Long Beach State Opens Big West Conference Action at UCSB, UCR
The Beach play at UCSB on Thursday, and at UCR on Saturday
Long Beach State (2-12) at UC Santa Barbara (3-9)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 4
Time: 7 p.m.
Arena: Thunderdome (6,000)
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Live Stats: UCSBGauchos.com
Radio Talent: Jay Holloway
Long Beach State (2-12) at UC Riverside (3-11)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 6
Time: 5 p.m.
Arena: SRC Arena (2,750)
Location: Riverside, Calif.
Live Stats: NJITHighlanders.com
Radio Talent: Jay Holloway
Live Stream: None
A year after winning the conference title, the Long Beach State women's basketball team opens up the Big West Conference portion of their schedule on Thursday, Jan. 4 at UC Santa Barbara. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Thunderdome. The Beach continue league action at UC Riverside on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 5 p.m. at the SRC Arena.
• The Beach finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 2-12 record. Their two victories came on the road at Arizona (80-72) and Grand Canyon (65-63).
• Long Beach State is averaging 11.2 steals per game which leads the Big West. The Beach have led the league in steals in each of the last four seasons. LBSU's 157 steals on the year also rank 21st in the nation.
• The Beach also leads the Big West in turnovers forced with 20.14 per contest which also ranks 45th in the nation. In the last tournament, Long Beach State forced its opponents into 41 turnovers.
• Freshman guard Shanaijah Davison has led the team offensively with 11.9 points per game as she has recorded eight double-figure scoring games and three 20-plus point showings thus far. Her most recent double-figure scoring game came against VCU at the NJIT Christmas Tournament where she notched 13 points.
• Senior Cecily Wilson and freshman Emma Merriweather each posted a 20-point performance against New Mexico as Merriweather tied her career-high with 23 points, and Wilson tied hers with a 20-point effort.
• Wilson was named to the Beach Classic All-Tournament Team after finishing the week with 24 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and seven steals.
• Wilson was also named to the NJIT Christmas All-Tournament Team after posting 20 points, 10 rebounds, six steals, three assists and three blocks.
• Freshman Ma'Qhi Berry had a career-game against No. 7 Tennessee as she led all scorers with a career-high 19 points to go along with career-bests in assists (9) and rebounds (7). She shot 41.2 percent (7-for-17) from the field in the game.
Scouting the Gauchos
UC Santa Barbara opens Big West Conference action with a 3-9 overall record. The Gauchos are 1-3 when playing inside the Thunderdome. Their three wins on the year came at Northern Arizona (96-93), versus San Diego State (77-64), and at New Mexico State (77-47). The Gauchos have won their last two contests.
UCSB is led offensively by Drew Edelman who averages 15.2 points per game. She is also the team leader in rebounds with 8.1 boards per game.
Sarah Bates has dished out a team-best 36 assists, while Sarah Porter leads the Gauchos with 12 steals, and Chaya Durr and Natalia Bruening have each posted three blocks.
Series vs. UC Santa Barbara
Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara will meet for the 100th time in program history on Thursday evening. The Beach holds a slight edge in the all-time series, leading 50-49. However, when playing in Santa Barbara, the Gauchos hold the lead 22-20. Thursday's match up will be the first meeting since Long Beach State defeated UC Santa Barbara to win the Big West Conference Tournament a year ago and advance to the NCAA First Round.
Scouting the Highlanders
UC Riverside begins the conference season with a 3-11 record and is 1-3 when playing at home. Their three victories came at Fresno State (68-56), agaisnt UNLV (95-88), and against Cal State Bakersfield (68-65). Since their win over CSUB, however, UC Riverside has lost four straight as the Highlanders look to put an end to their losing streak with the start of Big West action.
Michelle Curry leads UCR with 14.1 points per game, while adding 4.8 rebounds per contest. Her 47 assists and 15 steals are also tops on the squad.
Skyler Lewis is the team leader in rebounding as she averages 7.8 boards per game. Her 23 blocks are also good for first on the team.
Series vs. UC Riverside
Long Beach State and UC Riverside will meet for the 38th time in program history and the Highlanders hold a 19-18 edge over the Beach. When playing each other in Riverside, Calif., the series is tied 9-9. Long Beach State has won the last two meetings over UC Riverside.
Long Beach State close out its six-game road swing as it heads to Cal State Fullerton and Hawaii on Jan. 11 and Jan. 13, respectively. The Beach take on Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11, before playing Hawaii at 8:30 p.m. on the 13th.
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