Hot Shooting, Solid Defense Highlight Aggie Victory

Cortney French was named Tournament MVP after scoring in double figures against both Navy and Houston Baptist. (Wayne Tilcock)

Nov. 24, 2012

Final Stats

HOUSTON - Sydnee Fipps scored a career-high 28 points, Cortney French added 16 and the UC Davis women's basketball team never trailed in a 77-64 victory over Houston Baptist on Saturday at the Houston Baptist Husky Classic at Sharp Gym in Houston.

UC Davis picked up its second-straight victory to move to 2-2 on the year while Houston Baptist falls to 2-5.

Cortney French was named the Husky Classic Tournament MVP after averaging 19.5 points per game. She scored a career-high 23 points against Navy on Friday, her season debut, then went on to score 16 points against Houston Baptist on Saturday. She shot 8-of-17 from three-point range which helped lead UC Davis to back-to-back wins.

Additionally, French collected six rebounds and four steals against the Huskies and knocked down three from long range, all of which came in the first half.

Sydnee Fipps was named to the All-Tournament team after topping her career high for the third time this season and finishing in double digits for the fourth consecutive game. She hit 9-of-16 from the field, including four treys, and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

French also scored in double digits for the second straight game while also grabbing six rebounds and collecting four steals. She knocked down three from long range, all of which came in the first half.

Blair Shinoda had six assists to go with four steals while Molly Greubel and Celia Marfone each added seven points for the Aggies in the win. "I am so proud of how far we've come in just one week," said head coach Jennifer Gross. "We've played two really good basketball teams this weekend in Navy and Houston Baptist and we found ways to win both games. I give Houston Baptist a lot of credit. They kept battling but I thought when we needed to dig in today, we did. We got contributions again today from some different players down the stretch. Different people are stepping up when their number is called and we're gaining more confidence as a group."



UC Davis was up by as many as 17 points in the first half thanks, in large part, to a 56 percent clip from three-point range. The Aggies hit 9-of-16 from beyond the arc, including three straight during the middle of the half.

At the 9:46 mark, Greubel and Shinoda each connected on treys to put UC Davis up 26-12, then Fipps added a third straight three with 8:53 left in the half to give UC Davis a 17-point advantage.

The Huskies chipped away at the Aggie lead, however, pulling to within seven points at the 7:36 mark, but French sank another three to give UC Davis back a 32-22 lead with 6:21 left in the half. Marfone added a layup and the Aggies were up by 12.

Down the stretch, however, Houston Baptist outscored UC Davis 6-0 until Fipps made a layup off an assist from Shinoda, then turned a second Shinoda assist into a three and the Aggies took a 39-30 lead into halftime.

"We're not so focused on the wins and losses," said Gross. "The most important thing is that we are making constant improvement. We had a good week of practice which was a big factor in how we performed this weekend. If we can have another great week, I'm really excited to see where we're going to be."

A combination of forced turnovers and extra points in the paints allowed UC Davis to maintain its lead as the second half got underway. Idit Oryon scored on a layup after Shinoda found her under the basket while Fipps scored three straight buckets for the Aggies to put UC Davis up 49-32 with 15:19 left in the game.

Marfone's steal with 14 minutes left led to a layup from Doherty, then Marfone knocked down a three of her own as UC Davis kept their double-digit lead at 54-37 with 13:22 to play.

Aniya Baker gave UC Davis its largest lead of the game with her three with just over nine minutes to play. Shinoda found her wide open on the left wing and she sank the trey as the Aggies took a 61-43 lead.

Slowly, Houston Baptist continued to chip away at the UC Davis lead after Joselyn Pugh hit two free throws, then Shanice Steenholdt's steal led to a layup by Devyn Weymouth. That sparked a 12-5 run by the Huskies until Fipps was fouled with 3:30 to play and hit both free throws.

With a 71-56 lead in hand with 1:44 left in the game, Houston Baptist would pull to within nine, but would not get any closer as the Aggies hit 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the 77-64 win.

UC Davis scored 33 points off of turnovers and shot a season-high 41 percent from the field.

The Aggies return to The Pavilion for the first time since the season-opening game on Nov. 9, hosting No. 1 Stanford on Nov. 30 to start a three-game homestand.

"I'm excited for our fans to come out and see how far our team has come," said Gross. "We have a young group that's gelling and we're geting better every day. Stanford is the No. 1 team in the country and we don't often get the chance to play a team like that. Our fans will have the opportunity to see some really quality basketball. We're going to prepare hard all week and we're going to be ready to compete."

Tip off against the Cardinal is set for 7 p.m.