Feb. 21, 2009
DAVIS, Calif. - Sha'Rae Gibbons went 5 for 5 from three-point territory and UC Santa Barbara outscored the Aggies by 18 points after the break as the Gauchos regained sole possession of first-place in the Big West Conference with a 69-50 women's basketball win over UC Davis on Saturday at The Pavilion.
The Aggies dropped their second straight game, falling to 9-16 overall and 5-9 in the Big West. UC Davis, which was led by 12 points from Lauren Juric, remains in fifth place in the Big West Conference. Gibbons, who had 17 points, paced UCSB which improved to 17-8 overall and 12-1 in the conference. The Gauchos lead UC Riverside by a half-game.
UCSB shot 62 percent from the field in the second half, including making 7 of 11 from three-point territory.
UC Davis led by as many as seven points in the first half and was only down 26-25 at halftime. A three-point play from Juric highlighted a strong start in the second half for the Aggies who took a 32-29 lead less than three minutes in. Gibbons, though, tied it with her second trey of the half - she was 4 for 4 after halftime - and UCSB went on a 16-2 run including scoring 11 straight - to assume a 45-34 lead with 12:26 to go.
UC Davis got to within nine points on three occassions but the Gauchos were able to build the lead. The final 19-point margin was the largest of the game.
"I think the second half showed you tonight why Santa Barbara is a championship contender," said Aggie head coach Sandy Simpson. "I thought we played with a lot of energy early on. I was pleased, especially defensively, in the first half. I thought we challenged most of what they did but they played very well defensively, too. We had to fight for everything.
"In the second half they continued to play well defensively," he added. "We were just a little slow on our rotations and gave them too many open looks and to their credit they knocked them down."
The game was much more competitive in the first half with the Aggies taking an early 4-2 lead after a jumper from Paige Mintun. UC Davis held the lead for much of the opening 20 minutes, taking a 14-7 advantage with 12:26 to go on a three-pointer from Juric and then making it 17-10 later after a three-point play from Juric.
Trailing 19-13 with 8:09 left, UCSB got five straight points from Lauren Pedersen and then a three-pointer from Emilie Johnson to take a 21-19 lead with 4:54 left. UC Davis got to within a point twice down the stretch of the half before Kat Suderman made a layup to give UCSB a 26-25 halftime lead.
The Gauchos' victory was also keyed by a strong rebounding performance. They outboarded UC Dvis 37-19 including grabbing 12 offensive boards. Pedersen scored 11 points for UCSB while Suderman had 10 points. The Gauchos ended by shooting 51.9 percent for the game and were 10 of 19 overall from beyond the three-point stripe.
Juric had a pair of three-pointers to help with her 12 points while Paige Mintun finished with 10 points. Mintun also had a team-high three steals.
UC Davis will return to action with third of four straight games at home when it hosts Cal State Bakersfield in a nonconference game on Wednesday. Tipoff at The Pavilion is 7 p.m.