Dec. 21, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. -- Host UC Davis needed an extra five minutes, but the Aggies headed into the holiday break on a high note, getting a game-high 23 points from junior Sydnee Fipps and combining to finish 7-of-8 from the line in overtime to hold off Houston Baptist, 63-58, on Saturday afternoon at The Pavilion.
Playing in its first home contest in almost a month, UC Davis improved to 4-7 overall and posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season. The Aggies finished 22-of-26 from the line for the game to offset just 29 percent from the field overall, including six straight free throws in the final two minutes of overtime to turn the Huskies away.
"The two wins this week were gutty wins, they were tough," Head Coach Jennifer Gross said. "We had to find ways to get it done and, I thought, different players in both games stepped up and really made big plays for us."
Houston Baptist (3-7), which had just one free throw attempt the entire game, dropped its fourth-straight contest despite shooting 45 percent from the floor. Monet Neal finished with 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go with nine rebounds off the bench, leading two teammates in double figures.
Fipps added five rebounds and a pair of assists in 36 minutes for UC Davis, posting her third-consecutive 20-point scoring performance (and fifth overall this season) -- the first Aggie to do so since Jessica Campbell in 2007.
"Teams key on Sydnee every single night and it's hard, when you're getting double- and triple-teamed and, every time you put the ball on the floor, people are coming at you," Gross said. "She did a really nice job of just being patient, taking the shots that were there, but also finding teammates.
Sophomore Heidi Johnson scored 10 of her 15 points in the second half, including 8-of-10 from the line, to go with a career-high nine boards (five offensive) in the win, posting her second-consecutive double-digit scoring performance and her third overall this season.
"Heidi, for the second game in a row, stepped up huge for us," Gross said. "She got it done from the line and a lot of that was late when the pressure was on. She crashed the offensive glass hard and, I think, when you talk about missing two of your starting post players, Heidi is someone who has seized the opportunity."
UC Davis, which never trailed by more than four in the game, found itself down two late after the Huskies' Erin McGarrachan hit a jumper to put her team up with 3:11 to play. The Aggies, who went without a field goal for almost five minutes, drew even thanks to Fipps, who scored inside at the two-minute mark to tie it at 52-52.
After a miss, Neal drew a charge on Fipps (her fourth) on UC Davis' next trip down the floor with 50 seconds remaining, but the Huskies could not take advantage, giving it right back on their next possession as the Aggies could hold for the final shot with 29 seconds to play. With time running out, sophomore Molly Greubel drove to the left side, but her attempt was knocked away out of bounds with 3.6 seconds remaining as UC Davis called timeout.
Fipps then had a chance to win it in regulation, but her fall-away missed as McGarrachan corralled the rebound at the buzzer, triggering the extra period.
In overtime, Fipps scored twice and Johnson added a a free throw to get the Aggies out quickly, but Houston Baptist would not go away, getting basket inside by Neal and a jumper by Tayler Jefferson to cut the lead to just one with 2:19 to play. UC Davis then clinched it at the line, getting a pair from Johnson and 4-for-4 to close out the game by sophomore Molly Greubel, while the Huskies missed their final three shots.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Johnson and Fipps in the first period jumpstarted a 10-0 run that erased an early deficit and gave the Aggies their largest lead of the game at eight points just five minutes in. Houston Baptist, which went without a basket for more than four minutes during that stretch, then clawed back, responding with a 7-0 run of their own to get back to within a point and eventually regaining the lead on a jumper by McGarrachan with 8:29 to play.
The two teams traded leads in the final five minutes, but a final 6-0 spurt by Houston Baptist broke a 19-all tie and helped give them the advantage heading into the locker room at the break. Rachel Arthur (5) and Neal (4) provided the scoring down the stretch for the Huskies, who led, 28-26, at the half.
UC Davis returns to the court following the holiday, hosting Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State on Saturday (Dec. 28) at 2 p.m.
NOTES: Fipps needs just 143 more points to become the 16th Aggie to score 1,000 points in her career... Saturday marked UC Davis' first overtime game of the season and its first since Dec. 30, 2012 at Sacramento State (L, 66-65)... the Aggies posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season and the first since they won three-straight from Jan. 24-31 last year... UC Davis is now 3-0 in doubleheaders (not counting tournament games)... Fipps' 23 points marked the junior's 12th career 20-point game... she has led the team in scoring in eight of the team's 11 games... the Aggies won for the first time when trailing at the half this season... Johnson became the eighth different player to lead UC Davis in rebounding... Saturday marked the lowest shooting percentage in a win for the Aggies since they shot just .258 against Pacific on Feb. 2, 2008 (W, 58-54).
UC DAVIS 63, HOUSTON BAPTIST 58
HOUSTON BAPTIST (3-7) Neal, Monet 8-12 0-0 16; Arthur, Rachel 7-14 1-1 15; McGarrachan, Erin 6-13 0-0 12; Jefferson, Tayler 3-12 0-0 7; Sihvola, Heidi 2-6 0-0 4; Strickland, Anna 2-3 0-0 4; Elston, Maisie 0-2 0-0 0; Shank, Meghan 0-0 0-0 0; Bruns, Wiebke 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-62 1-1 58.
UC DAVIS (4-7) Fipps, Sydnee 8-22 5-5 23; Johnson, Heidi 3-10 8-10 15; Harris, Kelsey 2-6 2-2 8; Greubel, Molly 1-5 5-6 7; Salvatore, Brianna 2-7 1-1 6; Oryon, Idit 1-4 1-2 4; McGuire, Taylor 0-2 0-0 0; Beyer, Lauren 0-2 0-0 0; Yasukochi, Brianne 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-58 22-26 63.
Houston Baptist............... 28 24 6 - 58
UC Davis...................... 26 26 11 - 63
3-point goals--Houston Baptist 1-14 (Jefferson, Tayler 1-6; Arthur, Rachel 0-3; McGarrachan, Erin 0-1; Sihvola, Heidi 0-1; Elston, Maisie 0-2; Neal, Monet 0-1), UC Davis 7-26 (Harris, Kelsey 2-6; Fipps, Sydnee 2-7; Johnson, Heidi 1-4; Oryon, Idit 1-4; Salvatore, Brianna 1-1; McGuire, Taylor 0-2; Greubel, Molly 0-2). Fouled out--Houston Baptist-None, UC Davis-None. Rebounds--Houston Baptist 39 (Neal, Monet 9), UC Davis 37 (Johnson, Heidi 9). Assists--Houston Baptist 15 (Jefferson, Tayler 6), UC Davis 11 (Yasukochi, Brianne 3; Salvatore, Brianna 3). Total fouls--Houston Baptist 21, UC Davis 11. Technical fouls--Houston Baptist-None, UC Davis-None.