DAVIS, Calif. -- Junior Morgan Bertsch became the 18th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points, tying her career high with 27 points to help lead UC Davis to a, 69-64, victory over visiting Pepperdine on Sunday afternoon at The Pavilion.
The win pushed the Aggies to 2-0 overall on the season -- the second straight year with an unblemished opening-weekend record -- while shooting better than 49 percent from the field for the game. The Waves fell to 1-1 overall, held to just 29.9 percent shooting from the floor for the contest, but hit 21-of-29 from the line and outrebounded UC Davis, 45-37, to stay within striking distance.
"We had to grind this one out," Head Coach Jennifer Gross said. "We're going to have to find different ways to win this year. Credit to Pepperdine, they made a lot of plays throughout this game and every time I thought we were going to put this game away, they had an answer.
"I was proud of our team for finding ways to make a play when we needed to, and it came from different people at different times. I think it just shows how versatile we are. We have a lot of different players that can score when we need them to."
Bertsch became only the fourth junior to reach the 1,000-point milestone, joining all-time leading scorer Carol Rische, the program's second-leading scorer Sydnee Fipps, and the No. 8 all-time scorer Ellen Porshneva. The biomedical engineering major from Santa Rosa, Calif., became the first Aggie to reach 1,000 career points since Alyson Doherty did so in the 2015-16 season.
The milestone came on a basket inside with 1:45 remaining in the third quarter and via a program Division I record and career-high 13 makes from the field overall, hitting 13-of-18 for the game and scoring 21 of her 27 points after the break. Bertsch broke Jessica Campbell's Division I single-game mark of 12 against Saint Mary's on Dec. 17, 2007, and fell just three shy of the all-time record of 16 established by Aimee Conner at Cal Poly on Jan. 2, 1993.
"I think it was always in the back of my mind but, to me, it doesn't really matter as long as we get that team win," Bertsch said. "For me, it's an awesome accomplishment and I should step back and say it's a cool achievement and I am proud of myself for that. However, I know this is going to be a historic season and without those wins, we're not going to be able to accomplish the goals we've set for ourselves."
Senior Rachel Nagel, a psychology major from La Palma, Calif., added 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting as the only other Aggie in double figures. Senior political science major Pele Gianotti added nine points, a team-high seven rebounds, and four assists, while junior psychology major Kourtney Eaton chipped in a season-high tying six assists.
Four Waves finished in double figures, led by Yasmine Robinson-Bacote's 17 points and eight rebounds. Peyton Langston (12), Rose Pflug (10), and Monique Andriuolo (10), also finished in double figures.
UC Davis never trailed in the contest, opening the game on a 10-0 run to force a Pepperdine timeout, but the Waves never wilted, closing the first quarter on an 8-0 run to make it a three-point game at the end of the period.
Pepperdine stayed within single digits for most of the contest, including drawing to within three points with just under three minutes to go in the third, before another 8-0 burst by the Aggies from the end of the third to the start of the fourth quarter put them back up by 11 early in the final stanza. However, the Waves kept crashing, pulling back to within six on numerous occasions before UC Davis finally put the game away.
"In the first half, I think we were just a little impatient and taking shots we don't normally take," Gross said. "We were rushing shots, our spacing wasn't great, but I feel like we cleaned a lot of it up in the second half."
The 27 points matched Bertsch's output at San Francisco on Dec. 21 of last season and an identical scoring performance at UC Santa Barbara later that year on Feb. 4, helping UC Davis out-score Pepperdine, 40-28, in the paint for the game.
"For me personally, things got started a little slow," Bertsch said. "We talked about it at halftime, we knew we had an advantage in the post so credit to our guards, they just kept pounding it inside."
The Aggies wrap-up their season-opening home stand on Friday (Nov. 17) against Portland State. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at The Pavilion.
UC DAVIS 69, PEPPERDINE 64
ROBINSON-BACOTE, Yas 5-17 7-9 17; LANGSTON, Peyton 3-11 6-10 12; ANDRIUOLO, Monique 3-4 4-4 10; PFLUG, Rose 4-9 0-0 10; SITANGGAN, Barbara 1-8 2-2 4; DUREN, Hayley 1-1 2-4 4; BORDONARO, Sydney 1-3 0-0 3; FECSKE, Paige 1-8 0-0 2; HOUSE, Megan 1-1 0-0 2; SATIE, Mia 0-2 0-0 0; CARTER, Tylinn 0-2 0-0 0; SLEEZER, Keyari 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-67 21-29 64.
UC DAVIS (2-0)
Bertsch, Morgan 13-18 1-3 27; Nagel, Rachel 5-8 3-4 14; Gianotti, Pele 3-5 2-2 9; Bessolo, Nina 3-4 1-2 9; Anderson, Marly 1-5 2-2 4; Nafekh, Dani 1-3 0-0 3; Hall, Cierra 1-5 1-4 3; Song, Sophia 0-0 0-0 0; Eaton, Karley 0-2 0-0 0; Eaton, Kourtney 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 27-55 10-17 69.
Pepperdine.................... 12 11 19 22 - 64
UC Davis...................... 15 13 23 18 - 69
3-point goals--Pepperdine 3-15 (PFLUG, Rose 2-4; BORDONARO, Sydney 1-2; SITANGGAN, Barbara 0-1; FECSKE, Paige 0-5; LANGSTON, Peyton 0-2; ROBINSON-BACOTE, Yas 0-1), UC Davis 5-16 (Bessolo, Nina 2-2; Nagel, Rachel 1-4; Gianotti, Pele 1-2; Nafekh, Dani 1-3; Eaton, Kourtney 0-3; Hall, Cierra 0-2). Fouled out--Pepperdine-None, UC Davis-None. Rebounds-Pepperdine 45 (ROBINSON-BACOTE, Yas 8), UC Davis 37 (Gianotti, Pele 7). Assists--Pepperdine 9 (SITANGGAN, Barbara 3), UC Davis 15 (Eaton, Kourtney 6). Total fouls--Pepperdine 19, UC Davis 23. Technical fouls--Pepperdine-None, UC Davis-None. A-482