Sunday, April 26, 2015

Aggies won’t take lowly UCSB lightly in tourney opener


UCD's Sydnee Fipps was named to the All-Big West first team on Monday. The fifth-seeded Aggies open the conference tournament Tuesday night with a 6 p.m. matchup against No. 8 UC Santa Barbara. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

From page B1 | March 11, 2014 |

UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball coach Carlene Mitchell believes the third time can be the charm.

Meanwhile, UC Davis coach Jennifer Gross pooh-poohs that old adage about how tough it is to beat the same team three times in a single season.

In Tuesday’s 6 p.m. opener of the Big West Conference Tournament at Long Beach State’s Walter Pyramid, the Aggies and Gauchos will figure out which is the old-wives’ tale.

Mitchell was asked if her team, which in 2012 upset this very field to advance to the NCAA postseason, had it in its makeup to do it again (despite an 8-21 record and a No. 8 seed).

“I believe 100 percent it can happen,” Mitchell told a pre-tourney conference call audience Monday. “We just watched the USC women do the same thing, knocking off a No. 1 seed (Stanford).

“When you come into tournament time (everyone) is 0-0. I think a lot of crazy things can happen in March Madness.”

Conversely, Gross isn’t buying into that third-time’s-the-charm deal.

She said her 14-15 Aggies — who hold the No. 5 seed by virtue of a 9-7 league mark — are “confident … excited and enjoy being around each other and playing for each other.”

Gross believes UCD has a handful of positives pointing toward a deep run in the conference tournament — most notably being able to play in enemy territory.

Playing at No. 1 Connecticut and then-No. 3 Stanford early in the season toughened the Aggies’ psyche. UCD is 7-9 away from The Pavilion.

“We’ve talked about how we’ve challenged ourselves,” Gross explained. “We’ve been in a lot of different environments.”

She knows her charges can handle neutral or hostile sites better than most, but the third-year head coach isn’t taking anything for granted. She agrees with Mitchell:

“You can throw records out the window. The stakes are kinda high … and (the Gauchos) have tremendous players, great scorers.”

While senior UCSB guards Melissa Zornig and Nicole Nesbit got their points in the previous two meetings, the Gauchos may look more to Vanderbilt transfer Clair Watkins in Davis-Santa Barbara III.

Watkins has been no match for UCD center Alyson Doherty (19 ppg and 7.5 rebounds in the UCSB games). Watkins averaged 9 points and four boards against second-team All-Big West player Doherty.

“In both games, Doherty has really hurt us on the inside,” Mitchell said. “Our post defense has got to be a priority for us. But they shoot it so well, that at times, it’s hard to double.

“Our post players have to do a better job of handling (Doherty) 1-on-1.”

The Aggies go in with some real motivation …

By losing 68-55 to UC Irvine on Saturday, UCD lost a first-round bye (dropping to its No. 5 seeding) while shooting an abysmal 17 percent from behind the arc.

Gross said she’s pretty sure that kind of off night won’t happen again.

Then, there is the memory of last year’s one-game-and-out experience in this tournament.

“I hope we use those emotions to compete (Tuesday),” Gross added.

Forward Sydnee Fipps (17.8 ppg) is coming off of her worst scoring night (5 points) this season. But Fipps has otherwise been a model of consistency, and Tuesday’s game comes just a day after she was named first-team All-Big West for the second straight season.

“Going into playoffs, anybody you play … it’s going to be tough to get a win because everybody’s back is against the wall,” Gross cautioned. “Everybody’s competing with a lot on the line. Both coaches are going to make adjustments from the last game.”

Notes: The game will be broadcast on and KDVS (90.3 FM). … “Watkins is a little more comfortable,” Mitchell said of her 6-foot-4 center. Watkins missed almost 18 months of basketball after transferring from the SEC. “I think she makes a huge difference.” She’s had three straight double-doubles. … The UCI loss snapped UCD’s four-game win streak. … Aggie Kelsey Harris needs three treys to set a new school record for 3-pointers in a season (82), passing Karen Boisvert (81 in 1991). … In Tuesday’s other first-round game, No. 6 Long Beach State (16-14, 8-8) meets Cal State Fullerton (12-17, 8-8) at 8:30 p.m. … Should UCD win, it gets Irvine (16-14, 9-7) Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. The Aggies are 0-2 against the Anteaters. … UCD last won this tournament in 2011. It was led that year by three-time All-BWC post Paige Mintun. Its prize? A first-round NCAA bid at No. 2 Stanford. When UCSB went in 2012, its reward was a first-round shellacking by eventual national champion Baylor.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.



Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .


    Water and power have a troubling interdependency

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    New design submitted for conference center

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Bob Dunning: Fairness is an afterthought for them

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Los Angeles march to commemorate Armenian killings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Hostage deaths a reminder of risk of ‘deadly mistakes’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Beginning tai chi classes start May 5

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    College Night set April 30 at DHS

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

    Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tour of co-ops precedes Sacramento conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    School board hears report on health services

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

    Learn basics of composting in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Mamajowali will perform at benefit house concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Explorit: Celebrate International Astronomy Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    BeerFest expands to include cider

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Winkler Dinner raises funds for enology, viticulture activities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Raptor Center welcomes visitors at May 2 open house

    By Trina Wood | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Take a peek at region’s past at Tremont Mite Society’s social

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Mapping where human action is causing earthquakes

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A9

    Hummingbird health: Appreciating the little things

    By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A12 | Gallery



    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

    The fight for gender pay equity

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Thanks for supporting the arts

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Bike Swap another success

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Drink is a tasteless insult

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    It’s a depressing beat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



    Aggie Spring Game environment will up the gridiron fun factor

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Rare DHS track loss still full of highlights

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Lehner talks about the UCD student-athlete experience

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Reeling Blue Devils stop skid against Sheldon

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DYSA roundup: Lester, Osborne lead Storm over Dixon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Lady Demons’ fundraiser a smash hit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: River Cats lose their fourth straight

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B12





    ‘Ex Machina': The perils of playing God

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Ceramicist works will be featured at The Artery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery



    Chamber expands Korean sister-city opportunities

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Car Care: Tips for buying your first ATV

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Subaru goes rear-wheel drive with sporty BRZ coupe

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B7 | Gallery





    Comics: Friday, April 24, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5