Aggies fall to Matadors in conference playoffs

Women’s basketball finished their up-and-down season with a tough 61-40 loss to a thoroughly deserving Cal State Northridge team. UC Davis leaves the conference playoffs with a final overall record of 12-18.

Though the Aggies have been able to put points up in a hurry at multiple points in the season, they really struggled with shooting the basketball in the past few games. It cost them big-time on Tuesday night. In the previous four games before the quarterfinal matchup, UC Davis shot a rough 32.99 percent from the field.

Tuesday night was no exception to this trend as the Aggies once again struggled to find rhythm in their offense. They started off cold, shooting 28.6 percent from the field in the first half, and it would not get better in the second when they shot an even lower 18.8 percent from the field.

Sophomore Sydnee Fipps led the Aggies in scoring and rebounding once again, with 13 points and eight boards. However, she lacked her usual efficiency, shooting a lackluster 4-13 from the field.

The Matadors came out aggressive and jumped to an early 8-2 lead. Fipps fought back with back-to-back three pointers to tie the game.

From there however, the Aggies’ shooting struggles emerged and the Matadors continued putting up points. The Matadors shot 55.2 percent in the first half, including a 13-0 run, on their way to a 33-17 lead with 1:55 remaining in the first half.

The Aggies managed to enter halftime with a bit of momentum with jumpers from freshman Celia Marfone and senior Blair Shinoda. This closed the gap somewhat, allowing the Matadors to go into the intermission with a smaller 12-point lead.

The Matadors managed to gain control once again during the start of the second half. They managed to keep the lead, expanding it to as much as 18 points with 7:33 left in the game.

At this time, the Aggies went on a small run led by freshman Alyson Doherty. A layup, a three-point play, and two free throws by Doherty, along with Fipps’ three-pointer, allowed the Aggies to come within nine points of CSU Northridge with only 5:28 remaining in the game.

From there the Matadors exerted their will on the game and went on a 13-0 run to extend their lead to 23 points with only 25 seconds left in the game. A Marfone jumper managed to marginally close the gap to the final score of 61-40.

Marfone finished the game with four points and an impressive seven rebounds. Doherty, the catalyst for the second-half run, finished with seven points and two rebounds. She was the Aggies second leading scorer on Tuesday night.

In the end, the lack of scoring efficiency and output cost the Aggies their chance at advancing to the second round of the Big West conference playoffs.

“I think tonight we struggled offensively putting the ball in the basket,” Fipps said. “I don’t think we could put the ball in the basket as well as we typically do.”

KENNETH LING can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.