MORAGA, Calif. -- Junior Morgan Bertsch posted her seventh 20-point game in nine contests this season to lead a trio of Aggies in double figures, and visiting UC Davis used a suffocating defensive effort, forcing 22 turnovers and handing host Saint Mary's a, 74-50, defeat on Saturday afternoon at McKeon Pavilion.
In a battle of teams ranked among the top 15 in the nation according to the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll, the Aggies remained undefeated, improving to 9-0 on the year and winning their fourth consecutive contest on the road.
The Gaels, who entered the game averaging nearly 80 points per game this season, fell to 5-3 overall, getting a team-high 14 points from Sydney Raggio.
Bertsch, a biomedical engineering major from Santa Rosa, Calif., finished with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-14 from the field, adding three rebounds and a block in 24 minutes. Senior political science major Pele Gianotti added 11 points, four rebounds and four assists, while senior managerial economics major Dani Nafekh chipped in 10 points, to help lead a balanced scoring effort that saw nine different UC Davis players break into the scoring column.
Junior psychology major Kourtney Eaton narrowly missed out on her first career double-double as well, finishing with nine points and nine assists to go with a pair of rebounds and two steals.
Bertsch's 23 points moved her past both Lisa Jo Kellogg (1998-91) and Kari Sivesind (1992-96) on the all-time scoring list, putting the junior among the top 10 with 1,165 points. Next on the list is Head Coach Jennifer Gross, who had 1,243 career points from 1993-97.
A back-and-fourth first quarter saw the Aggies lead by a point after senior design major Marly Anderson beat the buzzer with a short hook in the lane for a 14-13 advantage. UC Davis then took a defensive stand in the second quarter, getting 10 consecutive stops and holding the Gaels scoreless for the first six-and-a-half minutes of the period.
Anderson's basket sparked a 9-0 run from the end of the first through that span in the second and, after trading baskets, Nafekh nailed a three and Kourtney Eaton added another triple in the final minute, giving UC Davis its largest lead of the contest at 29-19 heading into the locker room at halftime. The Aggies held the Gaels to just six points in the second quarter.
The third quarter saw Saint Mary's cut the deficit down to just eight points on baskets by Madeline Holland and Megan McKay with 9:01 to play, but another three-pointer by Nafekh just 20 seconds sparked a 12-0 UC Davis run over the next three minutes for a, 43-23, advantage and the Aggies ran away from there.
A basket inside by Bertsch staked her team to its largest lead of the contest, 58-31, with 8:34 to play in the fourth, and the Gaels never got closer than 22 the rest of the way.
UC Davis shot 57 percent from the field for the game, including a 70 percent clip in the second half, hitting 18-of-26 from the floor. Saint Mary's out-rebounded the Aggies, 34-27, but turned the ball over 22 times, leading to 18 UC Davis points.
The Aggies take the next week off for final exams, returning to the court at The Pavilion on Sunday (Dec. 17) as they host UCF at 4 p.m. in their final home appearance of 2017.
UC DAVIS 74, SAINT MARY'S (CA) 50
UC DAVIS (9-0)
Bertsch, Morgan 10-14 3-4 23; Gianotti, Pele 4-5 0-0 11; Nafekh, Dani 4-8 0-0 10; Eaton, Kourtney 3-4 0-0 9; Nagel, Rachel 1-5 5-6 7; Bessolo, Nina 3-5 0-0 6; Hall, Cierra 2-5 0-0 4; Eaton, Karley 1-1 0-0 2; Anderson, Marly 1-3 0-0 2; Song, Sophia 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-51 8-10 74.
SAINT MARY'S (CA) (5-3)
Raggio,Sydney 7-15 0-0 14; Holland,Madeline 6-10 0-0 13; McKay,Megan 3-8 2-5 8; Forcadilla,Jasmine 3-9 0-1 7; Beck,Stella 3-6 0-2 6; Codding,Emily 1-5 0-0 2; Akaegbu-Cleveland,Jo 0-2 0-0 0; Simonich,Brianna 0-0 0-0 0; Moe,Tyra 0-1 0-0 0; Ferguson,Claire 0-2 0-0 0; Rathbun,Katie 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-60 2-8 50.
UC Davis...................... 14 15 21 24 - 74
Saint Mary's (CA)............. 13 6 10 21 - 50
3-point goals--UC Davis 8-17 (Gianotti, Pele 3-4; Eaton, Kourtney 3-3; Nafekh, Dani 2-5; Hall, Cierra 0-1; Song, Sophia 0-1; Bessolo, Nina 0-2; Nagel, Rachel 0-1), Saint Mary's (CA) 2-15 (Forcadilla,Jasmine 1-5; Holland,Madeline 1-2; Beck,Stella 0-2; Codding,Emily 0-3; Rathbun,Katie 0-2; Raggio,Sydney 0-1). Fouled out--UC Davis-None, Saint Mary's (CA)-None. Rebounds--UC Davis 27 (Anderson, Marly 4; Bessolo, Nina 4; Gianotti, Pele 4), Saint Mary's (CA) 34 (Raggio,Sydney 8). Assists--UC Davis 21 (Eaton, Kourtney 9), Saint Mary's (CA) 9 (Forcadilla,Jasmine 4; Holland,Madeline 4). Total fouls--UC Davis 16, Saint Mary's (CA) 13. Technical fouls--UC Davis-None, Saint Mary's (CA)-TEAM. A-341
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Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.
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