HONOLULU — Junior Morgan Bertsch tied her own school Division I record with 13 makes from the field en route to a game-high 27 points, and UC Davis repelled a late Hawai’i charge en route to a, 68-56, victory on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
The Aggies won their fourth straight game to improve to 22-4 overall and 12-1 in Big West Conference play and, with Cal Poly’s loss earlier in the night, clinched a bye into the semifinals of the league tournament.
Led by 17 points and seven rebounds from Sarah Toeaina, the Rainbow Wahine fell to 10-15 overall and 3-9 in conference play. Hawai’i shot just 33 percent for the game, despite hitting 42 percent from the field during its second-half comeback.
With the performance, Bertsch collected her 15th 20-point game of the season and the 33rd of her career, breaking Sydnee Fipps’ school record, finishing 13-of-20 from the floor to match her school Division I single-game mark set earlier this year against Pepperdine. Senior Pele Gianotti finished 5-of-10 from the field en route to her 14 points as UC Davis finished with nine players in the scoring column.
The Aggies led wire-to-wire, using a dominating performance at both ends of the court to lead by 22 at the break. UC Davis was suffocating on the defensive end, limiting Hawai’i to just 21 percent shooting in the first half — including a 17 percent clip in the second quarter when the Rainbow Wahine missed 13 consecutive shots at one point — and allowing the fewest points in any half this season, surpassing the 19 points allowed at Saint Mary’s and at home against CSUN.
Meanwhile, at the other end, the Aggies shook off a slow 2-for-9 start, hitting 14 of their final 20 shots (.700), and outscoring Hawai’i, 32-10, over the final 13 minutes of the half after the two teams were tied at eight, staking UC Davis to its largest halftime lead of the season, 40-18.
The second half saw the Aggies jump out to their largest lead of the game on a Bertsch “and one” with 4:35 to play, putting her team up, 53-28, thanks to an 8-0 run. From that point on, the Rainbow Wahine began to chip away, closing the quarter by scoring 12 of the final 18 points to get the deficit back under 20, and a 9-1 burst late in the fourth got Hawai’i to within 11 points, but it would come no closer.
The Aggies return to the court for a single game next week, hosting UC Irvine on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 24) at 2:30 p.m., celebrating its four-member senior class prior to the game. The Anteaters are in second place in the Big West standings at 9-3, falling to UC Santa Barbara, 82-55, on Saturday.
UC DAVIS 68, HAWAII 56
UC DAVIS (22-4 (12-1))
Bertsch, Morgan 13-20 1-3 27; Gianotti, Pele 5-10 2-2 14; Nafekh, Dani 2-3 2-2 7; Anderson, Marly 2-6 1-2 6; Hall, Cierra 2-3 1-2 5; Nagel, Rachel 1-3 0-0 3; Eaton, Kourtney 1-5 1-1 3; Bessolo, Nina 1-3 0-0 2; Eaton, Karley 0-0 1-2 1; Song, Sophia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-53 9-14 68.
HAWAII (10-15 (3-9))
Toeaina, Sarah 6-14 5-5 17; Tago, Julissa 5-8 0-1 13; Salanoa, Lahni 2-10 3-4 9; Rewers, Lauren 3-5 2-2 8; Woodfolk, Makenna 2-8 0-0 5; Salanoa, Leah 0-1 2-2 2; Kanoa, Tia 1-5 0-0 2; Alexander, Jadynn 0-1 0-0 0; Clinch Hoycard, Mack 0-2 0-0 0; Middap, Courtney 0-1 0-0 0; Odumu, Rachel 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 19-58 12-14 56.
UC Davis...................... 19 21 19 9 - 68
Hawaii........................ 10 8 22 16 - 56
3-point goals--UC Davis 5-11 (Gianotti, Pele 2-3; Anderson, Marly 1-1; Nafekh, Dani 1-2; Nagel, Rachel 1-1; Bessolo, Nina 0-2; Eaton, Kourtney 0-2), Hawaii 6-21 (Tago, Julissa 3-6; Salanoa, Lahni 2-5; Woodfolk, Makenna 1-4; Kanoa, Tia 0-2; Alexander, Jadynn 0-1; Clinch Hoycard, Mack 0-1; Middap, Courtney 0-1; Toeaina, Sarah 0-1). Fouled out--UC Davis-None, Hawaii-None. Rebounds--UC Davis 29 (Bertsch, Morgan 5), Hawaii 37 (Toeaina, Sarah 7). Assists--UC Davis 9 (Anderson, Marly 3), Hawaii 10 (Toeaina, Sarah 5). Total fouls--UC Davis 16, Hawaii 14. Technical fouls--UC Davis-None, Hawaii-None. A-1791
SAAC COIN DRIVE
Support the UC Davis Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Yolo County SPCA during the month of February as the Aggies hold their 11th annual coin drive at all home events. For the fourth year in a row, Big West Conference institutions will donate 100 percent of the funds raised to their designated charities, with the top three fundraising SAAC’s receiving a cash prize toward their SAAC budget. Over the last 10 years, conference members have combined to raise nearly $197,000.
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.
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Big West Tournament Central
(Friday: 12 p.m.; ESPN3)