Jan. 18, 2014
Greubel Takes the Charge (Video Courtesy Big West TV)
FULLERTON, Calif. -- UC Davis sophomore Molly Greubel drew a charge on an inbounds play with five-tenths of a second left in regulation and calmly sank two free throws to force overtime while junior Sydnee Fipps scored the go-ahead basket with 25 seconds remaining in the extra period as the visiting Aggies escaped Titan Gym with a harrowing, 69-67, victory over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night.
The win improved UC Davis to 8-9 overall and 3-1 in Big West Conference play, winning its season-best third-straight game. Fipps and sophomore Alyson Doherty finished with 15 points apiece, leading four Aggies in double figures.
"You always hear about these amazing endings to basketball games and we always tell our teams to just keep fighting, keep clawing, find a way to win, and this was a perfect example," Head Coach Jennifer Gross said. "You just never know what can happen and some crazy thing can go your way like it did for us tonight."
Fullerton, paced by 23 points from senior Alex Thomas, fell to 6-10 overall and suffered its first conference loss of the season (2-1).
With UC Davis leading by three with 2:31 remaining following a pair of free throws by Fipps, Thomas took off on a personal 7-0 run for the Titans, draining a three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining to tie it and, then, sinking a pair of free throws after UC Davis was called for a foul with 0.5 left on the clock for a 59-57 lead.
After three-consecutive timeouts, the Aggies had the ball out of bounds with one last chance when Greubel stepped in front of the Titans' Natalie Williams, drawing the charge, and sending the sophomore to the line for two. Greubel, a perfect 8-for-8 from the line in conference play and an 81 percent shooter overall on the year, sank both and the Titans missed on a half-court heave at the buzzer to send it to overtime.
"We knew that the only way that we could really try to win it was to try and draw a foul," Gross said. "We know Molly is pretty sneaky, so she came up behind the defender on the ball and set a screen and was able to get the call. More important, she stepped to the line and knocked them both down."
Greubel added, "We kept going back-and-forth on the play call. (Assistant Coach) Matt Klemin and the staff drew up an awesome play and, we weren't depending on getting the call, but the coaches just said 'Take it. Take the charge.' That's what we did and we got the call."
In the extra period, UC Davis started quickly building a five-point lead with 1:32 to play in the contest, but Fullerton would rally back. Chante Miles hit two from the line and Tailer Butler came up huge with a deep three from the right elbow to tie the game once again at 67-67 with 1:15 to go. Out of a timeout, the Aggies got the ball to Fipps, who drove and laid it in for the go-ahead basket with less than 30 seconds to play.
Playing for the last shot, the Titans got the ball into the hands of Thomas, whose game-winning attempt was just off the mark, and Greubel grabbed the rebound as time expired to seal the win.
"Our energy was just insane after the final play (in regulation)," Greubel said. "We all thought there was still a chance, but that it was still, pretty much, a longshot. After we got that, there was no way we were going to let this game get away from us. I am so proud of my teammates and so lucky that they put me in the position to make a play at the end, but there were a lot of plays throughout that were important to getting this win."
Greubel finished with eight points, six rebounds, and four assists in a team-high 41 minutes for UC Davis, who also got 12 points from Kelsey Harris and 10 more from Celia Marfone. Doherty, who scored 13 of her 15 in the second half, added a game-high eight rebounds for the Aggies, who out rebounded Fullerton, 44-25, for the contest.
UC Davis trailed by as many as five points in the early-going before back-to-back three-pointers by Harris and Idit Oryon keyed an 8-0 run, giving the Aggies their first lead of the game, 12-9, with 11:05 to play. The two teams then traded baskets, neither leading by more than two points for the rest of the period, as Tailer Buter hit a pair of three's to twice put the Titans ahead before Doherty scored at the end of the half to send UC Davis into the locker room even at 24.
The Aggies came out of the break firing, scoring the first six points of the second half and holding Fullerton to without a point for the first 6:15 until Thomas nailed a three-pointer to end the drought. Back-to-back three-pointers by Samantha Logan put the Titans back in front by one, 34-33, two minutes later, but UC Davis answered with a 12-4 burst -- eight of those points by Doherty -- to build a seven-point lead and the race was on.
A three-pointer by Harris gave the Aggies their largest lead of the game at 47-39 with just over seven minutes to play, but eight-straight points from Thomas, followed by an "and one" from Kathleen Iwuoha tied the game at 50, setting up the furious finish.
UC Davis finished the night shooting just over 47 percent from the floor and hitting 16-of-19 from the line, while the defense held Fullerton to just 36 percent for the game, including 1-of-7 in the extra period.
The Aggies close out their three-game Big West road swing next week with a trip to the islands, traveling to Honolulu to take on Hawaii on Thursday (Jan. 23) at 9 p.m. (PT) in their only game of the week. The Rainbow Wahine defeated UC Riverside, 74-61, on Saturday night to improve to 2-1 in the Big West.