STOCKTON, Calif. -- UC Davis sophomore Morgan Bertsch finished with a team-high 21 points to lead four teammates in double figures, while the Aggies caught fire from the floor in the second half, shooting 62 percent from the field after the break en route to a, 95-87, victory over host Pacific on Monday night at the Spanos Center in Stockton, Calif.
The Aggies remained unbeaten on the year, moving to 3-0 to start the season, while improving on the program's best start since the 2011-12 season when that team opened 5-0. The Tigers, who entered Monday night having won five of the last six meetings with UC Davis, fell to 2-2 overall, suffering their first loss at home to the Aggies since 2012 when both were members of the Big West Conference.
On a night when UC Davis finished shooting just over 54 percent from the field for the game, Bertsch scored 14 of her 21 points in the second half, hitting on 7-of-11 from the floor and 7-of-10 from the line en route to her team-high total in just 24 minutes of action due to foul trouble, adding a team-high six rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.
Junior Rachel Nagel, who was one of four Aggies to finish with 16 points on the night, added a 6-of-12 shooting night from the field on her way to a season-high, while junior Marly Anderson hit on 7-of-12 from the field for 16 points off the bench en route to her best scoring night in a UC Davis uniform.
Joining them in double figures was junior Dani Nafekh, who set a season high with 16 points to go with seven assists, while classmate Pele Gianotti added 16 points, three rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals, while hitting 6-of-9 from the floor -- four of those makes from beyond the arc.
After trailing by as many as 11 points late in the second quarter, the Aggies rallied with a 6-0 run to close out the first half, then opened the third quarter by scoring the first seven points of the period -- five of those from Nagel -- forcing a Pacific timeout and regaining a two-point, 46-44, advantage just two minutes in.
UC Davis never trailed from that point on, using a 13-6 burst to build a 10-point lead in the final minute -- its largest of the game -- and hitting 8-of-10 from the line down the stretch en route to the win. The Aggies hit 25-of-30 (.833) from the stripe on the night and forced the Tigers into 23 turnovers, turning those miscues into 30 points.
The 25 makes from the line were the most for UC Davis since the Aggies sank the same number (in 28 attempts) at CSUN on Feb. 6, 2014.
Pacific opened the game on fire, shooting 63 percent from the field in the first quarter and leading by as many as nine points on two occasions, but a three-pointer by Nafekh keyed a 9-0 run that rolled over into the first three minutes of the second period to tie the game at 26-all. The run grew to as large as 14-2 in the Aggies favor, as a pair of free throws by Kourtney Eaton, and another three by Nafekh, gave UC Davis its largest lead to that point at, 31-28, with 6:16 remaining in the half.
The Tigers, who shot 53 percent for the game themselves, responded in a big way, exploding for a 13-0 run to regain the lead -- eight of those by Chelsea Lidy, who finished with a game-high 23 points -- and Pacific built a 10-point advantage at, 41-31, three minutes later. The Tigers led by as many as 11 with just under three minutes to play before the Aggies began to chip away once again, closing the gap to just five at the break and setting the stage for their second-half rally.
Lidy hit 8-of-12 from the field to lead Pacific, pacing teammates Najah Queenland (17) and Ameela Li (11) in double figures. The Tigers also held a 30-26 advantage on the glass, led by five boards from Desire Finnie.
A busy week for the Aggies continues on Wednesday (Nov. 23) at 7 p.m., as UC Davis plays host to Montana State at The Pavilion prior to the Thanksgiving holiday break, then welcomes Hofstra to Northern California on Sunday (Nov. 27) at 1 p.m.
UC DAVIS 95, PACIFIC 87
UC DAVIS (3-0)
Bertsch, Morgan 7-11 7-10 21; Nafekh, Dani 4-6 6-6 16; Gianotti, Pele 6-9 0-0 16; Anderson, Marly 7-12 2-2 16; Nagel, Rachel 6-12 2-4 16; Eaton, Kourtney 0-4 6-6 6; Beyer, Lauren 1-1 2-2 4; Song, Sophia 0-1 0-0 0; Bessolo, Nina 0-1 0-0 0; Eaton, Karley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-57 25-30 95.
LIDY, Chelsea 8-12 6-6 23; QUEENLAND, Najah 4-5 7-8 17; LI, Ameela 3-10 2-2 11; FINNIE, Desire 4-7 0-0 8; SIMONS, Emily 3-4 0-0 7; LOPEZ SAGRERA, Eli 3-5 0-0 6; BLAKESLEE, Jessica 2-5 0-0 5; CLAYTON, Mauriana 2-2 0-0 4; OWENS, Callie 1-4 2-2 4; COLEMAN, Unique 1-3 0-0 2; KING, Tylah 0-1 0-0 0; GRANT, Jenelle 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-58 17-18 87.
UC Davis...................... 20 19 26 30 - 95
PACIFIC....................... 26 18 19 24 - 87
3-point goals--UC Davis 8-20 (Gianotti, Pele 4-7; Nagel, Rachel 2-5; Nafekh, Dani 2-4; Bessolo, Nina 0-1; Eaton, Kourtney 0-3), PACIFIC 8-19 (LI, Ameela 3-6; QUEENLAND, Najah 2-2; LIDY, Chelsea 1-1; SIMONS, Emily 1-1; BLAKESLEE, Jessica 1-3; COLEMAN, Unique 0-1; KING, Tylah 0-1; OWENS, Callie 0-2; FINNIE, Desire 0-2). Fouled out--UC Davis-None, PACIFIC-None. Rebounds-UC
Davis 26 (Bertsch, Morgan 6), PACIFIC 30 (FINNIE, Desire 5). Assists--UC Davis 20 (Nafekh, Dani 7), PACIFIC 18 (QUEENLAND, Najah 5). Total fouls--UC Davis 17, PACIFIC 23. Technical fouls--UC Davis-None, PACIFIC-None. A-411