Women’s Basketball preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal Poly; vs. UC Santa Barbara
Records: Aggies, 16-10 (8-6); Mustangs, 15-12 (11-3); Gauchos, 13-14 (7-7)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Thursday at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m.
Who to Watch: Senior Kasey Riecks had a strong showing against Pacific on Saturday with 13 points, potentially marking the end of her recent struggles.

Riecks has been consistent for the Aggies and has 1,044 career points to show for it, placing her 14th on the UC Davis all-time career points list. She is chasing assistant coach Des Abeyta, who has 1,080 in 13th.

Did you know? Other seniors are also chasing milestones as the last season of their UC Davis careers wind down. Hana Asano has 281 assists in her career, placing her in 9th all-time. She also has 194 steals, seven short of 7th place all-time.

Closely trailing Asano in the steals column is Samantha Meggison, who is currently 10th in UC Davis history with 158. Two more steals would move her up to 9th.

One more Aggie is also on the record watch. Lauren Juric stands tall with 60 blocked shots, four short of 7th on the UC Davis career list.

Preview: It is senior week for the women’s basketball program, but beyond that, the Aggies know it’s all business. This week’s games, the final two of the season, will determine the Aggies’ fate in the postseason.

UC Davis is fighting for one of the top four positions in the Big West Conference, and with it, home-court advantage in the first round of the Big West tournament.

Yet, in its way stand Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, two teams that will provide more than enough adversity for the Aggies.

The Mustangs are riding a nine-game winning streak that has put them atop the Big West with an 11-3 league record. UC Davis was one of the teams that fell in the midst of Cal Poly’s rampage back in January by a score of 87-65.

Yet, head coach Jennifer Gross sees no reason to count this one out. The Aggies’ strong performance over Pacific this weekend was an encouraging game that will hopefully carry over into this week’s match-ups.

“We’re playing better; we’re playing with a lot of passion right now,” she said. “There’s a different level of focus and intensity, and we need to focus on our defense and come out with an energy and passion that we’ve had all year.”

On Saturday, UC Davis will play UCSB, a team that the Aggies edged by a narrow margin of 51-47. The Gauchos are also in the race for a home game for the first round of the conference tournament, in 6th place with a 7-7 record.

Both games will be testing for UC Davis, as both are must-win situations if the Aggies are to ensure they play at Hamilton Court for the first round of the Big West tournament.

“We have two home games and we’re going to bring everything we have to the table and see what happens,” Gross said. “It’s nice to be playing in front of our fans at Hamilton court … the players are really excited.”

— Matthew Yuen

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