Dec. 2, 2003
DAVIS, Calif. - Marissa White connected for a three-point basket with no time left giving the Wildcats their only lead of the game as No.25 Chico State rallied from seven points down in the final minute to defeat UC Davis, 87-86, in the California Collegiate Athletic Association women's basketball opener for both teams in front of 987 Tuesday night at Recreation Hall.
With the loss the Aggies fall to 2-1 on the season while Chico State, ranked as high as No.7 in some national polls, remains unbeaten at 3-0.
UC Davis went up seven with one minute left after two Kim Omer free throws. After two three-pointers from the Wildcats sandwiched around another Omer free throw the lead was cut to one with :39 seconds remaining. With :11 to play and trailing by one, Chico got the stop it needed, forcing Jennifer Decuir into an off-balanced shot. On the rebound, Kim Abts was called for travelling as she avoided running into Decuir in the backcourt, giving UC Davis the ball with :08 left.
On the inbound play Omer was fouled and made one of two free throws, making it a two-point game. Chico called a timeout with :04.6 seconds left to set up White for the final play. The senior guard came off a screen and nailed the shot from beyond the arc, capping a furious comeback that saw her score 14 second-half points.
The win by the Wildcats overshadowed a tremendous effort from Aggie freshman post Ellen Porshneva, who finished the night with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, her second-straight double-double.
After trailing by 11 entering the second half, the Wildcats got back into the game thanks to their three-point shooting and the play of White. She made three straight from beyond the arc in the opening two minutes of the half as Chico cut the halftime deficit to one with 15 minutes left in the contest.
The Aggies withstood the Wildcats' frantic pace in the opening minutes of the second half as the game settled into an even tempo midway through the period. After the Chico push, the Aggies responded with a 9-1 run that was highlighted by a Kim Omer three and subsequent steal and layup by Jackie Turpin, giving UC Davis an eight-point lead with just under 10 minutes remaining.
"I thought we played a great game," said UC Davis head coach Sandy Simpson. "Give Chico credit, they made some great plays in order to pull it out, our hats are off to them. They did a beautiful job of setting up the final shot. We had to be aware of both the two and three, but we wanted to take the game right there and not go into overtime."
Asked how his team might responded after a tough loss, Simpson left no doubt that despite their youth, his team will learn from this game.
"They are going to come back to practice determined," he said. "They will want to shore up some area's before Saturday's game. This team will always battle."
The game began with the teams trading baskets over the opening two minutes. Porshneva scored the first basket of the game and the Aggie would not lose the lead until the final shot. With UC Davis leading 10-9 at the 15 minute mark, the Aggies went on a 13-3 run over the next five minutes to boost the lead to 25-12. Five different Aggies scored in the stretch as UC Davis continued to score both inside and out.
The lead grew to 14 just before the half following a Decuir jumper before White closed out the first half scoring with a three-pointer. The Aggies entered halftime with a 44-33 lead on the strength of Porshneva's 15 points and nine rebounds.
In addition to Porshneva's big night, four other Aggies finished in double figures. Decuir scored a season-best 20 points while leading the Aggies with seven assists. Jessica Campbell rebounded from a slow first half to finish with 16 points and six rebounds, and Omer had her third-straight double-digit night with 19 points and three assists. For the third time in as many games the Aggies shot 50 percent from the field, connecting on 33 of 66 attempts.
Chico was paced by Alex Jackson's 20 points and seven boards while White finished with 19 points on the night, hitting 5 of 9 from three-point land. Michelle Pietka added 15 and Abts posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 10 assists.
UC Davis will next be in action on Saturday when it travels to San Luis Obispo for a non-conference contest against Cal Poly. Gametime is set for 2 p.m.