Aggies Hold Off Charging Matadors, 82-74

Sophomore Heidi Johnson came off the bench to score 11 points and grab six rebounds in 14 minutes in the Aggies' win over Cal State Northridge on Thursday.
 
Sophomore Heidi Johnson came off the bench to score 11 points and grab six rebounds in 14 minutes in the Aggies' win over Cal State Northridge on Thursday.
 

Feb. 6, 2014

Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -- UC Davis junior Sydnee Fipps finished with a game-high 21 points to lead five players in double figures and the visiting Aggies hit 14-of-16 from the line in the final 1:21 of the contest, holding off host Cal State Northridge for an 82-74 victory on Thursday night at The Matadome.

The win lifted UC Davis to 10-11 overall and 5-3 in the Big West Conference as the Aggies shot 60 percent from the floor for the game -- including a 70 percent clip in the first half -- while the defense held the second-place Matadors (10-13, 6-3) to just 38 percent from the field for the contest.

"This was a hard-fought win," Head Coach Jennifer Gross said. "Northridge is a great team, they've got a lot of weapons,but we came and got it done offensively. We shot the ball extremely well and players stepped up late to knock down key free throws at the end of the game to seal it for us."

Fipps finished 7-of-13 from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc for the game but, perhaps, her biggest basket of the game came with 1:41 left in a two-point contest when she buried a right corner three-pointer after Northridge had all but erased a 13-point deficit. She added four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

The junior had plenty of help as four other Aggies were in double figures. Sophomore Alyson Doherty finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots, finishing 5-of-7 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line. Sophomore Celia Marfone, who scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half to go with six rebounds, and junior Kelsey Harris (12 points) rounded out a quartet of starters in double figures, while sophomore Heidi Johnson added 11 points and six rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.

 

 

"When you look down the line, we've got five players in double figures and we're getting contributions from our up and down roster," Gross said. "That's what makes me the most pleased about this win. I can rely on so many different people."

Cinnamon Lister led Cal State Northridge with 18 points and five assists to lead a quartet of Matadors in double figures, while Camille Mahlknecht added a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

UC Davis, which led by as many as 14 points just over four minutes into the second half, led by 13 midway through the period before Northridge turned up the heat. Janae Sharpe hit a pair from the line to spark an 11-0 run and the Matadors held the Aggies to without a point for more than five minutes, making it a 59-57 contest with four minutes to play.

Doherty hit a pair from the line to stop the bleeding, then drained a short jumper 30 seconds later for some breathing room, but Lister responded with two of her own from the stripe to make it a two-point game once again. That was as close as Northridge would get, however, as Fipps drained her third three-pointer of the game from the corner and the Big West's best free throw shooting team lived up to its billing down the stretch as three different players hit from the line and Fipps laid in another off a steal at the buzzer for the final tally and push her over the 20-point plateau for the 10th time this season (17th of her career).

UC Davis, which attempted all 28 of its free throws in the second half, out rebounded Cal State Northridge, 34-27, for the game and overcame 20 turnovers on the night en route to the win.

A track meet of a first half ended with the Aggies up seven, offsetting five-straight makes from beyond the arc with 70 percent shooting from the field (14-of-20) to take a 35-28 advantage into the locker room. The Matadors scored the first basket before UC Davis responded with eight-straight points and 12 of the next 13 to force a Northridge timeout with just over four minutes gone in the opening period.

Four quick points out of the break brought the Matadors back to within five, but back-to-back three-pointers by Johnson off the bench pushed it back to nine, and another burst by the Aggies -- this an 8-0 run -- gave them a double digit lead once again before carrying the seven-point lead into the locker room at the half.

UC Davis returns to the floor on Saturday at 2 p.m., traveling to UC Irvine to take on the Anteaters at the Bren Events Center. UCI defeated Long Beach State, 78-58, on Thursday evening.

NOTES: Thursday's win snapped a three-game losing streak to Cal State Northridge dating back to last season and avenged a four-point loss to open conference play earlier this year at The Pavilion... with her 21 points, Fipps moved past Kendall Greene (1992-96) for 15th on the school's all-time scoring list, needing just 32 points to pass Kasey Riecks (2008-12) for the No. 14 spot... Alyson Doherty's three blocks gave her 23 for the season and 50 for her career -- just six shy of Sarah Allen (1998-03) for 10th on the career list... the Aggies surpassed the 80-point plateau for the second-straight game after scoring 82 points in their win over UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 1... UC Davis improved to 9-1 when tied or leading at halftime... the Aggies finished with five players in double figures for the first time this season and the first time since Jan. 2, 2011 -- also against Cal State Northridge -- when Vicky Deeley (22), Heidi Heintz (11), Paige Mintun (11), Blair Shinoda (11), and Samantha Meggison (10), accomplished the feat... UC Davis is 7-0 when it has four or more players finish in double figures this season... Doherty reached double figures for the ninth-straight game.