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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Aggie women win turnover battle, game

By
January 6, 2011 |

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SANTA BARBARA — Knowing UC Santa Barbara would be using its size to block shots and pile up

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rebounds, the UC Davis women\’s basketball team planned to get its edge in turnovers on Thursday at The Thunderdome.

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The Aggies made just eight miscues — while forcing 23 Gauchos turnovers — and the formula worked in a 63-55 victory over UCSB.

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UCD (12-3, 2-1) has just 14 turnovers in its past two games, both wins, and scored 22 points off Gauchos miscues on Thursday.

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Paige Mintun had 14 points to lead four Aggies in double figures, while UCSB (7-7, 1-1) was led by 17 points from guard Adrian Kelsey.

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Vicky Deely had three first-half treys and finished with 11 points for UCD with Samantha Meggison and Heidi Heintz — who scored the 1,000th point of her collegiate career — each adding 10.

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Mekia Valentine had 18 rebounds to go with eight points for the Gauchos and Emilie Johnson added 12 points for the UCSB.

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“I was actually really pleased with this victory because I thought it was a really hard-fought victory,” UCD head coach Sandy Simpson said. “I thought Santa Barbara played well, I thought that we had to fight for everything that we got tonight.”

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The Aggies trailed by as many as five points in the first half, and led just 30-28 at the break, but used a 7-0 run over a four-minute span of the second period to forge a 44-34 advantage with 10:39 remaining in the game. A layup by Mintun and a corner trey from Meggison pushed the lead to 51-36 three minutes later.

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UCD maintained a double-digit lead for most of the next six minutes and it was enough to keep the Gauchos from coming closer than six points down, despite being held to just five points for the last four minutes.

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The first 12 minutes of the game saw three ties before UCSB opened up its biggest lead at 17-12 midway through the opening period. However, a 5-0 run by the Aggies gave them a 24-19 advantage and they went into the break with a two-point lead. The Gauchos shot 69.2 percent from the field (9-for-13) over those first 12 minutes, but UCD countered by going 4-for-8 from beyond the 3-point arc, two of them coming from Deely.

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“They came out shooting the ball well early and I was a little concerned that we would have to switch up defenses a little bit more often,” Simpson said. “I thought we played very well defensively from about the 15-minute mark of the first half until about the last three or four minutes of the game. I thought that was the difference.”

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Valentine\’s rebounds helped the Gauchos finish with a 42-26 advantage in that department despite a team-high seven from Mintun that put her over 500 for her career. Heintz\’s career scoring, which is now at 1,002 points, includes 505 points during two seasons at San Francisco from 2006-08.

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UCD, ranked 10th in this week\’s CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll, will continues its Central Coast roadtrip on Saturday when it visits Cal Poly for a 4 p.m. game.

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