aggies are 42-40 against Big Sky opponents, including a 1-2 mark this season, having faced seven of the league's 11 members: Portland State (5-12), Sacramento State (29-29), Southern Utah (5-0), Idaho (1-0), Montana (0-1), Montana State (1-0), and Northern Arizona (1-0).
Five more points are up for grabs in the race for the 2018-19 Causeway Cup as UC Davis enters Friday night's game with a 25-10 lead in the annual head-to-head competition between the Aggies and Sacramento State. Entering its 15th season, UC Davis holds a commanding 10-4 lead in the series, including winning the last six Causeway Cups.
BERTSCH IS BEST:
No one in UC Davis basketball history (men or women) has scored more points that senior biomedical engineering major Morgan Bertsch
. With her 12th point of the game in the Aggies' win over Nevada, Bertsch surpassed Audwin Thomas (1975-79) to become the highest scoring basketball player in the history of the school, entering the week with 1,844 career points. Thomas, a three-time All-Far Western Conference honoree and the league's player of the year as a junior in 1978, led the men's basketball team in scoring in each of his final two seasons and finished with 1,821 career points.
Thanks to that performance against the Lions, Bertsch made yet another leap up the Big West Conference career scoring list, passing Cal State Fullerton's Toni Thomas for 10th place with 1,844 points. The Santa Rosa, Calif., native now has her sights set on Pacific's Julie Szukalski (1986-90), needing 84 points to catch the former Tiger for ninth and 156 more to become the eighth player in the history of the conference to reach 2,000 points for a career.
Needing only five assists to match her mentor on the UC Davis career list, senior psychology major Kourtney Eaton
did that and then some during the Aggies' trip to Montana, posting five assists against the host Lady Griz to set a new standard with 450 career helpers. The Longview, Wash., native reset the mark -- fittingly with a fourth-quarter assist on a three-pointer by her sister, Karley -- previously held by Head Coach Jennifer Gross
, who amassed 448 career assists during her stellar playing career from 1993-97.
WONDER TWIN POWERS ACTIVATE:
Those games in the driveway have paid off for Karley and Kourtney Eaton
, as one has assisted on a made basket by the other a total of 40 times in their Aggie careers -- including 21 times as freshmen during the 2015-16 campaign, and seven times this season as seniors.
LET HER SCORE, LET HER SCORE, LET HER SCORE:
The weather outside may be frightful, but Bertsch's rise up the UC Davis and Big West Conference scoring charts has been delightful, powering her up the ranks of the national scoring leaders as well. She enters the week standing eighth in the nation in total points with 176 through the first eight games (which also puts her 16th in the NCAA at 22.0 ppg) -- which is nothing new for the high-scoring Santa Rosa, Calif., native, who finished No. 17 in the country with 702 points and No. 26 in the nation at 20.1 ppg as a junior last season. Bertsch ranks among the top 20 in the nation in six different categories entering the week: points (8th), points per game (16th), free throw attempts (11th), free throws made (7th), field goal attempts (13th), field goals made (14th).
MORGAN ON A ROLL:
Hold the mayo. With a pair of double-digit scoring efforts at the Lady Griz Classic, Bertsch has now scored in double figures in her last 43 consecutive contests dating back to last season -- and 93 of 108 games overall in her career. The high-scoring Santa Rosa, Calif., native has not been held to single digits since March 23, 2017, in a WNIT "Sweet 16" match-up against Washington State (six points), and has been held without a point in a game only once in her career – at Colorado State on March 19, 2017, in the second round of the WNIT.
START ME UP:
Of her 108 career appearances in an Aggie uniform, Bertsch has missed only six starts -- all coming during her freshman year -- and enters the week having started the team's last 81 consecutive contests dating back to the "Senior Day" game against CSUN in 2015-16.
The win over Nevada was a total team scoring effort as the Aggies finished with five players in double figures -- the first time that has happened since last year's win over Sacramento State on Nov. 30. That helped power UC Davis to a season-high 84 points on a season-best .579 (33-for-57) shooting from the field -- the best marks for the Aggies since shooting .583 against Wyoming in the second round of the WNIT on March 18 and scoring 85 points against Cal Poly on Feb. 7 of last season.
PAINT IT BLUE:
Despite the Wolf Pack's best efforts to clog the middle, the Aggies dominated the paint in their win over Nevada, scoring 52 of their season high 84 points in the key -- the most points in the paint by a UC Davis squad since it scored 56 against Sacramento State nearly three years ago on Dec. 13, 2015.
ROOM TO BOARD:
Sophomore cell biology major Cierra Hall
has picked things up on the glass over the team's last four games, averaging 7.5 rebounds per contest -- up more than two rebounds per game from the team's first four games of the season. Ranking among the top 10 in the Big West in rebounding (9th, 6.4 rpg), offensive rebounds (t8th, 2.0 rpg), and defensive rebounds (t8th, 4.4 rpg), entering the week, grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds against Southern Utah to start the run, just one off her career high.
KONRAD DOUBLES UP:
Biological sciences major Kayla Konrad
put together her best game as an Aggie to open the Lady Griz Classic, tying a career high with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and setting a new career best with 10 rebounds to complete her first double-double -- the first for a UC Davis player since Pele Gianotti
did so against Long Beach State on Feb. 15, 2018, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 boards.
SONG KEEPING THE BEAT:
It was an efficient performance against the Wolf Pack for junior biological sciences major Sophia Song
, who finished with 11 points in 20 minutes off the bench, hitting a career-high 5-of-6 from the field. It was the fifth career double-digit scoring performance for the Monterey Park, Calif., native and her first since scoring 10 points against CSUN on Jan. 14, 2017.
IRON WOMAN: Kourtney Eaton
has been a workhorse on the floor for the Aggies thus far, playing in 248 of a possible 320 game minutes through eight games this season (78 percent), averaging a team-high 31.0 minutes per contest. That's quite a leap for the Longview, Wash., native, who averaged 24.8 minutes per game a season ago and is her highest average since she averaged 31.2 mpg during her sophomore season in 2016-17.
AGGIES LET IT FLY:
UC Davis hasn't been shy about letting it fly from beyond the arc this season, ranking No. 17 in the nation in three-point attempts with 210 -- helped along mightily by a school single-game record 40 attempts at Montana in the championship game of the Lady Griz Classic. The performance shaded the previous mark of 39 set against San Francisco back in 2013.
WORKING BEYOND THE ARC:
UC Davis has made a three-pointer in 472 consecutive games dating back to Feb. 15, 2003, at Cal State San Bernardino. Since then, UC Davis has hit .346 from beyond the arc (3,194-for-9,240).
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 5-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.
Launched in 2017-18, the Aggie EVO System is UC Davis Athletics' investment in the primary mission of preparing student-athletes for a successful "launch" after graduation. Thanks to a collaboration of alumni, university resources, corporate partners, coaches and Student-Athlete Outcomes staff, all Aggies are guided over four years to acquire the skills, knowledge, opportunities and tools to better know and navigate the "World of Work" after graduating from UC Davis. Follow the Aggie EVO system on Twitter and Instagram at @AggieEVO.