Dec. 30, 2007
DES MOINES, Iowa -
Guard Lindsay Whorton canned six three-pointers and scored 20 points to tie for team-high scoring honors with forward Jill Martin who also had 10 rebounds, as Drake pulled away in the second half to beat UC Davis 71-50 in a nonconference women's basketball game played on Sunday before 2,197 fans at the Knapp Center.
UC Davis ends the nonconference portion of its season with a 6-6 record heading into Saturday's Big West Conference opener at UC Riverside. Junior Haylee Donaghe led UC Davis with 20 points while senior Jessica Campbell scored 12. Each player added a game-best four steals.
Drake, which was playing its first game since Dec. 13, upped its record to 7-4, winning for the second straight game. The Bulldogs, which advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament, went 10 of 23 from three-point territory, led by a half-dozen from Whorton.
The Bulldogs shot just 30.3 percent from the field and went scoreless for more than seven minutes in the first half but were able to withstand the drought thanks to an early 7-0 run that gave them some separation and a 13-4 lead with 15 minutes, 33 seconds left. Drake didn't score again until Whorton's trey with 7:57 to go but it still led 16-10 after holding the Aggies to just six points for 11 minutes.
UC Davis stayed close behind 10 first-half points from Donaghe but Martin scored four points during the latter part of the half to help the Bulldogs take a 29-22 halftime lead after the Aggies climbed to 23-20.
Donaghe's three-pointer early in the second half made it 29-25 but a 7-0 run from the Bulldogs - punctuated by Whorton's fourth three-pointer - opened the Drake lead to 36-25. UC Davis got the deficit to 38-30 at the 16-minute mark but another 7-0 surge made it 45-30. The margin of victory for the Bulldogs represented their biggest lead of the game.
Despite the loss, Aggie coach Sandy Simpson saw progress from Friday night's 79-70 loss at Bradley.
"Sometimes the score doesn't tell the whole story," said Simpson. "I thought we played more focused defensively and with more intensity. I also thought we were more competitive on the boards.
"I thought we got back toward where we want to be at the beginning of Big West Conference play next week," he added. "We'll build on today's game."
UC Davis had more steals than Drake (10-6) and just 15 turnovers, down six from the 21 it had on Friday.
Drake made several tough baskets and shot 60.7 percent (10 of 23) in the second half, including making 5 of 10 from long distance. Whorton was 7 of 20 overall which included 6 of 16 from three-point. She added five rebounds and three assists. Martin picked up her double-double by going 9 of 13 from the field and 2 of 3 in three-pointers.
Donaghe posted her third 20-point game of the season, making half of her 14 shot attempts and all but one of her six free throw tries. UC Davis finished the game shooting 37.7 percent but was just 3 of 15 from three-point territory.
The Aggies were playing their fifth NCAA qualifier from last season's tournament.
UC Davis will now turn its attention to its first official Big West Conference season and the opener at the two-time defending champion Highlanders. The Aggies were picked by the league coaches to finish third in the conference, behind UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara.