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Thursday, April 18, 2024

UC Davis women’s basketball breaks records on the road


Bertsch leads Aggies over winter break roadshow

The UC Davis women’s basketball team has been busy over the winter break with a six-game road trip that included the start of league competition against UC Irvine.

UC Davis went into the break looking to improve on its 5-2 record. In the first of eight games over school vacation, the Aggies hosted the Saint Mary’s Gaels in a thrilling performance by junior guard Rachel Nagel, who led the team with 18 points and a buzzer-beater to lift UC Davis to a 68-66 victory.

The Ags then hit the road to face the Oregon State Beavers, a team to which UC Davis has lost in all 15 previous faceoffs. The Beavers took a whopping 93-52 win and sophomore forward Morgan Bertsch and junior guard Dani Nafekh led UC Davis with 15 and 12 points, respectively.

However, the Aggies bounced back from the loss to set a record against rivals Sacramento State in their 110-78 victory as seven players scored in double digits. The win marked the second-highest scoring game in UC Davis women’s basketball history.

UC Davis then went on to fight for its second straight road victory against University of San Francisco, 78-58. Bertsch set a career-high record of 27 points and junior forward Pele Gianotti tied her career-high 12 points and posted her second double-double of the season with 12 rebounds.

Bertsch also earned herself the title of Big West Conference Player of the Week after her exceptional performances to help put the Aggies at an 8-3 overall record. This was the first conference award of her career and the first for UC Davis since last season.

Heading into the second half of their road trip, the Aggies kept the ball rolling even with Nagel out on injury, in a close, third straight win, 77-71, against the University of Central Florida Knights. Bertsch led four Aggies in double digits with 20 points to move the team to an impressive 9-4 season record. These road wins garnered attention across the nation, launching UC Davis 25 spots into the top 50 of the NCAA’s RPI ranking at No. 46.

The Aggies headed to Jacksonville in their penultimate road game. Nagel returned after her injury against the Knights with 16 points and Bertsch posted a 12-point game, but the Dolphins rallied to snap UC Davis’ win streak, 61-54.

With the best record in the league, UC Davis opened Big West Conference play at UC Irvine and dominated 89-48. Juniors Nagel and center Marly Anderson led the Aggies with 17 and 12 points, respectively. The game marked Anderson’s first double-double, with 12 rebounds.

The Ags made their triumphant return to the Pavilion after their six-game road trip to host the Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine in a Big West Conference championship rematch. Bertsch led the team to a 70-55 victory with the game-high 24 points to put UC Davis at 11-4 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.

UC Davis women’s basketball hosts Long Beach State at the Pavilion tonight at 7 p.m.
Written by: Nicolette Sarmiento — sports@theaggie.org


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