FULLERTON, Calif. -- Sophomore Morgan Bertsch finished with a game-high 16 points to lead three in double figures, while junior Pele Gianotti grabbed 11 rebounds to go with five assists on Thursday night, helping lift visiting UC Davis to a, 70-51, Big West Conference win over Cal State Fullerton at Titan Gym.
Winning for the fourth time in their last five outings, the Aggies improved to 13-5 overall and 4-1 in league play, shooting just under 47 percent from the floor and 42 percent from long distance. Led by Daeja Smith's double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, the Titans fell to 4-14 overall and 1-4 in league play.
Bertsch finished 8-of-11 from the floor, adding four rebounds and three steals in 27 minutes to help pace a balanced scoresheet that saw nine Aggies find the scoring column. Freshman Nina Bessolo came off the bench to add 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while sophomore Kourtney Eaton finished with 11 points and tied a season-high with eight assists against zero turnovers.
Gianotti finished with only three points, but grabbed game-high honors on the glass, adding five assists and a steal in 28 minutes. Led by her effort on the boards, the Aggies finished with a 38-34 rebounding advantage for the game, and posted 24 assists on their 29 makes.
Trailing by two early, UC Davis finished the first quarter on a 14-6 run to lead by six at the end of the opening period and a Bessolo three out of the break gave the Aggies their largest lead of the game to that point at 23-14 just 40 seconds in. UC Davis extended its lead to 10 and carried a nine-point advantage into the locker room at the break before Fullerton threatened to make a game of it.
A three-pointer by Jade Vega sparked an 8-0 run and cut the Aggies' advantage down to a single point at 30-29 just a minute and a half into the third quarter, but UC Davis responded. Rachel Nagel and Kourtney Eaton canned three-pointers of their own to push the lead back out to seven and jumpstarted a 14-2 run over the next five minutes, holding the Titans to without a field goal.
UC Davis closed out the quarter on an 8-0 run and led by as many as 21 points in the final quarter en route to the victory.
The Aggies held Fullerton to just 33 percent from the field, including a 6-for-21 (.286) clip from beyond the arc. Vega and leading scorer Iman Lathan each added 11 points in the loss for the Titans.
After a day off on Friday, UC Davis returns to the court on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 21) at 2 p.m., taking on Long Beach State for the second time in a week at the Walter Pyramid. The 49ers, who entered Thursday atop the Big West standings at 3-0, fell to UC Santa Barbara on the road, 65-60.
UC DAVIS 70, CAL STATE FULLERTON 51
UC DAVIS (13-5, 4-1 BWC)
Bertsch, Morgan 8-11 0-0 16; Bessolo, Nina 5-6 0-0 12; Eaton, Kourtney 4-8 0-0 11; Song, Sophia 3-4 0-0 9; Nagel, Rachel 3-7 0-0 8; Anderson, Marly 4-10 0-0 8; Gianotti, Pele 1-8 0-0 3; Hsu, Kaitlyn 1-2 0-0 2; Eaton, Karley 0-4 1-2 1; Beyer, Lauren 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-62 1-2 70.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (4-14, 1-4 BWC)
Lathan, Iman 4-15 1-4 11; Vega, Jade 4-11 0-0 11; Smith, Daeja 4-7 3-4 11; Jackson, Jordan 3-11 1-1 7; Henderson, China 2-6 2-2 7; Nubla, Lauren 1-3 0-0 2; Johnson, Dhanyel 1-4 0-0 2; Gallo, Mia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-57 7-11 51.
UC Davis...................... 20 10 24 16 - 70
Cal State Fullerton........... 14 7 14 16 - 51
3-point goals--UC Davis 11-26 (Song, Sophia 3-4; Eaton, Kourtney 3-4; Bessolo, Nina 2-2; Nagel, Rachel 2-5; Gianotti, Pele 1-7; Eaton, Karley 0-3; Hsu, Kaitlyn 0-1), Cal State Fullerton 6-21 (Vega, Jade 3-9; Lathan, Iman 2-3; Henderson, China 1-4; Jackson, Jordan 0-5). Fouled out--UC Davis None, Cal State Fullerton-None. Rebounds--UC Davis 38 (Gianotti, Pele 11), Cal State Fullerton 34 (Smith, Daeja 10). Assists--UC Davis 24 (Eaton, Kourtney 8), Cal State Fullerton 9 (Henderson, China 4). Total fouls--UC Davis 13, Cal State Fullerton 8. Technical fouls--UC Davis-None, Cal State Fullerton-None. A-118