Nov. 8, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. -- UC Davis junior Kelsey Harris finished with a team-high 14 points in her debut to lead a balanced scoring attack, but two big three pointers down the stretch broke open a tie game as visiting USC escaped The Pavilion with a, 64-55, win on Friday night in front of 1,702 fans.
"I was really pleased with our defensive effort," Head Coach Jennifer Gross said. "That's a talented team we played tonight. They have weapons at every position and I thought we played a really solid defensive game."
Sophomore Molly Greubel also finished in double figures with 10 points for the Aggies (0-1 overall), who chipped away and rallied from as many as five points down in the second half to tie the game at 53-53 on a free throw by Celia Marfone with 3:16 remaining.
USC's Ariya Crook, who finished with a game-high 24 points, then hit the first of two key three-pointers, the first to break the tie and the second coming just 35 seconds later as part of a game-ending 8-0 run for the Women of Troy (1-0) that put it out of reach.
Harris also added a team-high seven rebounds and made 6-of-6 from the line in 28 minutes, helping UC Davis shoot 21-for-28 (.750) from the stripe overall for the game. Junior Sydnee Fipps, who ranked second in the Big West Conference in scoring last season, finished with eight points and six rebounds on the night -- all but one rebound coming in the second half.
Brianna Barrett also finished in double figures for USC with 11 points to go with a game-high nine rebounds off the bench.
After the Aggies sank the first basket of the game, an 15-4 run by the Women of Troy gave them their largest lead of the contest at 15-6 with 12:02 to play in the opening period. A basket inside by Greubel answered the run, as UC Davis responded with a 10-0 burst over its own over the next three minutes to regain the lead at 16-15 -- seven of those points coming off the hot hand of Harris, who sank a three and added four free throws.
Trailing by five, back-to-back buckets by Alyson Doherty brought the Aggies back to within a point with 5:20 to play, but five straight points by Crook built USC's lead back up to six and the Women of Troy carried a, 32-28, advantage into the locker room at the break.
Doherty scored again out of the locker room to tip-off the second half as part of a 9-2 run that gave UC Davis its largest lead of the game, 37-34, with 14:58 to play, and the Aggies would later lead by two at 40-38 only to have USC respond with a 9-2 burst to build a five-point advantage heading down the stretch.
UC Davis shot just 33 percent from the floor and hit just 4-of-19 from three-point range for the game while the Women of Troy hit on 41 percent from the floor and used their height advantage to out-rebound the Aggies, 39-31.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed that we didn't get the win, but I'm really excited about where we're at right now and how much room there is for us to grow," Gross said. "Although we have the majority of our team back from last year, we're still a young team. I don't think we've been in too many close games with this group and, the fact that it was right down to the wire, this is just going to help us grow."
The first road contest of the season awaits UC Davis on Monday (Nov. 11) at 7 p.m., as the Aggies make the short jaunt to Stockton, Calif., to take on former Big West Conference rival Pacific at the Spanos Center.
NCAA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
USC 64, UC DAVIS 55
Crook, Ariya 9-16 2-5 24; Barrett, Brianna 3-7 5-8 11; Alofaituli, Kiki 4-6 0-0 8; Vaioletama, Alexyz 3-6 0-0 6; Harberts, Cassie 0-8 3-6 3; Gibbs, Destinie 1-1 1-2 3; Jaco, Courtney 1-3 0-0 3; Oliver, Kate 1-2 0-0 2; Edelman, Drew 0-0 2-2 2; Adams, Jordan 1-6 0-0 2; Bradley, Desiree 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-56 13-23 64.
UC DAVIS (0-1)
Harris, Kelsey 3-8 6-6 14; Greubel, Molly 2-4 5-6 10; Doherty, Alyson 3-7 3-4 9; Fipps, Sydnee 3-14 2-2 8; Oryon, Idit 2-5 2-2 7; Marfone, Celia 1-4 2-4 4; Salvatore, Brianna 1-1 1-2 3; Beyer, Lauren 0-0 0-0 0; Johnson, Heidi 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 15-45 21-28 55.
USC........................... 32 32 - 64
UC Davis................... 28 27 - 55
3-point goals--USC 5-15 (Crook, Ariya 4-7; Jaco, Courtney 1-3; Vaioletama, Alexyz 0-1; Oliver, Kate 0-1; Adams, Jordan 0-2; Bradley, Desiree 0-1), UC Davis 4-19 (Harris, Kelsey 2-7; Oryon, Idit 1-2; Greubel, Molly 1-2; Johnson, Heidi 0-1; Fipps, Sydnee 0-6; Doherty, Alyson 0-1).
Fouled out--USC-Vaioletama, Alexyz, UC Davis-None.
Rebounds--USC 39 (Barrett, Brianna 9), UC Davis 31 (Harris, Kelsey 7).
Assists--USC 11 (Adams, Jordan 3; Barrett, Brianna 3), UC Davis 11 (Fipps, Sydnee 3).
Total fouls--USC 23, UC Davis 20.
Technical fouls--USC-Vaioletama, Alexyz, UC Davis-None.