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Monday, April 15, 2024

Women’s basketball suffers three straight losses in December games

The Aggies fell to Stanford, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly in back-to-back games

 

By LUCIENNE BROOKER — sports@theaggie.org

 

The UC Davis women’s basketball team had a difficult slate of games in the last month with the team only winning two of their six matchups. These consecutive losses leave the Aggies hoping to break their three-game losing streak as they look forward to another lineup of formidable opponents in January. 

While December started on a sour note for the Aggies as they lost 52-77 to Washington State, they were able to turn things around in time for their next matches. The team returned to their home turf at the University Credit Union Center to face Jessup University on Dec. 5 and Saint Mary’s on Dec. 10. 

The Aggies dominated the match against Jessup University with a massive win of 79-40. The team shot a season-high 52.5% from the floor and saw fourth-year Tova Sabel lead the team in scoring with 20 points. Defensively, they forced 13 turnovers and held Jessup University to 25% from the floor. 

Five days later, the Aggies were able to continue their winning streak against Saint Mary’s, where they walked away with an 87-66 point victory. Fifth-year Evanne Turner was the highest scorer in the game with a total of 23 points. Although all five Davis starters scored double figures, Turner impressed everyone and was later named Big West Player of the Week after her stellar performance. 

Unfortunately, after such impressive performances, the Aggies couldn’t maintain their winning momentum for their next string of games. 

In the final non-conference matchup of the season, the Aggies faced ninth-ranked Stanford, who had lost only one game so far in the season. Stanford jumped out to an early lead that UC Davis was never able to catch up with, ultimately resulting in a 52-92 loss. 

While the defeat was difficult, Aggie players enjoyed decent performances all around. Turner scored 17 points and the defense forced 13 turnovers yet, it was not enough to defeat the Cardinals. Stanford shot over 50% from both the floor and three-point range and held an advantage in rebounds. 

The first match of Big West conference play for UC Davis was none other than fellow UC school, UC Santa Barbara (UCSB). Tensions were high as both teams wanted to start off the season with a winning record. The Gauchos and the Aggies fought to the final buzzer with an ending score of 60-49 and UCSB with the first conference victory. 

While this was a relatively low-scoring game for offensive dynamic duo Sabel and Turner (registering 10 and 11 points respectively), other Aggies stepped up. Notably, second-year Nya Epps also hit double digits after she was brought into the match during the first half of the challenging game. Additionally, third-year Megan Norris finished the game with nine points. While the offense was not at its best, the team was strong defensively, forcing 21 turnovers and five steals. 

The Aggies had to move on quickly from their narrow loss to the Gauchos in order to face Cal Poly two days later, but they didn’t fare any better against the San Luis Obispo team. 

The Mustangs, who haven’t beaten Davis since 2015, were able to beat their 15-game losing streak and claim a tight 57-54 victory. While the Aggie offense performed better than their last game, they were held back by a season-high 24 turnovers. Although the Aggies held the lead in the final 10 seconds of the game, they were unable to close out the victory and as a result, they head into their next conference games with a 0-2 record and a three-game losing streak. 

Next up, the Aggies will regroup as they return home to face UC Riverside, UC Irvine, and Cal State Fullerton at the University Credit Union Center. On the road, they’ll take on Cal State Northridge, Cal State Bakersfield, UC Irvine and UC San Diego. The Aggies will look to turn their momentum around as the race toward Big West playoffs begins.

Despite their disappointing start, they’re predicted to finish third in conference standings and they will surely be pushing for that number one spot as the season ramps up. 

 

Written by: Lucienne Brooker — sports@theaggie.org

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