Feb. 9, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - Samantha Meggison recorded her first career double-double, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Aggie women's basketball team, but UC Irvine used a huge second-half rally to take a 68-59 Big West Conference win in Davis on Thursday.
UC Davis moves to 14-8 overall and 6-4 in conference action while UC Irvine improves to 11-13 on the year and 7-4 in the Big West.
Meggison shot 5-of-10 from the field and hit 7-of-8 from the free throw line and was just shy of tying her career-high. The double-double is the first for any Aggie player this season and the first since Paige Mintun scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Cal State Northridge on Jan. 2, 2011.
Hannah Stephens and Blair Shinoda each added 13 points while Stephens grabbed six rebounds.
Kassandra McCalister posted a double-double of her own for UC Irvine, finishing with a career-high tying 29 points and 10 rebounds. Jacquelyn Marshall added 16 points, 10 of which came in the second half, and grabbed eight boards. Kiara Belen had nine rebounds for the Anteaters.
"There were stretches in this game where we played some of the best basketball that we've played all year," said head coach Jennifer Gross. "We started the second half with really amazing defensive energy that quickly translated into a 15-point lead. We lost a little bit of our defensive intensity. From the very first day, we committed to our defense and keeping the defensive pride that we've had in this program for years and years. So we need to recommit to that and keep improving."
UC Davis trailed 19-12 with just over seven minutes left after shooting 3-of-14 from the field to open the game, but Shinoda hit a long three from the right side to spark the Aggies. Meggison added a bucket after a nice move in the paint, but UC Irvine regained a five-point lead, going up 21-17 on a jumper from Marshall.
With less than four minutes to play in the first half, Stephens hit a trey directly out of the media timeout, then Brianna Salvatore
added a layup and UC Davis was down just one. Hana Asano
hit a pair of free throws to give the Aggies their first lead of the game at 24-23 with just 2:19 to play.
Down the stretch, both teams traded baskets until Meggison spun around a defender and laid the ball in at the buzzer, giving UC Davis a 28-27 lead at halftime.
It was all UC Davis to open the second half as Shinoda and Stephens combined for 11 points of a 13-0 run. The Aggies held the Anteaters scoreless for nearly five minutes, taking a 41-27 lead with 15:13 left after Stephens stole the ball, then dished it to Sydnee Fipps on the fast break.
Kelly Meggs hit a trey to stop the Aggie run, sparking the Anteaters briefly, but UC Davis scored six more unanswered points to take a 15-point lead with 13:35 to play.
McCalister then went to work for UC Irvine, hitting back-to-back treys before assisting on Belen's layup at the 12:58 mark to bring the Anteaters to within seven. Anete Klintstone took another McCalister pass in for a layup and UC Davis was up just 47-43 with 11:39 left in the game.
Cortney French gave the Aggies some breathing room with a trey of her own with under 11 min. to play, but Marshall and McCalister knocked down back-to-back threes and Methlyn Onohomuho added in a layup to give UC Irvine a 51-50 lead with 8:29 left in the game.
UC Davis used another mini run to regain a 56-51 advantage with 5:50 to go, but UC Irvine used a huge 12-0 run over the next four minutes to go up 63-56 with 1:45 to play. Klintstone found McCalister under the basket for a layup, then the senior hit her sixth trey of the night to put the Anteaters back up. Marshall took over from there, scoring six straight for UC Irvine before Meggison finally silenced the Anteaters with a jumper in the paint.
Trailing 63-58 with 1:31 to play, UC Davis would send UC Irvine to the free throw line to end the game. The Anteaters hit 5-of-7 in the final minute to take the 68-59 win.
UC Davis returns to action on Saturday, hosting Long Beach State at 1 p.m. at The Pavilion in Davis.