DAVIS, Calif. -- Junior forward Morgan Bertsch finished with a game-high 14 points, while senior Pele Gianotti grabbed game-high rebounds with 11 on the night, lifting the UC Davis women's basketball team to a, 77-34, exhibition victory over Academy of Art on Friday night at The Pavilion.
The contest was the lone tune-up for the defending Big West Conference champion Aggies, who officially open the regular season next week on Friday (Nov. 10) at 7 p.m., welcoming Washington State to Northern California in a rematch of last year's Women's National Invitation Tournament "Sweet 16" meeting in Pullman, Wash.
Bertsch, a biomedical engineering major from Santa Rosa, Calif., hit 5-of-8 and added two rebounds in 18 minutes to lead a balanced scoring effort that saw 12 Aggies finish with at least one point. Sophomore Nina Bessolo, a communication major from Hayward, Calif., added 13 points and four steals in 20 minutes off the bench, whlie Gianotti, a political science major from Myrtle Creek, Ore., added eight points to her game-high rebound total to narrowly miss out on the double-double.
The Urban Knights were led by a trio of players with seven points, including Helena Orts, who added six rebounds to her total.
UC Davis led wire-to-wire, out-pacing Academy of Art by as many as 48 points late in the fourth quarter and leading for all but 37 seconds on Friday night. The Aggies hit 8-of-12 in the opening quarter and shot better 45 percent from the field in three of the four periods.
Scoring the first five points of the game, UC Davis used a 12-0 run to build a 15-point advantage with four minutes remaining in the opening quarter and the race was on. Following a basket by Karleigh Joseph at the 7:59 mark, the Aggies held the Urban Knights to without a field goal until Ines Medina drained a three-pointer in the opening seconds of the second period, allowing only two free throws to lead 20-4 after the first 10 minutes.
UC Davis then exploded for a 21-0 second quarter run following Medina's three, holding Academy of Art to just a pair of free throws with less than a minute to play in the half en route to a, 41-9, lead at the break.
The Aggies led by as many as 41 points on a pair of free throws by Sophia Song with :39 remaining in the third and the Urban Knights never got closer than 41 points the rest of the way. UC Davis outscored Academy of Art, 34-10, in the paint and the Aggies, who got 42 points from their bench, turned 23 Urban Knight turnovers into 30 points for the good.
A number of UC Davis players saw their first action at the collegiate level as freshmen Sage Stobbart and Cierra Hall made their Aggie debuts, as did redshirt freshman Emma Gibb, who had not played since her junior year in high school due to injury.
UC DAVIS 77, ACADEMY OF ART 34
ACADEMY OF ART (EXHIBITION)
Dominick, Pre'Franz 3-8 1-2 7; Brewster, Jazzlyn 3-12 1-2 7; Orts, Helena 2-10 2-2 7; Medina, Ines 1-7 2-2 5; Joseph, Karleigh 2-5 0-0 5; Jefferson, Megan 0-2 1-2 1; Simola, Camilla 0-2 1-2 1; Pryor, Hayley 0-7 1-1 1; Witt, Mariana 0-0 0-0 0; Kot, Inga 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-53 9-13 34.
UC DAVIS (EXHIBITION)
Bertsch, Morgan 5-8 4-4 14; Bessolo, Nina 5-8 2-2 13; Song, Sophia 3-8 2-2 9; Gianotti, Pele 3-7 0-0 8; Eaton, Karley 2-3 0-0 6; Eaton, Kourtney 2-5 0-0 6; Anderson, Marly 2-3 1-1 5; Hall, Cierra 2-3 0-0 4; Nafekh, Dani 2-2 0-0 4; Gibb, Emma 2-2 0-0 4; Nagel, Rachel 0-4 3-4 3; Stobbart, Sage 0-4 1-2 1; Hsu, Kaitlyn 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-59 13-15 77.
Academy of Art................ 4 5 14 11 - 34
UC Davis...................... 20 21 22 14 - 77
3-point goals--Academy of Art 3-17 (Joseph, Karleigh 1-2; Orts, Helena 1-4; Medina, Ines 1-4; Simola, Camilla 0-1; Pryor, Hayley 0-2; Brewster, Jazzlyn 0-4), UC Davis 8-23 (Eaton, Karley 2-3; Gianotti, Pele 2-4; Eaton, Kourtney 2-4; Bessolo, Nina 1-3; Song, Sophia 1-5; Nagel, Rachel 0-3; Hsu, Kaitlyn 0-1). Fouled out--Academy of Art-None, UC Davis-None. Rebounds--Academy of Art 26 (Orts, Helena 6), UC Davis 46 (Gianotti, Pele 11). Assists--Academy of Art 4 (Jefferson, Megan 1; Orts, Helena 1; Witt, Mariana 1; Brewster, Jazzlyn 1), UC Davis 18 (Eaton, Kourtney 4). Total fouls--Academy of Art 19, UC Davis 21. Technical fouls--Academy of Art-None, UC Davis-None. A-273