Time: 7:00 PM PST
Radio: Calbears.com radio
Streams: Calbears.com stream
Injuries: Alexis Gray-Lawson - day to day with a sprained neck
The story of this game will be 1) What level of effort will Cal put forth playing in the second tier of the post-season and 2) How much (if at all) will Alexis Gray-Lawson play, and how effective will she be if she does.
UC Davis (21-10, 12-4) is a solid if unspectacular team. In the non-conference they lost to both Stanford and Washington St., but they did beat a solid St.Mary's team and they rarely get blown out. They won the Big West regular season title, but fell in their conference tournament to UC Riverside and had to settle for the automatic NIT bid. Swish Appeal did a nice profile back in November that will give you a good idea of what the Aggies can do.
UC Davis is led by Paige Mintum and Heidi Heintz, who are 1 and 2 in points and rebound for the Aggies. UC Davis relies on depth to win games - nobody averages more than 13 points, 5 rebounds or 3 assists per game. Davis doesn't have much size, so it seems likely that Cal should be able to control the block throughout. Like any good mid-major program, UC Davis puts up plenty of threes - 28% of their field goals come from behind the arc. If Cal can play good perimeter defense it seems exceedingly unlikely that UC Davis can compete with Cal's size and athleticism. But the NIT isn't the most unpredictable tournament for nothing. The Bears won't win without trying. The seniors may be disappointed, but you would hope they would be motivated to end their careers on a high note. And the freshmen need all the experience they can get. Let's hope that's enough motivation for them.