The Aggies had a tough two-game road trip, suffering losses to both the third- and sixth- ranked teams in the conference.
After starting out flat in the first half of the Hawai’i game, the Aggies provided a strong second half performance which unfortunately fell short. In the second game, the Aggies fought through the entire game only to be defeated by a last-second layup.
The pair of losses dropped the Aggies to 10-14 overall and 5-8 in conference.
Thursday — Hawai’i 59, UC Davis 48
The Aggies put forth a solid second half effort against Hawai’i, but ultimately fell short.
They outscored Hawai’i by 9 points in the second half, led by sophomore Sydnee Fipps, who scored ten of her 18 points in the second half. Fipps also contributed four rebounds and an assist.
Hawai’i’s stringent first-half defense proved too much for the Aggies. The Aggies shot 22 percent from the field in the first half, with Fipps being the only player who shot above 30 percent from the field. Thus, they went into the halftime down, 34-14.
In the second half however, the Aggies came to life, shooting an impressive 43 percent from the field. This effort was spearheaded by both Fipps and freshman Alyson Doherty. Doherty shot lights out from the field in the second half, shooting an impressive 80 percent from the field.
The Lake Forest, Calif. native added 11 points in the second half, mainly from down low. This excellent shooting display along with Fipps’ 10 second-half points catalyzed the Aggies’ comeback attempt.
“I was impressed with the effort in the second half,” said head coach Jennifer Gross.
The Aggies made vast improvements in the second half and as a result closed the gap between them and Hawaii.
This comeback attempt fell short, however, due to the large lead which Hawai’i had attained entering the second half. All in all, the tough start doomed any comeback ambitions which the Aggies may have entertained.
Saturday — Cal State Northridge 51, UC Davis 49
The Aggies played a strong game but ultimately fell short late against a talented Northridge team. Doherty had another stellar performance with 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Aggies started off well and were up by as much as eight points in the first half. The Aggies were never down more than four points in this incredibly close, hard-fought game. Both teams struggled from the field, with UC Davis shooting 29 percent for the game and Northridge shooting 31 percent.
Doherty contributed greatly, shooting five of six from the field. Her effort was greatly needed in combating the effective play of Northridge’s sophomore guard Ashlee Guay. Guay scored 15 points, including the game-winning shot.
The Aggies were valiant in their efforts, especially at the end. Senior Blair Shinoda hit a clutch three-pointer, giving the Aggies an eight-point lead with 4:39 left to play in the second half. Northridge came back with seven straight points to close the gap making it a one-point game.
Shinoda hit a clutch layup to tie the game at 49 with only five seconds remaining. Heartbreak ensued however, as Northridge’s Guay went coast-to-coast for the game-winning layup right before the buzzer sounded.
The loss was a tough one as the heroics of Guay spoiled an otherwise solid performance by the Aggies. Still, Gross knows the layup didn’t come down to just the one buzzer beater.
“Games aren’t determined by one possession,” she said. “There are some areas we can clean up, so we will keep improving.”
The Aggies dropped to 10-14 for the season and are currently in seventh place in the Big West. Their next game is on Thursday, at home, against UC Riverside. The game tips off at 7 p.m.
KENNETH LING can be reached at email@example.com.