After UC Davis clinched the Big West Conference women’s basketball regular-season championship Saturday, the individual awards rolled in for the Aggies on Monday.
Jennifer Gross, who guided UCD to a 14-2 conference record and the program’s second Big West regular-season title, was named the conference’s Coach of the Year. Sophomore forward Morgan Bertsch and junior forward Pele Gianotti were named to the All-Big West first team.
Junior guard Dani Nafekh made the second team, and forward Nina Bessolo was named to the all-freshman team.
As the top seed in the Big West tournament, the Aggies (23-6) receive a bye into the semifinals at noon Friday against the lowest remaining seed at Honda Center in Anaheim. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.
On Saturday, Nafekh scored 14 of her team-high 19 points in the second half to lead the Aggies to a 63-55 victory at Cal State Northridge. It was Gross’ 101st victory in her six seasons at the helm.
The Aggies seek their second conference tournament championship since 2011 and the automatic NCAA Tournament berth. By winning the Big West, the Aggies earned a spot in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament should they lose in the conference tournament.
UC Davis men – Junior forward Chima Moneke was named the Big West men’s Newcomer of the Year and an all-conference first-team selection with senior guard Brynton Lemar.
Sophomore guard Siler Schneider was named the conference’s Best Sixth Player and received honorable mention. Senior guard Darius Graham repeated as the Big West Hustle Player of the Year.
The four Aggies honored were the most among Big West men’s teams.
UC Davis (19-12) is seeded second in the conference tournament after losing at UC Irvine 79-49 in the conference regular-season title game Saturday. The Aggies face seventh-seeded Cal Poly at noon Thursday in the quarterfinals at Honda Center. Fox Sports West will televise the game.
Sacramento State women – Deeshyra Thomas’ basket with three seconds left in overtime gave eighth-seeded Weber State a 98-97 victory over the ninth-seeded Hornets in the first round of the Big Sky Conference tournament Monday at the Reno Events Center.
Sac State took a 97-96 lead on Gretchen Harrigan’s free throw with 22 seconds left in overtime. After Thomas’ basket, Maranne Johnson’s 3-point attempt bounced off the rim, ending the Hornets’ season at 10-20.
Johnson, who led the conference in 3-pointers (93), was named to the All-Big Sky third team.
Sacramento State men – Junior forward Justin Strings was a second-team All-Big Sky selection. He earned honorable mention last season.
The Hornets (12-17), seeded seventh in the Big Sky tournament, face No. 10 Idaho State at 5:35 p.m. Tuesday in Reno.