SAN FRANCISCO -- Sophomore Morgan Bertsch finished with a career-high 27 points, while junior Pele Gianotti tied a career high with 12 rebounds to complete her second double-double of the season, helping lift visiting UC Davis to a big second half an a, 78-58, win over host San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon at War Memorial Gym.
Freshman Sophia Song also tied her career high with 13 points off the bench, helping UC Davis to its second straight road victory and improve to 8-3 overall on the season, snapping a three-game skid against the Dons in the process.
Led by 14 points from Rachel Howard, San Francisco fell to 6-5 overall on the season, held to just 35 percent shooting from the field for the game. Reigning West Coast Conference player of the week Anna Seilund also finished in double figures, chipping in 12 points.
Bertsch hit 10-of-15 from the field to best her previous career high of 26 points set against UC Santa Barbara in the quarterfinals of last year's Big West Conference Tournament, logging her third 20-point game of the season and 13th of her career. She also tied a career high, hitting 7-of-7 from the free throw line, while adding six rebounds, three assists, and two blocks -- the latter extending her team-best total to 23 swats on the season.
Gianotti added 11 points to her rebounding total, hitting 5-of-8 from the floor, to join her teammates in double figures, while the 12 rebounds matched her career-high output from the season-opener against Portland. UC Davis shot 48 percent from the field for the game, hitting 53 percent from the floor in the second half as the Aggies outscored USF, 47-29, and held the Dons scoreless for the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.
Leading by just two at the break, UC Davis traded baskets with its host to open the third quarter and led by one at the 7:23 mark before a Gianotti lay-up sparked a 7-0 run for an eight-point lead. The Dons came no closer than five points the rest of the way as an "and one" by Nafekh and a jumper by Bertsch closed out the third quarter, giving way to a 12-0 Aggie run to start the fourth as UC Davis went up 22 and never looked back.
A nip-and-tuck first quarter saw the lead change hands five times with the Dons holding a two-point lead after the first 10 minutes. A 9-2 run -- six of those points by Howard -- helped USF to its largest lead of the game at 15-11 with just over a minute to play in the first before a lay-up by Bertsch got the Aggies to within a pair.
The two teams traded baskets to start the second before a three-pointer by Nafekh erased a two-point Dons advantage and keyed a 10-0 burst by the Aggies that put them up eight with 4:06 to play in the period. UC Davis held a six-point lead with just over two minutes to play in the half before going cold, finishing without a point the rest of the way as back-to-back buckets by Howard brought San Francisco within a pair at the break.
UC Davis returns to action following the Christmas holiday, making a cross-country trip to Florida to take on UCF (Dec. 28) and Jacksonville (Dec. 30) in the "Sunshine State" to close out the non-conference portion of its schedule. Tip off times are scheduled for 7 and 1 p.m. (ET), respectively.
UC DAVIS 78, SAN FRANCISCO 58
UC DAVIS (8-3)
Bertsch, Morgan 10-15 7-7 27; Song, Sophia 4-7 3-4 13; Gianotti, Pele 5-8 0-0 11; Nafekh, Dani 3-10 1-1 9; Eaton, Kourtney 3-6 0-0 8; Bessolo, Nina 2-5 1-2 6; Eaton, Karley 1-1 0-0 2; Anderson, Marly 1-9 0-0 2; Hsu, Kaitlyn 0-0 0-0 0; Beyer, Lauren 0-0 0-0 0; Nagel, Rachel 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-61 12-14 78.
SAN FRANCISCO (6-5)
HOWARD, Rachel 6-12 1-1 14; SEILUND, Anna 5-18 1-1 12; SIMON, Kalyn 4-9 0-0 8; ALEXANDER, Nia 3-7 2-2 8; PIERCE, Anna 3-5 0-0 8; RAKOVA, Michaela 3-10 0-0 6; CAROTHERS, Hashima 1-4 0-0 2; DORNSTAUDER, Zayn 0-0 0-0 0; PRICE, Claudia 0-3 0-0 0; ROUFOSSE, Cierra 0-0 0-0 0; JONES, Jaylin 0-2 0-0 0; McCONNELL, Dagny 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-72 4-4 58.
UC Davis...................... 13 18 23 24 - 78
San Francisco................. 15 14 15 14 - 58
3-point goals--UC Davis 8-17 (Song, Sophia 2-3; Nafekh, Dani 2-6; Eaton, Kourtney 2-4; Bessolo, Nina 1-2; Gianotti, Pele 1-2), San Francisco 4-18 (PIERCE, Anna 2-3; SEILUND, Anna 1-7; HOWARD, Rachel 1-2; RAKOVA, Michaela 0-1; CAROTHERS, Hashima 0-1; JONES, Jaylin 0-2; ALEXANDER, Nia 0-1; SIMON, Kalyn 0-1). Fouled out--UC Davis-None, San Francisco-None. Rebounds--UC Davis 43 (Gianotti, Pele 12), San Francisco 35 (CAROTHERS, Hashima 6; HOWARD, Rachel 6). Assists--UC Davis 12 (Eaton, Kourtney 4), San Francisco 4 (RAKOVA, Michaela 2). Total fouls--UC Davis 10, San Francisco 16. Technical fouls--UC Davis-None, San Francisco-None. A-375