Defense helps Aggies stay with No. 17 Oregon State

Dec. 20, 2017

Final Stats

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Junior Morgan Bertsch finished with a game-high 20 points and the Aggies' defense held host and No. 17-ranked Oregon State to its lowest point total and shooting percentage of the season in a 61-47 defeat on Wednesday night at Gill Coliseum.

UC Davis, which committed a season-low six turnovers on the night, fell to 9-2 overall with the loss, limiting the Beavers to just 36 percent from the field and 29 percent from beyond the arc. Oregon State entered the night leading the NCAA with a .535 field goal percentage while averaging 84.3 ppg.

Oregon State, which received 14 points from Mikayla Pivec and a 12-point, 12-rebound, double-double from Marie Gulich, won its sixth straight, improving to 9-2 overall, holding the Aggies to just 24 percent shooting overall.

Bertsch, a biomedical engineering major from Santa Rosa, Calif., added four rebounds and three blocks in 34 minutes to finish as the only Aggie in double figures. She reached double figures for the 11th time in 11 games and the 61st time in her career, while collecting her eighth 20-point performance this season and the 27th of her career -- just five back of the school career record. The three blocks also gave her 111 for her career, moving her into fourth on the all-time list.

Senior psychology major Rachel Nagel finished with seven points, while senior political science major Pele Gianotti did a little bit of everything, adding six points, a team-high nine rebounds, five assists, and two steals, before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Gianotti's nine rebounds marked the third time in the last four games that she has reached that mark.

After a first half that saw four ties and a pair of lead changes, the Aggies led by two twice thanks to an early three-pointer by Bertsch and, later, a jumper by Dani Nafekh that put UC Davis ahead, 7-5, just two-and-a-half minutes in. A 6-0 run by the Beavers gave them their largest lead of the game to that point, but a three by Nagel reeled them back in and Oregon State led by just three after one.

A jumper by Bertsch following back-to-back turnovers by the Beavers made it a one-point game, and three's from Gianotti and Bertsch tied the game at 19 and 22, respectively -- the latter coming with 5:41 remaining in the second. Oregon State twice built six-point leads in the period, but the Aggies hung in, trailing by just four, 34-30, at the break.

The two teams traded baskets to open the decisive third quarter before the Beavers caught fire, scoring 11 of the next 13 points -- and outscored UC Davis, 16-6, in the period -- to build a 14-point advantage.

It was then the Aggies' turn to dig in as the defense stepped up to the challenge. UC Davis held Oregon State scoreless for the first 3:38 of the period to keep the Beavers close. However, the Aggies couldn't get the shots to fall and could only trade baskets the rest of the way, coming no closer than 11.

The six turnovers Wednesday night were the fewest by a UC Davis squad since the Aggies turned it over six times against CSUN on Jan. 14 of last year. Meanwhile, the defense forced Oregon State into 18 turnovers, converting those into 13 points for the good.

UC Davis takes a few days off for the holidays before making the cross country trek to compete in the two-day Fordham Holiday Classic in The Bronx, N.Y. The Aggies open against Yale on Thursday (Dec. 28) at 12:30 p.m. PT, before facing either the host Rams or Hartford on Friday (Dec. 29) at a time to be determined.


UC DAVIS (9-2)
Bertsch, Morgan 8-28 2-2 20; Nagel, Rachel 2-14 2-2 7; Gianotti, Pele 2-8 1-2 6; Bessolo, Nina 1-3 2-2 5; Nafekh, Dani 1-6 2-2 4; Eaton, Kourtney 1-2 0-0 2; Anderson, Marly 1-3 0-0 2; Hall, Cierra 0-1 1-2 1; Song, Sophia 0-0 0-0 0; Eaton, Karley 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-67 10-12 47.

Pivec, Mikayla 5-12 4-4 14; Gulich, Marie 5-13 2-2 12; Corosdale, Taya 4-7 2-2 12; Tudor, Kat 1-4 3-3 6; Kalmer, Taylor 2-6 0-1 5; Grymek, Joanna 2-2 0-0 4; Goodman, Aleah 1-10 1-2 4; Washington, Madison 0-2 2-2 2; McWilliams, Katie 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 21-58 14-16 61.

UC Davis......................   12   18    6   11  -   47
Oregon State..................   15   19   16   11  -   61

3-point goals--UC Davis 5-24 (Bertsch, Morgan 2-3; Bessolo, Nina 1-2; Gianotti, Pele 1-4; Nagel, Rachel 1-8; Hall, Cierra 0-1; Eaton, Karley 0-1; Anderson, Marly 0-2; Eaton, Kourtney 0-1; Nafekh, Dani 0-2), Oregon State 5-17 (Corosdale, Taya 2-4; Kalmer, Taylor 1-3; Goodman, Aleah 1-5; Tudor, Kat 1-3; Pivec, Mikayla 0-2). Fouled out--UC Davis-Gianotti, Pele, Oregon State-None. Rebounds--UC Davis 35 (Gianotti, Pele 9), Oregon State 57 (Gulich, Marie 12). Assists--UC Davis 10 (Gianotti, Pele 5), Oregon State 11 (Gulich, Marie 4). Total fouls--UC Davis 13, Oregon State 11. Technical fouls--UC Davis-None, Oregon State-None. A-3474

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.

Season and single-game tickets for UC Davis men's and women's basketball are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at