November 17, 2022 

Big West weekly roundup

Some of the top storylines in the Big West from the first week of play

The 2022-23 NCAA women’s basketball season got underway last week and there was plenty of exciting action as the Big West Conference tipped off. As has become customary the past couple of years, the season kicked off with a couple of Big West/Pac-12 matchups. Here’s a look at some of the top storylines from the first week of play.

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Top performers

1. Fujika Nimmo – Cal State Fullerton
Now in her second season with the Titans, Nimmo has started off this season with a bang. She was a transfer last season from Florida International University and became a regular starter for the team. Through two games so far this season, she is averaging 22.5 points per game and shooting 44.4 percent from three-point range.

2. Evanne Turner – UC Davis
With the Aggies facing major graduation and eligibility losses, Turner is set to become the focal point of the team offensively. So far, she has risen to that challenge. Through two games, Turner is putting up 18.5 points per game and shooting 54.2 percent from the field (52.6 percent from three-point range). She was an All-Big West Honorable Mention last season and this is the year she should make the All-Conference team.

3. Daejah Phillips – Hawaii
Phillips made an immediate impact as a freshman two years ago when she won the Big West Sixth Player of the Year. Phillips is ready now to take over the reigns. She’s opened this season at 18.5 points per game while shooting 60.9 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from three-point range. She’s also dishing out 3.5 assists. That early three-point percentage is particularly notable as she hasn’t shot it so well from distance before.

4. Ila Lane – UC Santa Barbara
Lane is one of the premier centers in the country and was on the preseason Lisa Leslie Award Watch list for the top center in college basketball. She had a bounce back year last season after sitting out during 2020-21 due to COVID concerns. She’s carried that momentum over to this season. She had 17 points and 11 rebounds in the Gauchos’ season-opener and she followed that up with 16 points and six rebounds in the second game.

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Top games

1. UC Irvine vs. Sacramento State
The Anteaters were down by as many as 16 points in the second half, but rallied back to pull off the 60-58 win on the road behind Diaba Konate’s game winner off free-throw line pull-up..

2. Cal State Bakersfield vs. Fresno State
The Roadrunners shook off their season-opening loss to USC as they pulled off a big road victory, 56-53. They were led by a career game from sophomore forward Hennie van Schaik who had 17 points, six assists and seven rebounds.

3. Hawaii vs. Oregon State
In other Big West/Pac-12 matchups last week, teams from the Big West did not fare so well. But this game, Hawaii put up a fight before falling 61-60 on the road. The Rainbow Wahine got out to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter and managed to play the Beavers pretty evenly throughout. They were led by transfer Lily Wahinekapu and Daejah Phillips, who had 12 points each.

David has been with The Next team since the High Post Hoops days when he joined the staff in 2018. He is based in Los Angeles and covers the LA Sparks, Pac-12 Conference, Big West Conference and some high school as well.

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