BRONX, N.Y. - Senior post Morgan Bertsch scored a team-high 19 points with three blocked shots, but UC Davis saw its 17-10 first-quarter lead slip away to a 70-62 loss to the host Rams in the Fordham Holiday Classic at Rose Hill Gym Friday evening. Senior guard Rachel Nagel earned all-tournament honors for the Aggies, who slip to 10-3 for the year.
Nagel scored eight points in the contest, matching teammates Dani Nafekh and Nina Bessolo with a pair of three-pointers. Freshman Cierra Hall was the only other Aggie in double-digit offense, hitting 3-for-4 from both the field and the free-throw line to finish at 10 points. Senior wing Pele Gianotti snared seven rebounds, Nafekh led with six assists while junior Kourtney Eaton paced the UC Davis floor defense with three steals.
For Fordham, redshirt freshman Bre Cavanaugh led four players in double-figure offense with her 24 points, half of which came in the final five minutes of the contests to help the Rams pull away from a 51-51 tie. G'mrice Davis added 19 points, Lauren Holden chipped in 15, with Johanna Klug providing another 12. In fact, those four players plus true freshman Zara Jillings accounted for 190 of Fordham's 200 total player minutes.
UC Davis held a seven-point lead through the first frame, but managed just eight points in the second to fall to a 28-25 deficit by halftime. The Aggies briefly regained a 29-28 edge on buckets from Kourtney Eaton and Marly Anderson early in the third quarter, but still trailed by a 42-35 margin entering the fourth.
The two teams combined for 55 points in that final frame. UC Davis crawled back from a 44-35 deficit, ultimately tying the game at 51-all with 5:13 remaining on successive three-pointers from Bessolo, Hall and Nagel in a span of two minutes. However, Fordham answered with a 14-3 run that included a pair of Cavanaugh treys during the next 3:35 of action. The Aggies never closed the gap to fewer than eight points, despite hitting their seventh and eighth three-pointers of the game.
UC Davis finished 8-for-21 from beyond the arc for a 38.1 percent clip and shot 43.6 percent overall. However, a key stat were the boards: Fordham outrebounded its guest by a 36-28 margin, with 11 offensive grabs.
The Holiday Classic closes out the preseason slate for UC Davis, which begins Big West Conference play at UC Irvine on Thursday, January 4.
ABOUT UC DAVIS: 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.
DON'T MISS OUT!: Season and single-game tickets for all UC Davis winter sports are now on sale by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1 or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.