Big Second Half Sparks Titans Past Aggies

Feb. 23, 2013

Final Stats

DAVIS, Calif. - Sydnee Fipps scored 14 points and Cortney Frenchhad 10 for UC Davis but Cal State Fullerton outscored the Aggies 42-19 in the second half, pulling away for a 60-42 Big West Conference women's basketball win at The Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.

UC Davis fell to 11-15 overall and 6-9 in the Big West while Cal State Fullerton, which snapped a nine-game losing streak, improved to 8-18 overall and 4-10 in the league. Annie Park scored 12 points for the Titans while Chante Miles added 11 and Alex Thomas had 10.

The win keeps the Aggies in seventh place in the Big West as they fight for a berth in next month's conference tournament. They're currently a half-game in front of UC Irvine (5-9), and 1-1/2 games in front UC Riverside (4-10) and Cal State Fullerton (4-10). The top eight teams will advance to the Big West Tournament.

"This is a hard loss," said Aggie coach Jennifer Gross. "I thought our energy was good before the game, I thought our confidence was good. We didn't maintain that through the entire 40 minutes, and somehow we got in a rut in the second half.

"This season is far from over. We are going to stick together, figure out where we need to improve and keep working to get better."

Despite shooting 34.6 percent from the floor in the first half, UC Davis took a 23-18 lead into the break, benefitting from 25-percent shooting and 19 turnovers from Cal State Fullerton.

UC Davis extended the lead to 27-18 just two minutes into the second half on a layup from freshman Celia Marfonebefore a 9-0 Titans run - keyed by a three-pointer from Park - tied the game 27-27 with 14 minutes, 14 seconds left.

Fipps' layup with 12:26 remaining rebuilt the Aggie lead to 31-27 but that would be the Aggies' last field goal for nearly 11 minutes, and preceded 12 straight missed shots until Heidi Johnson'slayup with 1:33 left made it 58-36.

Cal State Fullerton, meanwhile, took advantage of the drought to go on a 19-0 run to turn a 35-34 lead into a 54-34 advantage. Miles scored six points during that run - all from the free throw line - while Mya Olivier hit a three-pointer and scored five. Kathleen Iwuoha and Park each had four points.

The second half came on the heels of a first half when the Aggies' defense held the Titans without a point for nearly six minutes. UC Davis also struggled through a seven-minute stretch without a point. French's three-pointer made it 10-5 with just under 11 minutes left in the half before Alex Thomas' layup forged a 10-10 a little more than a minute later.

The Aggies didn't trail the remainder of the half, using a 9-0 run to take a 19-10 lead with 4:39 left. Freshman Molly Gruebel had a three-pointer to help highlight that surge. UC Davis took a 23-18 halftime lead.

The Aggies' defense force 25 Cal State Fullerton turnovers in the game and picked up 15 steals, including four each from Doherty and French. Blair Shinoda added five assists and Celia Marfoneand Shinoda each had two blocks.

Iwuoha had nine rebounds for the Titans while Thomas had seven boards to go with seven steals.

UC Davis will look to get back on the winning track when it visits UC Irvine on Thursday. A matchup next Saturday at Long Beach State completes the weekend trip to Southern California.