Aggies Pick Up First Big West Win, 76-60

Monica Mertle races downcourt on Thursday night during the Aggies; 76-60 win <br> (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 
Monica Mertle races downcourt on Thursday night during the Aggies; 76-60 win
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

Jan. 10, 2008

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. - Jessica Campbell posted game-highs with 25 points and seven rebounds on Thursday night as short-handed UC Davis picked up its first Big West Conference women's basketball win with a 76-60 victory over Cal State Northridge at The Pavilion.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Aggies, evening their overall record at 7-7 and their conference mark at 1-1. Cal State Northridge, which trailed by 20 points in the first half before moving to within one point in the second, remained winless at 0-13 overall and 0-3 in the Big West. Center Crystal Hahs had 17 points and forward Katie Holloway added 13 to pace the Matadors.

UC Davis suited up just seven players in the game with six of them playing at least 26 minutes. Junior Haylee Donaghe and senior Monica Mertle each had 15 points for UC Davis while guard Genevieve Costello had a team-high three-pointers and finished with 11 points.

The Aggies also hit 29 of 34 free throw attempts.

Behind 11 first-half points from Campbell, UC Davis opened a 37-17 lead with 2 minutes, 38 seconds to go before halftime but the Matadors scored the final 10 points of the half to close to within 37-27. Cal State Northridge scored 10 of the first 11 points of the second half to cap a 20-1 run and make it 38-37 with 16:31 left.

UC Davis kept the lead, though, stretching it to 10 points at 57-47 after a pair of free throws from Heather Bates with 6:01 remaining. The Aggies held a double-digit lead for the final five minutes of the game.

"I told them we had to do the little things that help make us successful," said Aggie coach Sandy Simpson. "Everybody brings something to the table and right now we're limited."

 

 

UC Davis started strong using a 12-0 run over a three-and-half minute span of the first half, turning a 10-10 deadlock into a 22-10 lead with 11:50 to go, the final points of the running coming on a Costello's second three-pointer. Another trey from Costello less than three minutes later expanding the lead to 29-12 before it swelled to 37-17 late in the half on a free throw from Campbell.

The Matadors rallied before the break, however, getting two three-pointers from Morgan Pryor and Whitney Ligon down the stretch to make it a 10-point game at intermission.

Donaghe's layup help give the Aggies a 40-37 lead after Cal State Northridge closed to within a point before Campbell scored the next five points to make it 45-37. The Matadors battled back to within a deuce at 45-43 before a 6-0 surge by UC Davis gave it breathing room.

UC Davis, ranked 23rd nationally in free throw percentage, made a season-high 29 charity shots on Thursday. Campbell, ranked 34th in Division I, led the way by making 13 of 16.

Cal State Northridge outrebounded UC Davis 35-32 led by six from Tonicia Tademy.

Four Aggies missed the game; three of them due to injuries and other for academic reasons. Simpson hopes to have all of them return in the near future.