Jan. 17, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Aniya Baker scored a career-high 15 points and the UC Davis women's basketball team never trailed as the Aggies held league-leading Cal State Northridge to a season-low 46 points in a 61-46 win on Thursday at The Pavilion in Davis.
UC Davis moves to 6-9 overall and 1-3 in Big West with its first victory of the conference season while also handing Cal State Northridge its first loss of conference play. The Matadors move to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in league action.
Baker's 15 points came on 5-of-9 shooting and a 3-of-5 performance from long range. She also collected four steals to help an Aggie defensive effort that saw UC Davis hold Cal State Northridge to a season low 24 percent shooting clip.
The Matadors entered Thursday's matchup as the top three-point shooting team in the Big West and rank 25th in Div. I, averaging 7.3 treys per game. UC Davis held Cal State Northridge to just 1-of-13 from beyond the arc.
"Without a doubt, our defense was the reason for this win tonight," said head coach Jennifer Gross. "We were really balanced, we stayed fresh and I thought every single person that came in took it upon themselves to keep the intensity and the energy really high.
"Aniya had a tremendous game and when she and Molly Greubel were playing up top together in our buzz defense, they generated some great pressure and got some steals that led to buckets on the other side."
From the start, UC Davis came out with high energy on both ends of the ball. The Aggies' first five field goals of the half were treys all scored by five different players. Cortney French's at the 10:38 mark put UC Davis up by double digits at 17-7.
Cal State Northridge crept to within five points after a successful and-one by Haley White, but the Aggies closed out the half on an 11-2 run. Baker got the scoring stretch started with two free throws at the 6:27 mark while three other Aggies scored during the run to go into halftime with a 28-14 lead.
Out of the break, the Matadors cut the UC Davis lead down to seven points after opening the half on a 9-2 run capped off by Marta Masoni's three, the first of the game for Cal State Northridge. After a 30 second timeout, however, UC Davis was back in control.
"Northridge is a very good team with a lot of weapons, so to come out and play so well, especially defensively, shows us what we're capable of," said Gross. "Every single person down the stat sheet made a contribution tonight and that feels really good because that's what this program is about. This is definitely a step in the right direction and I'm excited about where we are."
Idit Oryon scored off an assist by Molly Greubel at the 15:54 mark and from there UC Davis would outscore Cal State Northridge 14-2 while holding the Matadors without a field goal. Violet Alama and Sharpe each made free throws to interrupt the Aggie run, but after Masoni's three at the 16:53 mark, Cal State Northridge would not make a field goal until Jasmine Johnson's layup over eight minutes later.
By then, UC Davis held an 18-point lead at 48-30 and would go up by as many as 24 points after a pair of free throws from Oryon with 4:48 left in the game.
Cal State Northridge closed the half on an 11-2 run, but UC Davis would cruise to the 61-46 victory.
UC Davis forced Cal State Northridge into 25 turnovers and recorded 15 steals. The Aggie bench outscored the Matador bench 27-19.
The Aggies take on Hawai'i on Saturday at 2 p.m. at The Pavilion.
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Both basketball teams featured in final Coaches Show
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Big West Tournament Central
(Friday: 12 p.m.; ESPN3)