Women's Basketball Squares Off With Cal Poly Thursday At Spanos
The Pacific women's basketball team looks for payback against Cal Poly as the Mustangs visit the Alex G. Spanos Center Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Tigers (18-3 overall, 8-1 Big West) can tighten their grip on first place in the Big West, as they sit two games ahead of second-place Cal Poly and Hawai'i (each 6-3 BWC) with nine to play.
Pacific seeks revenge for its' lone conference loss this season, a triple-overtime thriller at Mott Gym in which the Mustangs grabbed a 95-95 win. The Tigers rallied back from down 21 in the first half and 18 at halftime, but Cal Poly forced overtime with a three-point play on their final possession of regulation.
The Tigers' nine Big West conference games have featured 29 ties and 24 lead changes, with half (14 ties and 12 lead changes) coming in the one game at Cal Poly). Cal Poly is the lone Big West team to lead Pacific in the second half this season, while the 21-point deficit erased by Pacific is the largest such deficit erased by Pacific in a game in Tiger history.
The buzz surrounding the Pacific basketball program is picking up nationally, as the Tigers garnered AP Top 25 votes (2 votes, 36th among vote-getters) for the first time this season in Monday's poll. For the third-straight week, Pacific earned votes in the Coaches Poll, moving up to 31st among vote-getters with six points. ESPN.com also highlighted Pacific in its "mid-major," slotting the Tigers' eighth in the bi-weekly update by Graham Hays.
"We're certainly pleased that our program is getting noticed for how successful we've been so far this season," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "But we know that all the positive attention can dissipate if we let up for even a single play. Our first game at Cal Poly proved that. One rebound, one missed box out, one miscommunication defensively, one unforced turnover... you can pick any one of about 150 possessions in that game where had we done something better it would have been the difference between winning the game and losing it."
Pacific and Cal Poly are the top two teams in the Big West in seven of 21 statistical categories. The Tigers first and the Mustangs second in the Big West in scoring offense, scoring margin, three-point percentage and rebounding offense. Cal Poly ranks first with the Tigers second in field goal percentage, assists and assist-to-turnover ratio.
Of the remaining categories, the Tigers rank first or second in seven, while Cal Poly is first in defensive rebounds (where Pacific is fourth, 0.8 rebounds per game behind).
Following Thursday's contest, the Tigers will play host to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday at 4 p.m.