Aggies race past Matadors for Big West win, 81-65

Junior Dani Nafekh finished with a game-high 20 points -- her second career 20-point game -- in the Aggies' win over CSUN on Saturday at The Pavilion. (Photo by Wayne Tilcock/Davis Enterprise)
Jan. 14, 2017

Final Stats

DAVIS, Calif. -- Junior Dani Nafekh finished with a game-high 20 points to lead a group of four Aggies in double figures, and UC Davis used a late 13-0 run over a six-minute stretch in the fourth quarter to break open a four-point game and cruise to an, 81-65, victory over CSUN on Saturday afternoon at The Pavilion.

Shooting just over 49 percent from the floor for the game, the Aggies improved to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in Big West Conference play, improving to 7-2 at home this season. Led by 19 points and seven rebounds from Channon Fluker, the Matadors fell to 8-10 overall and 1-3 against league foes.

Nafekh hit 8-of-14 from the field and added two rebounds and three assists, recording her second career 20-point game and her first since hitting for a career-high 28 points against San Diego State earlier this season.

After being held to just six points and two field goals two nights earlier against Long Beach State, leading scorer Morgan Bertsch responded with 18 points on Saturday afternoon, hitting her first seven shots on the day, while sharing team-high honors with six rebounds. Junior Pele Gianotti finished with 14 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while freshman Sophia Song added 10 points off the bench.

Sophomore Kourtney Eaton finished with a game-high six assists against no turnovers as the Aggies committed just six miscues for the game -- matching a program Division I record set against CSUN in 2010-11 and tied against UC Riverside in 2011-12. The eight fouls called against UC Davis are tied for the second-fewest in the program's Division I history, standing behind only the six fouls whistled against the Aggies against Florida A&M last season.

UC Davis led for all but two minutes on the day, but couldn't find away to pull away until late in the fourth quarter. An early 12-0 run in the first period gave the Aggies the lead for good, erasing a two-point deficit after just two and a half minutes, and they led by as many as 11 points late in the first half, but a late 8-0 run by the Matadors brought them back to within three points before Gianotti answered with a three-pointer just before the end of the half for a 46-40 lead at the break.

CSUN closed to within four points early in the third on baskets by Fluker and, later, a three-pointer by Serafina Maulupe that brought the Matadors to within, 51-47, before a 14-5 burst gave UC Davis its largest lead of the game to that point at 65-52 with 2:14 to play, but CSUN would not go quietly, opening the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run to close back to within four with 6:43 to play.

That's when the Aggies found their stride. Gianotti scored inside to spark a 13-0 run -- one in which four different players found the bottom of the net -- and UC Davis held the Matadors to without a field goal for the final 6:43, with only a Cheyenne Allen free throw with 19 seconds to play ruining the shutout. The Aggies defense held CSUN to 0-for-8 from the floor with a pair of turnovers in that stretch.

UC Davis returns to the road for a pair in Southern California next week, taking on Cal State Fullerton on Thursday (Jan. 19) at 7 p.m., before a rematch with Long Beach State on Saturday (Jan. 21) at 2 p.m.

UC DAVIS 81, CSUN 65

CSUN (8-10, 1-3)
Fluker, Channon 9-16 1-2 19; Maulupe, Serafina 5-13 1-1 14; Cole, Emily 3-4 0-0 8; Boagni, Tessa 3-9 1-2 7; Allen, Cheyenne 1-6 1-2 4; Tonks, Lizzy 2-5 0-0 4; Matthews, Eliza 2-2 0-0 4; Shymkewicz, Lauren 1-3 1-2 3; Sullivan, Terrin 1-2 0-0 2; Tanabe, Hayley 0-5 0-0 0; Morrow, Nautica 0-0 0-0 0.Totals 27-65 5-9 65.

UC DAVIS (12-5, 3-1)
Nafekh, Dani 8-14 2-2 20; Bertsch, Morgan 7-10 4-5 18; Gianotti, Pele 5-10 0-0 14; Song, Sophia 4-8 0-0 10; Anderson, Marly 4-8 1-2 9; Nagel, Rachel 3-6 0-0 6; Eaton, Kourtney 2-5 0-0 4; Hsu, Kaitlyn 0-0 0-0 0; Beyer, Lauren 0-0 0-0 0; Bessolo, Nina 0-4 0-0 0; Eaton, Karley 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 33-67 7-9 81.

CSUN..........................   19   21   14   11  -   65
UC Davis......................   26   20   20   15  -   81

3-point goals--CSUN 6-17 (Maulupe, Serafina 3-7; Cole, Emily 2-3; Allen, Cheyenne 1-1; Sullivan, Terrin 0-1; Tanabe, Hayley 0-3; Tonks, Lizzy 0-1; Boagni, Tessa 0-1), UC Davis 8-25 (Gianotti, Pele 4-6; Song, Sophia 2-5; Nafekh, Dani 2-4; Nagel, Rachel 0-2; Eaton, Kourtney 0-3; Bessolo, Nina 0-2; Eaton, Karley 0-2;  nderson, Marly 0-1). Fouled out--CSUN-None, UC Davis-None. Rebounds--CSUN 38 (Fluker, Channon 7), UC Davis 34 (Bertsch, Morgan 6; Gianotti, Pele 6). Assists--CSUN 17 (Fluker, Channon 3; Allen, Cheyenne 3; Maulupe, Serafina 3; Tonks, Lizzy 3), UC Davis 19 (Eaton, Kourtney 6). Total fouls--CSUN 10, UC Davis 8. Technical fouls--CSUN-None, UC Davis-None. A-435