The UC Davis women’s basketball team got two impressive wins this weekend. They’re not there just yet. But they’re close.
The Aggies brought their overall record up to 8-10 with wins over Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside this weekend.
On Thursday, UC Davis thrashed the Titans by a score of 88-44, then dished out an equally convincing beating of the Highlanders on Saturday.
The 61-49 win over UC Riverside completed the Aggies’ undefeated weekend, pushing them to 3-4 in the Big West Conference, propelling them from ninth place to sixth.
Thursday — UC Davis 88, Cal State Fullerton 44
Entering the weekend, the Aggies stood at an underwhelming 6-10 and 1-4 in conference. UC Davis’ struggles on the road were apparent in their 1-5 road record.
Yet the Aggies came out hot against CSU Fullerton, putting on a show that dispelled any thoughts that the Aggies belonged at the bottom of the conference standings.
The Titans entered the game 3-2 in the Big West, but couldn’t do much against the balanced Aggie offense.
A 37-22 score at the half didn’t indicate such a one-sided game, but UC Davis came out firing stronger than they had in the first period.
The Aggies’ defense held CSU Fullerton to 22 points in the second half again, but UC Davis scored 51 points to blow the game open. Their lead continued to grow as time went on, and the only limit to the Aggies’ dominating performance was the clock.
Freshman Aniya Baker came off the bench and put down 16 points while fellow freshman Alyson Doherty provided the power in the paint with 16 more points. Every player that got playing time put points on the board for UC Davis, proving to be too much for the Titans.
Saturday — UC Davis 61, UC Riverside 49
UC Davis didn’t quite repeat their performance in the following game against UC Riverside, but they did enough to earn a commanding victory.
The Aggies jumped on the board first when sophomore Sydnee Fipps scored the first of her 23 points just over a minute into the game. Once Fipps drained the first of her two free-throws to put the Aggies up 1-0, UC Davis never relinquished the lead.
Fipps has led the team in points in 11 out of the 18 games that UC Davis has played.
Senior Blair Shinoda put down just five points, but grabbed half of the team’s 14 steals. The total of seven steals was a career high for the Santa Ana native.
More impressive than their offensive performance was UC Davis’ defense, which shut down the Big West’s lead scorer, Tre’Shonti Nottingham, for the duration of the first half. The Aggies limited UC Riverside to 49 points on the game and kept them 1-11 from beyond the three-point arc.
The 61-49 victory closed out the Aggies’ first weekend road sweep of the season, and put them in a good position to turn around the season.
UC Davis will return home next week for a couple home games when it hosts Long Beach State and UC Irvine at the Pavilion.
MATTHEW YUEN can be reached at email@example.com.