The UC Davis women’s basketball team beat visiting San Jose State, 95-61, at The Pavilion on Tuesday afternoon.
Not bad for an Aggie squad that came into the game 0-3, huh?
If one hadn’t paid close attention to those three losses, one might think UCD was overmatched against the 4-2 Spartans.
But a closer look at those three setbacks revealed competitive games against USC, Pacific and No. 6 Stanford.
So, on this night, the Aggies decided it was time for their coming-out party.
After SJS guard Britta Hall’s trey managed to get her Spartans back in the game at 22-20 with 9:56 left until intermission, coach Jennifer Gross’ charges ran away from their guests.
With Kelsey Harris hitting four 3-pointers by halftime, UCD built a 49-30 lead.
It finished the first 20 minutes with a 7-0 run, then went on to score the first 17 points of the second period.
Up 66-30, Gross had players working on moving the ball, tried different combinations and still focused on defense.
When Lauren Beyer scored on a lay-up with 11:58 remaining, the Aggies had an other-worldly, 80-38 lead.
Remember, these Spartans were averaging 86 ppg — the nation’s 18th highest-scoring squad. As the lead made its way to that 42-point margin, UCD had held San Jose State to 22 percent shooting.
When the final horn sounded, Gross was able to thumb through some gaudy statistics:
* The Aggies shot 47.2 percent for the game (51.4 in the second half).
* The Spartans sputtered to 4-of-23 from beyond the arc (17.4 percent).
* UCD was 15-for-17 at the free throw line.
* Shooting treys at a 12-for-26 clip gave the local women a 46.2 percent figure.
* The Aggies outrebounded SJS, 51-45.
* With sophomore Alyson Doherty leading the way (13 points, 10 rebounds), UCD hammered the Spartans 44-24 in the paint.
“We really planned a lot for the defense and picked on each of their individual tendencies,” sophomore Aggie guard Molly Greubel explained. “(We) tried to take away what they do best … make them take shots they wouldn’t normally take — then just making sure we got the rebounds after making them take tough shots.”
With its mammoth lead, UCD was able to put all hands on deck. Each of the 11 rostered players got at least 10 minutes of playing time.
Beyer — who missed two years with ankle and knee injuries suffered on the same play in her second game as a 2011 freshman — scored 10 points and grabbed three boards in 13 promising minutes. She was 5-for-5 from the field.
Beyer is a sophomore from Bradshaw Christian School.
Oceanside freshman Brianne Yasukochi went 2-of-6 from the field (including a trey) and dished out three assists. She scored her five points in 10 minutes.
First-off-the-bench Brianna Salvatore, also back from injury that forced her out of some of last season, hit all three of her shots (including two 3-pointers) and dished out four assists.
However, the junior from Villa Park’s biggest contributions came on the defensive end, helping to shut down high-scoring Ta’Rea Cunnigan. The Winchester guard came in averaging 20.5 ppg. She was held to 10 on Tuesday, shooting just 3-for-13 from the field.
But it was the usual suspects — Greubel, Doherty, Harris and Sydnee Fipps — who primed the Aggie pump.
Harris had a game-high 17 points, canning 5-of-8 from 3-point range.
For Fipps, 14 was wild. Wearing uniform No. 14, the Mariposa junior scored 14 points in 14 minutes. She went 5-for-10 from the field, grabbed six boards and provided an assist as Gross gave her most of the night off.
Greubel was solid on defense, scored eight points and had three assists.
Next up for UCD is the weekend Cal Poly Tournament. A Friday game will be against San Francisco with Akron coming up Saturday.
The Aggies will be on the road for the next six games — including a Dec. 5 meeting at No. 1 Connecticut.
Notes: Forward Rebecca Woodbury led San Jose State with 14 points. In addition to Cunnigan, Classye James, Hall and Jasmine Smith each had 10…. Aggie sophomore Celia Marfone is one of the main reasons this UCD team can play toe-to-toe inside with opponents. The Laguna Hills grad defended SJS center Riana Byrd (seven points) well and collected six rebounds (five on offense). … The diminutive 5-foot-5 La Jolla Country Day graduate Brianne Yasukochi is the sister of Aggie Director of Basketball Operations Britinee Yasukochi. … Jamie Craighead — the former Sacramento State coach — is in her first season heading the Spartan program.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at email@example.com or 530-320-4456.