Wednesday, July 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Aggie women head to Thunderdome

By
January 4, 2011 |

Enterprise sports editor

\n

When the UC Davis women\’s basketball team surprised everyone by losing its Big West Conference opener to Cal State Fullerton on New Year\’s Eve, missed shots (many of them layups) were the culprit.

\n

The Aggies\’ second conference game — a blowout victory over Cal State Northridge on Sunday — gave them a bit of a reprieve, but scoring inside is about to be a problem again. UCD (11-3, 1-1) travels to the Thunderdome on Thursday to deal with Mad Mekia and the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (7-6, 1-0).

\n

Mad Mekia, otherwise known Mekia Valentine, is a 6-foot-4 center who set a UCSB single season record with 120 blocked shots last year. So far this season, Valentine has blocked 54 shots (4.15 per game) and is the main reason why the Gauchos lead the Big West in field goal percentage defense at 34.8 percent.

\n

For their own part, the Aggies are leading the conference in points allowed, as they give up just 57 points a contest. Defensive battle anyone?

\n

“With Mekia in there, the shots she doesn\’t block, she changes,” UCD head coach Sandy Simpson said. “We are going to have to play well defensively because I don\’t expect this game to be in the 70\’s or 80\’s.”

\n

Fortunately, as shown by their league-leading points allowed, defense is an area where they Aggies have excelled all season. Even in the 58-56 loss to Fullerton, Simpson was pleased with his team\’s play on that end of the floor.

\n

“You\’re going to go through games where you miss shots, but with 1:25 left in the game we had a 54-50 lead,” Simpson said. “We weren\’t able to pull it out, but I\’ll take our chances holding a team under 60 points.”

\n

In 14 games this season, the Aggies have not allowed any team to score over 66 points and have held half of their opponents to 59 or less.

\n

UCD has done it with a deep roster that allows it to keep the pressure on at all times. The Aggies have forced at least 18 turnovers in every contest and feature four of the Big West\’s top six robbers — Samantha Meggison (2.1 steals per game), Kasey Riecks (2.0), Paige Mintun (1.9) and Hana Asano (1.8).

\n

But holding UCSB down won\’t be easy. UCD will have to deal with an offense that is run by point guard Emilie Johnson, who leads a group of four Gauchos among the Big West\’s top 20 scorers. Johnson, a junior who Simpson calls “a great guard and a really difficult matchup” puts in 12.5 points a night, while Kelsey Adrian (10.4), Sweets Underwood (10.4) and Valentine (10.1) are also in double figures.

\n

Underwood is a 6-foot sophomore who made the All-Big West Freshman team last year and is leading UCSB in rebounding so far this season at 8.1. Adrian is a 6-1 junior, who sat out the 2009-10 campaign after transferring from Cal. She started 10 games for the Golden Bears in 2008-09 and is a good shooter from long range, according to Simpson.

\n

“Sweets Underwood, aside from having the best name in the league, is really adjusting to the college game and learning to use her athleticism,” Simpson said. “And with Mekia Valentine in the post and Emilie Johnson at the point, that\’s a good way to start any offense.”

\n

The Aggies have another tough road game on Saturday, when they play Cal Poly (5-7, 1-0) in San Luis Obispo.

\n

The Mustangs were picked to be one of the top teams in the Big West before disaster struck on opening night. Cal Poly lost reigning conference player of the year Kristina Santiago to a season-ending knee injury just two minutes into a game against Seattle.

\n

“They still have a lot of great outside shooters like Rachel Clancy and Ashlee Burns,” Simpson said. “They still have enough weapons to beat you if you are off your game. But losing Santiago was a huge blow to what they do. The attention you had to pay to her inside really opened things up for those shooters.”

\n

Clancy has made 33 3-pointers this year and leads the Mustangs in scoring at 15.4 a night. Burns has made 25 longballs (at a 41 percent clip) and scores 10.2 points per game.

\n

Notes: Riecks, who sat out the first two Big West games with a foot injury, still hasn\’t practiced with the team. She is expected back soon, however, as Simpson called her “a game-time” decision for Thursday\’s outing. … Former Davis High star Nikol Allison is a member of the Mustangs. She spent last year, her first with the program, redshirting because of an injury and has played just 10 minutes in two games so far this season. Allison started for the Blue Devil varsity squad for four years, culminating in a senior season that earned her the 2009 DHS Athlete of the Year award.

\n

— Reach Chris Saur at csaur@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8049. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

\n

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Family enterprise builds a home for music

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Mosquito districts sprays tonight

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Poll dancing, direct from Las Vegas

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

     
    Davis native named a Schweitzer Fellow

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Share your love of nature with young wetlands visitors

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

     
    Movies in the Park return this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

     
    Center for Families hosts Summer Carnival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Vintage car show planned this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    DHS Class of ’94 set 20th reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Tips, techniques will give you a green thumb

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Grief support focuses on journaling

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    How the Bockler wasp got its name

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Kiwanis golf tournament supports local agencies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    UC Davis alumnus hopes to bring amateur radio to Nepal

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Recycle old paint cans for free

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Not sure which direction to go

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Gravel mining affects us all

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Violence as entertainment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Shocked at vampires story

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Paul Krugman: Corporate artful dodgers

    By Paul Krugman | From Page: A6

     
    Nicholas Kristof: The world’s coolest places

    By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Fiona Buck pushes the limits in para-athletics

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s rally to win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Morse homers but Giants lose 6th straight

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Nightmare on Ballpark Drive for River Cats

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Molten art on display at Davis Arts Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Brady earns top honors at State Fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Smither releases new CD Saturday at The Palms

    By Kate Laddish | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    RootStock kicks off ‘Día de Albariño’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Folk musicians will jam in the Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    YoloArts to host a state of change exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    UCD professor Andy Jones named Davis’ new poet laureate

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Calvin D. Rourke

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6