Fall-quarter finals are just around the corner, but the UC Davis women's basketball team will take its biggest test of the season tonight when it hosts No. 1 Stanford.
Aggies coach Jen Gross expects a raucous crowd and an eye-opener for her team that is 2-2 after beating Navy and host Houston Baptist in the Husky Classic last weekend.
"We're approaching (the Stanford game) as an amazing opportunity to test ourselves against the very best," said Gross, whose team lost 93-44 at Stanford last season. "This game is really more about us than Stanford, because we'll get to focus on our habits. We'll have a heightened sense of where we are right now, and Stanford will make us pay for every mistake. We'll need to be close to perfect in every possession."
Stanford (6-0) and UCD are tied 7-7 in the series, although the Cardinal has won the past six meetings. Tonight's game is the sixth meeting since the 2007-08 season. After the teams met nine times between 1974 and 1979, the series took a 28-year hiatus until a regular-season encounter Dec. 2, 2007, that the Cardinal won 62-41.
Since then, the Cardinal and Aggies have met in each of the past four seasons, including in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Stanford bounced the Aggies 86-59 on its way to the Final Four.
"(Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer) is happy to give women's basketball a boost whenever and wherever she can," Gross said of the Cardinal visiting the Aggies. "She understands that coming to UC Davis is going to help us generate excitement. And for us, we'll compete and we'll leave the floor knowing we got better."
Gross said she hopes the Aggies' half-court, trapping defense and the team's overall fast and hard-working play will test Stanford's defense.
Stanford's offense runs through 6-foot-3 star forwards Chiney Ogwumike and Joslyn Tinkle.
The game also marks the area return of Cardinal reserve guard Sara James, a junior from Oak Ridge High School.
Sac State's men's team can become the first in school history (since 1948) to begin the season 6-1.
All the Hornets need to do is win at Arizona State (5-1) on Saturday night.
With their 5-1 start, the Hornets join four other teams in the university's 65-year basketball history (1952-53, 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1999-2000).
Playing on the road hasn't seemed to faze the Hornets, as they have won their first two away games for the first time in the Division I era (since 1991).
Including last season, Hornets are on a three-game road winning streak, their longest since the 1987-88 Division II squad won four in row. Sac State is 1-0 on the road against the Pacific-12 Conference this season, having defeated Utah 74-71.
Sac State has three players ranked among the Big Sky Conference's top nine in scoring. Forward John Dickson leads the conference at 17.3 points per game. Guard Dylan Garrity is fifth (15.2 ppg) and guard Mikh McKinney is tied for eighth at 14.2.
Kuhns feasts on Dons Sac State women's senior forward Kylie Kuhns has been a nightmare for USF, especially in rebounding.
Kuhns had a game-high 21 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Hornets to a 68-60 victory over the Dons on Wednesday night at the Nest.
Kuhns, the Hornets' career leader with 952 rebounds, broke the single-game school record with 23 boards against the Dons as a sophomore. In three career games against USF, Kuhns has 51 rebounds.