SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Senior Rachel Nagel logged her third 20-point performance of the season to lead four Aggies in double figures, and UC Davis withstood a furious Cal Poly fourth-quarter comeback, eking out an, 80-76, Big West Conference victory on Saturday afternoon at the Mott Athletics Center.
The Aggies remained unscathed in league play with the Central Coast sweep, winning their fifth straight to improve to 15-3 overall and 5-0 in the Big West, claiming their fifth straight victory over the Mustangs and winning their 15th consecutive regular season conference contest dating back to last year.
Led by 30 points from Dynn Leaupepe and a 14-point, 10-rebound performance from her sister Lynn, Cal Poly nearly rallied back from down 20 in the final seven minutes, falling to 9-8 overall and 3-2 in league play.
Nagel, a psychology major, finished 6-of-13 from the floor, including four makes from distance, scoring 12 of her 20 points in the third quarter to help stake UC Davis to a big lead. Junior biomedical engineering major Morgan Bertsch added 16 points for her 18th consecutive double-digit performance, moving her past Alyson Doherty and into sixth on the all-time scoring list with 1,315 career points.
Senior managerial economics major Dani Nafekh added 12 points on 4-of-6 from the floor and five assists, while sophomore communication major Nina Bessolo added 10 points off the bench. Senior design major Marly Anderson led the way on the glass with six rebounds, while junior psychology major Kourtney Eaton shared team-high honors with five assists, helping the Aggies post 21 helpers on 28 makes for the afternoon.
The total helped Eaton move into a tie for fifth on the school's all-time assist list with Laura Manning (1985-89) at 339.
After taking a four-point lead into the locker room at the break, UC Davis exploded to take a commanding advantage in the third, opening the second half on an 11-4 run to push the advantage out to 11 points, and outscoring Cal Poly, 27-14, in the quarter to lead, 66-49, after three.
A three-pointer by senior political science major Pele Gianotti to start the fourth pushed the lead out to 20 points, and a basket inside by Bertsch made it a 71-51 advantage with 6:51 to play. That's when the Mustangs mounted their comeback, ramping up the pressure on defense to force the Aggies into 13 fourth quarter turnovers and hold UC Davis to just six field goal attempts in the period.
Dynn Leaupepe drained a jumper to spark a 17-2 run that made it a five-point game at 73-68 with 3:39 to play before 4-of-6 from the line by Bertsch, Kourtney Eaton, and Cierra Hall, stopped the bleeding and gave the Aggies some breathing room and a nine-point lead.
That, however, almost wasn't enough as Cal Poly continued to press, cutting the advantage back down to three, scoring eight of the next 10 points, and had a chance to tie it after a turnover at midcourt, but Dynn Leaupepe's three-pointer was short and UC Davis was able to corral the rebound. Gianotti made 1-of-2 at the other end to make it a two possession game, and another attempt from distance missed at the buzzer.
The Aggies finished shooting 50 percent from the field for the game, including a 58 percent clip in the decisive third quarter. The Mustangs, meanwhile, shot just 34 percent for the game despite hitting 42 percent from the field in the fourth, marking the 13th time this season that UC Davis has held an opponent to 38 percent or less from the floor.
UC Davis returns to the court for a pair at home next week, hosting Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday (Jan. 24) at 7 p.m., before welcoming UC Santa Barbara on Saturday (Jan. 27) at 2:30 p.m. in a doubleheader with the men's team at The Pavilion.
UC DAVIS 80, CAL POLY 76
UC DAVIS (15-3 (5-0 BWC))
Nagel, Rachel 6-13 4-4 20; Bertsch, Morgan 6-12 4-4 16; Nafekh, Dani 4-6 0-0 12; Bessolo, Nina 4-6 0-0 10; Eaton, Kourtney 3-7 1-2 9; Gianotti, Pele 3-5 1-2 8; Hall, Cierra 2-5 1-2 5; Anderson, Marly 0-2 0-0 0; Eaton, Karley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-56 11-14 80.
CAL POLY (9-8 (3-2 BWC))
Leaupepe, Dynn 11-25 7-7 30; Leaupepe, Lynn 4-11 5-6 14; Evans, Mary Kate 3-4 0-0 9; Stanback, Devin 3-8 0-0 6; Basallo, Ayzhiana 2-8 0-0 6; Stahley, Dye 1-3 2-2 4; Fausey, Nikki 1-4 0-0 2; Anderson, Emily 1-5 0-0 2; Smith, Jonni 1-2 0-0 2; Holt, Breezi 0-2 1-2 1; Wong, Kelly 0-3 0-0 0; Grupalo, Gabby 0-5 0-0 0; Holt, Malia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-80 15-17 76.
UC Davis...................... 19 20 27 14 - 80
Cal Poly...................... 17 18 14 27 - 76
3-point goals--UC Davis 13-27 (Nafekh, Dani 4-6; Nagel, Rachel 4-9; Bessolo, Nina 2-4; Eaton, Kourtney 2-6; Gianotti, Pele 1-2), Cal Poly 7-30 (Evans, Mary Kate 3-4; Basallo, Ayzhiana 2-5; Leaupepe, Lynn 1-4; Leaupepe, Dynn 1-7; Anderson, Emily 0-4; Holt, Breezi 0-1; Wong, Kelly 0-1; Grupalo, Gabby 0-2; Stahley, Dye 0-2). Fouled out--UC Davis-None, Cal Poly-None. Rebounds--UC Davis 33 (Anderson, Marly 6), Cal Poly 51 (Leaupepe, Lynn 10). Assists--UC Davis 21 (Nafekh, Dani 5; Eaton, Kourtney 5), Cal Poly 9 (Stahley, Dye 3). Total fouls--UC Davis 17, Cal Poly 17. Technical fouls--UC Davis-None, Cal Poly-TEAM. A-914
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.
PACK THE PAVILION!
Season and single-game tickets for UC Davis men's and women's basketball are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.