In a week that consisted of two double-header games with the men, the women’s basketball program split against two teams from southern California.
UC Davis started the week with a frustrating performance against UC Irvine , but bounced back to take down UC Riverside on Saturday, 67-46.
“In any single game there are things you’re going to do well and there are things you’re going to improve on, and there were stretches … where we played some of the best basketball we’ve played,” said Head Coach Jennifer Gross. “Our goals weren’t to go undefeated in conference they were to get better every single day and to continue to improve.”
With the win, UC Davis moved to a record of 15-8 this season with a 7-4 Big West Conference mark which places them in a tie for third in the league –– half a game behind second-place Cal Poly.
Thursday — UC Irvine 68, UC Davis 59
Senior Samantha Meggison’s first career double-double was the highlight for the Aggies, as they did not play as well down the stretch as they have in the past.
UC Davis built a 28-27 halftime lead on Meggison’s jumper with three seconds remaining.
The Aggies came in second frame on a tear, scoring 13 unanswered points and taking control of the game. UC Davis ultimately stretched its lead to 17 with 13:35 remaining.
From there, though, it was all UC Irvine.
The Anteaters put together a 19-3 rally that extinguished the fire that the Aggies brought into the second half.
The UC Davis lead vanished when UC Irvine pulled ahead 57-56 and then went on an 11-3 run to stun the Aggies, who had held a 15 point lead just seven minutes earlier.
“I thought we lost a bit of our defensive intensity, and this is a team I think can be one of the best defensive teams this school has ever seen and we need to recommit to that and keep improving,” Gross said. “This is a game where we need to examine the areas we can get better.”
Meggison led the Aggies with 17 points, followed by juniors Blair Shinoda and Hannah Stephens who tallied 13 apiece.
Saturday — UC Davis 67, UC Riverside 46
Though the loss to the Anteaters shattered the UC Davis’ goal of beating every team in conference at least once in the regular season, the Aggies came back strong on Saturday as they beat UC Riverside for the second time this year.
At the end of the first half, UC Davis had a 16 point advantage, thanks to 14 points off the Aggie bench.
“Our defense fuels our offense, we get going when we get defensive stops so we need to focus on getting those stops,” Shinoda said.
Shinoda was the only Aggie in double-figures with 10 points, but the Aggies spread the ball around well. Five different UC Davis players scored at least eight points.
Senior Kasey Riecks drained a three early in the first half for her only points of the day, bringing her career total to 1,029, good for 14th place on the UC Davis all time list.
The Aggie defense that has been so consistent this season truly showed its worth, as the team got 14 steals, forced 26 turnovers and posted an impressive +20 turnover margin.
MATTHEW YUEN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.