Aggies Hold Off 49ers in Thriller for Third Straight Win

Cortney French's five field goals were all three pointers in Thursday's win. (Wayne Tilcock)

Jan. 31, 2013

Final Stats

DAVIS, Calif. - Sydnee Fipps scored a career-high 29 points while Cortney French's five field goals all came from beyond the arc as the UC Davis women's basketball team held off Long Beach State to claim a 68-62 win on Thursday at The Pavilion in Davis.

UC Davis improves to 9-10 overall and 4-4 in Big West play and has won four of its last five games. Long Beach State drops to 11-9 overall and also own a 4-4 conference record.

Fipps hit a career-high 10 field goals and was 3-of-5 from three-point range. She also made all six of her free throws and grabbed six rebounds in the win.

"This is a great win for us," said head coach Jennifer Gross. "Long Beach State is a good team with a lot of weapons. We had to get some key stops and scores down the stretch and were able to do that."

French hit 5-of-10 from three-point range for 17 points while Molly Greubel also finished in double figures with 10. She hit 8-of-8 from the free throw line and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds. Alyson Doherty pulled down nine boards.

Bianka Balthazar led Long Beach State with 16 points while Devin Hudson finished with 14 rebounds.

Thursday's game featured 15 lead changes and 12 ties.

"Everyone on our team knows that they have an important role," said Gross. "From game to game that role might change, but everybody is contributing. We are at our best when we aren't holding anything back and play as hard as we can. That's our goal every time we step on the court."

UC Davis took a 6-1 lead early on, but Long Beach State scored five straight to tie the game and the back-and-forth affair was on. The 49ers pulled away with a 10-0 run, taking a 26-19 lead with 7:55 to play in the first half, but Fipps broke up the run with a three from the top of the key with 6:53 to go.



She added another jumper at the 5:07 mark and UC Davis was back to within one. Long Beach State took back a narrow five-point lead after a layup from Mary Ochiltree, but French answered by draining back-to-back treys.

A pair of free throws from Fipps kept UC Davis on top at 34-31 with 1:20 to go in the half, but Long Beach scored the final two baskets of the half to take a 35-34 lead into the locker rooms.

UC Davis hit 6-of-12 from three-point range with all six treys coming from either French or Fipps. The duo finished with 14 points apiece in the first half.

Out of the break, neither team would go up by more than five points with Greubel tying the game for the seventh time with a pair of free throws at the 14:21 mark. Fipps hit a trey two minutes later to put UC Davis up 49-46, but Ella Clark responded with a trey of her own and the game was tied at 49 with 12:01 to go.

Clark's three pointer sparked a brief 7-0 run for the 49ers, who took a 56-49 lead on Jade Wilson's layup at the 7:13 mark, but French halted the run with yet another three, putting a UC Davis run into effect.

The Aggies scored nine unanswered points, including Heidi Johnson's rebound and putback at the 6:05 mark. Aniya Baker's defensive rebound turned into another Aggie basket after she took the board the other way and stopped for a jumper in the lane over Alex Sanchez to tie the game at 56 with 5:36 to play.

On the next Aggie possession, Fipps snuck into lane unnoticed and Greubel found her to put UC Davis back up 58-56, but Sanchez hit a three on the other end to keep the 49ers up by one with 3:52 to go.

With under two minute to play, Doherty got a pass in the lane from French and moved around Hudson to lay the ball in off the glass. She was fouled by Hudson and hit the ensuing free throw to complete the three-point play and put UC Davis up 63-60.

The Aggies would never trail in the final minutes, scoring five unanswered points in the final 1:07 to claim the 68-62 win.

UC Davis continues a four-game homestand on Saturday, hosting UC Irvine at 2 p.m. at The Pavilion.