44.3 F

Davis, California

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Mustangs edge Aggies by a nose

UC Davis played in two very different games this weekend, unfortunately coming up with the same result in both. The Aggies started the road trip by traveling down to San Luis Obispo on Thursday to face Cal Poly.

These two squads have held extremely competitive and close games in the past and their matchup on Thursday was no different.

Three pointers rained down from the sky and tough battles in the paint raged on throughout the evening, but the Mustangs came away with the win in the end by a score of 73-71.

The Aggies next traveled to UC Santa Barbara, where they took on their southern UC rivals — the Gauchos. UC Davis entered the contest with the same preparedness and confidence as any night; however, the buckets just wouldn’t fall.

The Gauchos came out aggressive, taking advantage of a well-traveled and exhausted Aggie team. UCSB took the lead early and never gave it back in a match that featured zero lead changes in favor of the Gauchos.

“The effort is there,” said head coach Jennifer Gross. “The consistency needs improvement.”

The Aggies certainly have proven to be more than proficient on both sides of the court; however, putting everything together on a consistent basis will be the next piece of the puzzle for this young team.

Thursday—Cal Poly 73, UC Davis 71

Senior guard Cortney French nailed six treys and topped her career high with 26 points on the night, but it wasn’t enough as UC Davis dropped another close game to Cal Poly.

The first half was as streaky as they come, as each team fought to match their opponent’s offensive outbursts. After trading buckets for the first few minutes of the half, the Aggies found their stride, going on a 12-2 run and taking the lead 14-8.

However, the lead was short-lived and only two minutes later, the Mustangs responded with a 13-0 run of their own, reclaiming the lead 25-16.

Sophomore forward Sydnee Fipps ended the run with a three-point play of her own, but the damage had been done as the Mustangs took a 43-32 lead into halftime.

“Thursday was one of the better offensive games that we’ve had all year,” Gross said. “We executed well and hit big shots, but defensively and on the boards we made some mistakes and we felt that we needed to be better.”

The Aggies made several attempts in the second half to climb within striking distance and regain the lead. French knocked down four buckets beyond the arc in a row at one point in an Aggie run that brought them to within two of the Mustang’s lead.

However, Cal Poly seemed to have an answer for every shot the Aggies took at them and two points was enough to put the game away for good.
Saturday—UC Santa Barbara 58, UC Davis 43

Sometimes in basketball, no matter how hard you try, no matter how many good shots you attempt, the ball just can’t seem to find its way into the hoop.

The Aggies unfortunately caught a bit of this basketball bug as they arrived in Santa Barbara and their offensive numbers suffered.

The Gauchos struck first and never gave up the lead, trading baskets early on before pulling away with a 15-point lead at halftime.

“We came out with a lot of great defensive intensity and urgency and played really well on that side, but we struggled to score,” Gross said. “I feel strongly that we’re doing some good things and when we put it together on both offense and defense we are going to be very tough to stop.”

Freshman forward Alyson Doherty dropped a career-high nine points on the night while leading the team with six rebounds.

“Right now our focus has to be on constant improvement, staying positive and focused,” Gross said. “Because although we came up a little bit short, we’re not far off.”

PK HATTIS can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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