DAVIS, Calif. -- Three players finished in double figures and the UC Davis defense held visiting San Francisco to just 29 percent shooting from the floor on the night, leading the Aggies to their eighth consecutive victory to start the season thanks to a convincing, 72-55, victory over the Dons on Wednesday night at The Pavilion.
One of 15 remaining unbeaten teams in the nation to start the week, UC Davis' 8-0 start is the longest by a Big West Conference school since Hawai'i opened with 11 consecutive victories in 1991-92 and is believed to be the longest in the program's recorded history since the 1971-72 squad opened with 12 consecutive wins en route to a 14-3 record.
San Francisco, which received 10 points apiece from Moa Lundqvist and Veronica Preciado, fell to 3-5 with the loss.
Junior biomedical engineering major Morgan Bertsch finished with a game-high 14 points on 6-of-8 from the field, adding six rebounds while climbing past Colleen Turnbull and trailing Lisa Jo Kellogg by a single point for No. 11 on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,142 points. She stands just three back of Kari Sivesind to move into the top 10, then sets her sights on her head coach, Jennifer Gross, who stands ninth with 1,243 points.
Senior political science major Pele Gianotti narrowly missed out on her second double-double of the year with 13 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, while freshman Cierra Hall scored a career-high 11 points to go with four rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench. Both Kourtney Eaton and Karley Eaton finished with six assists apiece as the Aggies finished with 22 assists on 29 makes for the contest.
Two big first half runs by UC Davis put San Francisco away early as the Aggies built a, 40-23, lead at the break. Leading by just one point two minutes into the contest, it was a 13-2 burst that gave UC Davis its largest lead of the contest (12 points) with 3:24 remaining in the first quarter.
The Dons answered with seven straight points to make it a five-point game with less than a minute to play, but a lay-up and back-to-back free throws by Bertsch pushed the lead back to nine at the end of one.
Back-to-back buckets to start the second whittled the deficit back to five for USF in the opening minute of the second quarter, and it was a seven-point lead for the Aggies with just over seven minutes remaining in the half before UC Davis began to pull away for good. A three-pointer by Gianotti keyed a 14-4 run to end the period for a 17-point advantage -- the eighth time in eight contests that they have led at the break this season.
San Francisco never got closer than 15 the rest of the way as the Aggies led by as many as 24 with 5:32 remaining in the game.
UC Davis, ranked eighth in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll, faces a huge road test on Saturday (Dec. 9) in Moraga, Calif., taking on Saint Mary's -- which is ranked No. 12 in that same poll -- at 1 p.m.
UC DAVIS 72, SAN FRANCISCO 55
SAN FRANCISCO (3-5)
LUNDQVIST, Moa 4-8 2-5 10; PRECIADO, Veronica 4-10 2-3 10; SALMI, Ninni 3-6 0-0 8; SEILUND, Anna 2-9 4-6 8; POWELL, Shannon 2-8 2-2 6; PIERCE, Anna 2-9 0-0 5; SIMON, Kalyn 1-7 2-2 4; RAKOVA, Michaela 2-12 0-0 4; BLACK, Bec 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-70 12-18 55.
UC DAVIS (8-0)
Bertsch, Morgan 6-8 2-2 14; Gianotti, Pele 5-9 2-2 13; Hall, Cierra 4-7 1-2 11; Eaton, Kourtney 3-8 0-0 8; Nafekh, Dani 3-10 0-0 8; Anderson, Marly 3-7 0-0 7; Nagel, Rachel 2-5 0-0 5; Bessolo, Nina 2-4 0-0 4; Song, Sophia 1-3 0-0 2; Hsu, Kaitlyn 0-1 0-0 0; Gibb, Emma 0-1 0-0 0; Eaton, Karley 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-65 5-6 72.
San Francisco................. 12 11 16 16 - 55
UC Davis...................... 21 19 15 17 - 72
3-point goals--San Francisco 3-17 (SALMI, Ninni 2-5; PIERCE, Anna 1-3; SEILUND, Anna 0-3; POWELL, Shannon 0-1; SIMON, Kalyn 0-1; RAKOVA, Michaela 0-3; PRECIADO, Veronica 0-1), UC Davis 9-26 (Nafekh, Dani 2-5; Eaton, Kourtney 2-7; Hall, Cierra 2-4; Nagel, Rachel 1-3; Gianotti, Pele 1-2; Anderson, Marly 1-2; Eaton, Karley 0-2; Song, Sophia 0-1). Fouled out--San Francisco-None, UC Davis-None. Rebounds--San Francisco 42 (RAKOVA, Michaela 10), UC Davis 46 (Gianotti, Pele 9). Assists--San Francisco 7 (POWELL, Shannon 2), UC Davis 22 (Eaton, Kourtney 6; Eaton, Karley 6). Total fouls--San Francisco 13, UC Davis 16. Technical fouls--San Francisco-None, UC Davis-None.