DAVIS, Calif. -- Junior Morgan Bertsch finished with a team-high 16 points to lead four players in double figures, and UC Davis opened the decisive fourth quarter with a 15-3 run to pull away, lifting the host Aggies to their 17th consecutive Big West Conference regular season victory, a 69-63, decision over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon at The Pavilion.
Defeating the Gauchos for the second time in the span of about a week, the win kept UC Davis undefeated in conference play, improving to 17-3 overall and 7-0 in in the Big West, while moving to 9-1 at The Pavilion.
Led by 25 points from Sarah Bates, and a 13-point, 10-rebound, double-double from Drew Edelman, UC Santa Barbara fell to 7-12 overall and 4-3 in conference.
Bertsch, a biomedical engineering major, hit 5-of-6 from the floor in the first half and finished 8-of-15 from the floor for the game, adding four rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and a pair of steals. With her eight makes, the Santa Rosa, Calif., product now has 557 made baskets for her career -- the most in the program's Division I history, passing Sydnee Fipps (552) -- while her 173 makes this season are ninth on the all-time single-season list, marking her third appearance among the top 10 (8th with 177 in 2016 and 3rd in 2017 with 207).
Senior psychology major Rachel Nagel added 15 points, senior political science major Pele Gianotti added 14 more, and senior managerial economics major Dani Nafekh finished with 10 -- eight of those coming in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer at the 9:12 mark in the period that gave UC Davis the lead for good.
Trailing at the half for only the fourth time this season, the Aggies extended their run of six straight points at the end of the second quarter into the third, getting baskets by Gianotti and Bertsch for the team's first lead since getting the first bucket of the game to lead 2-0.
Neither team led by more than four in a back-and-forth third, that saw UC Davis post its largest lead to that point at, 44-39, on a Gianotti three-pointer with three minutes to play. However, an "and one" by Edelman and a Sarah Bates three-pointer in the final 20 seconds grabbed the lead back for the Gauchos, 45-44, heading into the final quarter.
Edelman's free throw out of the break extended the lead to two, but that would be all for UCSB. Nafekh drained three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to start the fourth, forcing a Gauchos' timeout. A basket inside by Chaya Durr off a turnover broke the Aggies' momentum, but only for a moment, as Nafekh answered with another three-pointer to jumpstart a 9-0 run, staking UC Davis to an 11-point advantage with 3:23 remaining and the Aggies never looked back.
After opening 1-for-6 from the floor to start the period, UC Santa Barbara hit five from beyond the arc to close out the contest, but came no closer than five points as UC Davis made six attempts from the line en route to the win.
The Aggies close out the first round of Big West play next week on the road, heading to Southern California to take on Long Beach State on Thursday (Feb. 1) and CSUN on Saturday (Feb. 3).
UC DAVIS 69, UC SANTA BARBARA 63
UC SANTA BARBARA (7-12, 4-3 BWC)
Bates, Sarah 9-17 0-0 25; Edelman, Drew 5-8 3-5 13; Roper, Makala 4-6 0-0 12; Durr, Chaya 2-4 0-0 5; Porter, Sarah 1-8 2-2 4; Bruening, Natalia 0-1 2-2 2; Toler, Drea 1-6 0-0 2; Sahar, Tal 0-5 0-0 0; Hernandez, Aliceah 0-0 0-0 0; Jennings, Akilah 0-1 0-0 0; Miller, Danae 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-58 7-9 63.
UC DAVIS (17-3, 7-0 BWC)
Bertsch, Morgan 8-15 0-0 16; Nagel, Rachel 5-6 5-8 15; Gianotti, Pele 6-11 0-0 14; Nafekh, Dani 4-5 0-0 10; Hall, Cierra 2-3 1-2 6; Anderson, Marly 2-5 0-0 4; Bessolo, Nina 1-4 1-2 4; Eaton, Karley 0-0 0-0 0; Eaton, Kourtney 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-51 7-12 69.
UC Santa Barbara.............. 17 15 13 18 - 63
UC Davis...................... 14 15 15 25 - 69
3-point goals--UC Santa Barbara 12-29 (Bates, Sarah 7-12; Roper, Makala 4-5; Durr, Chaya 1-1; Toler, Drea 0-1; Sahar, Tal 0-5; Porter, Sarah 0-5), UC Davis 6-13 (Gianotti, Pele 2-4; Nafekh, Dani 2-3; Hall, Cierra 1-1; Bessolo, Nina 1-2; Eaton, Kourtney 0-1; Anderson, Marly 0-1; Bertsch, Morgan 0-1). Fouled out--UC Santa Barbara-None, UC Davis-None. Rebounds--UC Santa Barbara 33 (Edelman, Drew 10), UC Davis 27 (Gianotti, Pele 6). Assists--UC Santa Barbara 11 (Bates, Sarah 3), UC Davis 13 (Bertsch, Morgan 5). Total fouls--UC Santa Barbara 19, UC Davis 11. Technical fouls--UC Santa Barbara-None, UC Davis-None.
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.