Jan. 31, 2005
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Guard Jamie McCaa scored a game-high 20 points and forward Ofa Tulikihihifo had 18 points and 11 rebounds - one of two Matadors with double-doubles - as Cal State Northridge outscored UC Davis by 11 points after halftime en route to a 65-54 nonconference women's basketball win on Monday night at The Matadome.
Cal State Northridge won for the third straight game, improving to 10-7 overall. UC Davis lost for the second consecutive time, falling to 6-14. Jessica Campbell had a team-high 19 points for the Aggies, also collecting a team-best four steals. Center Katie Holloway also reached double digits in points and rebounds for the Matadors, finishing with 13 points and 11 boards.
The teams were tied 28-28 at halftime and UC Davis trailed just 37-35 with 15 minutes, 23 seconds to go in the second half before Cal State Northridge went on a 16-3 scoring run that gave the Matadors a 53-38 lead with 7:30 left. UC Davis was held without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes of the second half as the Matadors extended their lead. The Aggies were just eight of 32 (25 percent) in the second half.
The 5-foot-11 Tulikihihifo was a main catalyst in the second half for Cal State Northridge, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds after the break.
UC Davis still trailed by 15 points at 57-42 with 3:30 to go before cutting the deficit to 59-51 with just under two minutes to play, but Cal State Northridge hit six of eight free throws the rest of the way to thwart the Aggies' comeback.
The Matadors' game was also fueled by a dominating performance on the boards where they held a 22-rebound advantage, including a 21-9 lead on the offensive boards.
"Fifty-one to 29 on the boards and a lot of those were offensive," said Aggie coach Sandy Simpson. "Overall, I was pleased with our half-court defense. We just have to rebound."
UC Davis trailed 8-0 less than three minutes into the game, but behind seven early points from Campbell was able to cut the lead to 12-7 and later to 14-12 after a three-pointer from Kimberly Smith. The Aggies trailed 19-12 with 7:02 left in the half but a pair of free throws from Lara Gray and trey from Laura Thomas brought UC Davis to within a pair before Campbell's jumper tied it with 4:40 remaining.
UC Davis enjoyed a pair of three-point leads the rest of the half but McCaa's bucket with 14 seconds to go tied the game for the third time heading into halftime.
Tulikihihifo hit seven of 14 shots for her 18 points, had three assists and six offensive rebounds. She entered the game averaging nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds.
"I really thought we did a good job defending her with our half-court defense but to her credit she really crashed the boards in the second half," said Simpson.
McCaa had 11 points in the first half, also finishing with three assists.
Campbell had 12 points at the break after making five of six shots, including a pair of three-pointers. She also had an assist, seven rebounds and four steals.
"She played a nice all-around game," said Simpson.
UC Davis will play a pair of games in Southern California this weekend as it wraps up the road portion of its schedule. The Aggies will play at UC Riverside on Saturday and Cal State Fullerton on Monday, both games beginning at 7 p.m.
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