Dec. 13, 2009
DAVIS, Calif. - Kasey Riecks, Samantha Meggison and Cortney French each scored 11 points for UC Davis on Sunday afternoon as the Aggies turned back Causeway rival Sacramento State 72-64 after the Hornets rallied down the stretch in a nonconference women's basketball game at The Pavilion
The Aggies won their fourth straight game, improving to 6-3 overall. The Hornets, who had five players score in double figures, led by Charday Hunt's 14 points, dropped their third straight and are 2-7. Guard Tika Koshiyama-Diaz added 12 points for Sacramento State while Jasmine Cannady and Emily Christensen each tallied 11. Ashley Garcia pitched in with 10.
The victory avenged a 53-45 defeat to the Hornets last year while also gaining 10 points for UC Davis in the all-sports Causeway Cup race for 2009-10. The schools are tied 32.5-32.5 heading into the new year.
The Aggies played Sunday's game without leading scorer and rebounder Paige Mintun who missed the game with a foot injury. Senior post Ashley Curry was also sidelined with illness. They were also playing after an eight-day layoff for final exams. Head coach Sandy Simpson said the first game each year after finals has always been a concern but he was pleased with Sunday's game.
"I thought the game was one of our better efforts (historically) coming out of finals," he said. "I thought we responded well at the start of the game."
UC Davis led the entire way on Hamilton Court, opening a 9-0 lead less the four minutes into the game thanks to four points from Riecks and a three-point play from Lisa Peterson. Sacramento State whittled the deficit to just three points on two occasions before a three-pointer from Riecks and a layup from Samantha Meggison helped push the advantage to 24-12 with 7 minutes, 3 seconds left before half.
The Aggies led 32-24 at halftime after neither team shot the ball particularly well. Sacramento State made 28.6 percent while the Aggies were at 32.4. Guard Hana Asano helped lead the defense, picking up five steals before intermission.
UC Davis maintained a relatively comfortable margin during the second half, keeping it at least 10 points for nearly six minutes midway. A three-pointer from French - she made her first three tries from beyond the arc - gave the Aggies their biggest lead, 48-32 with 12:29 to play.
Trailing 64-50 with 2:42 to go, Sacramento State rallied with a strong finish. Garcia had a pair of three-pointers while Christensen and Koshiyama-Diaz each had one down the stretch for the Hornets which got to within 68-64 with 29 seconds left. However, UC Davis went 4 for 4 from the line the rest of the way while the Hornets had a turnover.
Simpson said responding to the Hornets' rally will help UC Davis in similar situations the rest of the way.
"That's where a game like tonight will help us for league" said Simpson. "You never want to see things in league that you haven't seen before."
Donaghe had four assists for the Aggies while Vicky Deely had a pair of blocks. Lauren Juric - who started for Mintun - had a team-high seven rebounds. Erika Edwards finished with nine rebounds for Sacramento State while Koshiyama-Diaz had eight assists.
UC Davis will return to the road for a two-game roadtrip to the east coast. The Aggies will play at Yale on Saturday before facing Seton Hall on Dec. 21.