Jan. 19, 2008
IRVINE, Calif. -
Haylee Donaghe, Jessica Campbell and Heather Bates each scored 16 points on Saturday afternoon as UC Davis won its fourth straight game with a convincing 80-59 win over host UC Irvine in a Big West Conference women's basketball game at the Bren Events Center.
The Aggies also won their second straight road game, improving to 10-7 overall and 4-1 in the Big West Conference while the Anteaters lost their 11th straight game, falling to 4-15 overall and 0-5 in league play. Miranda Forry had 12 points and Annie Mai scored 11 for UC Irvine which committed 33 turnovers - most by a UC Davis opponent this season.
UC Davis finished a successful road trip which included a 77-45 victory at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night. The Aggies used balanced scoring in subduing the Anteaters on Saturday with five players scoring in double figures. Besides the trio who each had 16 points, guard Kirsten Commins finished 11 while Ellen Porshneva added 10.
"I'm really pleased we were able to go on the road and play as well as we did," said Aggie coach Sandy Simpson who earned his 100th career conference win. "And not just win, but play well."
UC Davis never trailed in the game which was only tied once, that coming in the early going at 2-2. The Aggies led just 14-11 six minutes into the game but a jumper from Porshneva and a three-pointer from Donaghe ignited a 9-0 run that made it 23-11 at the 10:48 mark. The Aggies grew the lead to as much as 41-25 with 3 minutes, 43 seconds left in the half before heading into intermission with a 45-32 advantage. The Aggies benefitted from 19 turnovers by UC Irvine in the first 20 minutes, turning them into 22 points.
Donaghe had a pair of three-pointers and scored 12 points before halftime, adding four steals for UC Davis which had nine.
Forry nailed a trey from the corner early in the second half to make it a 10-point game but an 11-0 surge - keyed by six points from Campbell - gave UC Davis a 21-point lead at 56-35 with 15:07 to go. Porshneva's jumper swelled the lead to 62-38 with 11:55 to go and the Aggies were able to keep the Anteaters at least 18 points away the remainder of the game. UC Davis led by 26 points in the final minute before winning by 21.
Simpson said the Aggies came out with good defensive intensity in the first half but struggled with some reads and some turnovers before taking the 13-point halftime advantage.
"The second half I thought were a little bit more methodical in how we played and thought we made good reads and were able to extend the lead gradually," he said.
The Aggies also had four players score in double figures for the second straight game and the third time in their past four, a trademark that Simpson said is key to UC Davis being effective.
"That's what we were doing early in the season, having four in double figures every game and that's when any team is at its best," said Simpson.
Campbell hit 8 of 11 shots frm the field and added seven rebounds, three assista and a steal. She averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the Aggies' two wins this weekend. Donaghe was 2 of 4 from long distance and had a game-high four steals, not hurting her league-leading average of 2.63 steals she entered the game with.
Bates hit a trio of three-pointers to help with her 16 points while Commins was 4 of 7 from the field and had three assists. Porshneva shot 5 of 9 to finish with 10 points in just 18 minutes of court time.
UC Davis also finished 12 of 15 from the line, making 89.3 percent (25 for 28) from the charity stripe in the two wins.
Simpson, in his 11th season as the Aggies' head coach, is 100-46 in league games, a span which includes UC Davis affiliations in the Northern California Athletic Conference and the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Aggies will return home for a pair of games against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday and Cal Poly on Saturday, both beginning at 7 p.m. The Gauchos and Mustangs entered the weekend with perfect 4-0 league marks.