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Monday, July 22, 2024

Both men’s and women’s basketball dominate in tough weekend games

The Aggies held their own against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

 

By LUCIENNE BROOKER — sports@theaggie.org

 

The beginning of February has been nothing but strong for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams as they faced off against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos and the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs. The men’s team defeated the Gauchos and the Mustangs over Feb. 1 to 3, maintaining their third-place spot in conference standings. While the women’s team also defeated UCSB, they fell to Cal Poly on Feb. 3, dropping them to fifth place in the conference. 

The women’s team played at home for both games after a pair of matches on the road in Southern California. First up, they defeated UCSB 82-62 on Feb. 1 in the Black Futures Month Celebration game. Although the Aggies held a narrow lead going into the second quarter, their dominant 35-point performance secured their victory as the Gauchos were left playing catch-up for the rest of the match. This performance broke the Aggie record for most points scored in one quarter. 

On the individual level, third-year political science major Megan Norris scored a career-high 22 points as well as 15 rebounds to lead the team. Fifth-year psychology major Evanne Turner was right behind her on the scoring chart, contributing 21 points. Additionally, fourth-year psychology major Tova Sabel rounded out the top three with 11 points. While the Aggie offense was on fire, the Aggie defense also thrived, holding the Gauchos to their worst shooting game of this season. 

The victory over the Gauchos pushed the Aggie women’s basketball team to just below the first-place spot in the Big West standings. They hoped a victory over the Mustangs would bring them to the top, but their dreams were thwarted during their lowest-scoring game of the season. With the 47-57 loss, the UC Davis women’s basketball team fell to the fifth spot in the conference standings. Despite the home-court advantage, UC Davis struggled to convert their shots, while Cal Poly had one of their most efficient games of the season. Norris again led the scoring with 16 points, joined by third-year human development major Sydney Burns and Sabel. Overall, the Aggie offense was unable to capitalize on scoring chances. 

Over the same weekend, the men’s basketball team pulled out two tight wins against the Gaucho and Mustang teams, moving them up the Big West standings to the third spot overall. On the road for both games, they defeated UCSB 79-69 on Feb. 1. Fifth-year sociology major Elijah Pepper and third-year communications major TY Johnson each scored 24 points, combining to over half of the Aggies’ total points. Pepper also marked his 200th career steal during a dominant all-around performance. 

After their strong start to the trip, the Aggies faced off against Cal Poly on Feb. 3. Despite a quieter day on the offense, the defense held strong to clinch a 59-52 win in San Luis Obispo. Pepper and Johnson again led the scoring, while first-year undeclared major Connor Sevilla also scored in the double digits. It was a back-and-forth game, with UC Davis having to intensely defend their lead. Although the Mustangs fought hard, the Aggie’s men’s basketball team came away with the victory, increasing their record to 9-2. 

Next up, both the men’s and women’s teams face Cal State Fullerton and the University of Hawaii. With both opponents ready to take the Aggies down, the UC Davis men’s and women’s basketball teams have been training and are prepared for the rest of the season. Both teams will be looking to climb up the rankings as the Big West playoffs approach. 

 

Written by: Lucienne Brooker — sports@theaggie.org

 

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