Dec. 21, 2004
DAVIS, Calif. - Saint Mary's converted six free throws in the final 19 seconds on Tuesday, holding off UC Davis for a 57-51 nonconference women's basketball victory after the Aggies nearly rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half at The Pavilion.
UC Davis fell to 4-8 with the loss while Saint Mary's improved to 6-5. Guard Briana Winn scored 15 points and center Triola Jackson had a game-high 14 rebounds to pace the Gaels, while guard Kimberly Smith scored 17 points and post Ellen Porshneva had 13 to lead UC Davis.
The Aggies trailed 42-28 with 13 minutes, 31 seconds to play before battling back to within 50-48 with 3:35 to go. UC Davis was still only down 51-48 with two minutes left but could not get the tying basket and was forced to foul in the final seconds. Winn made a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left while Lauren Shaughnessy hit all four of her tries inside the final 10 seconds to hold off the Aggies who got an Amy Glassman three-pointer with four ticks left to cut the lead to 55-51.
"It comes down to we missed some shots," said Aggie coach Sandy Simpson. "We played well defensively all night, well enough to win, we just missed some shots."
UC Davis trailed just 28-26 at halftime but Saint Mary's opened the half with a 14-2 run as five different Gaels scored, including three-pointers by Winn and Shaughnessy. Trailing 42-28 less than seven minutes into the second half, the Aggies gradually cut into the lead, getting to within two points at 50-48 after a three-point play by guard Jackie Turpin with 3:35 left.
UC Davis had a pair of three-point attempts down the stretch, either of which would'ved tied the game at 51-51, but both were off the mark.
"I'm very pleased with our defense," said Simpson.
"We've come a long way since the opener in November. Tonight,
Saint Mary's was our equal or better, defensively."
UC Davis enjoyed a brief lead early on but Saint Mary's scored seven straight points for a 10-7 lead. The Aggies held their last lead of the first half at 13-12 with 9:41 to go before the Gaels were able to build a pair of seven-point advantages before settling for the 28-26 halftime lead.
Saint Mary's held a 47-30 advantage on the boards but shot just 36 percent (21 of 59) from the field. UC Davis only converted 33 percent (16 of 49) of its tries. Smith made a trio of three-pointers for the Aggies while Lara Gray led the team with eight rebounds. Jackson had eight points to go with her 14 boards.
UC Davis is off until Jan.8 when it faces Cal State Fullerton at The Pavilion. The Aggies are finishing a stretch of three games in four days which were decided by a total of 16 points. UC Davis dropped games to Portland and Saint Mary's while beating 2004 NCAA qualifier Hampton on Monday.
"The last four games we've taken another step forward," said Simpson, whose team also rallied to beat UC Irvine on Dec. 11 after trailing by 21 points. "Now we are competing with a certain air of confidence and it shows. (The players) feel like they can play with these teams."
Tipoff on Jan. 8 is 7 p.m.™