Through the first half of Saturday’s game at Long Beach State, the UC Davis women’s basketball team was riding a nice wave.
But after intermission, that wave broke and the 49ers came away with a 66-54 Big West Conference victory.
Sydnee Fipps (17 points) and Cortney French (10) combined for six 3-pointers to lead the Aggies (12-16, 7-10), wh0 were hoping to clinch a spot in the conference tournament. UCD is still in good position as it control its own destiny. A win in Saturday’s season finale against Pacific (4:45 p.m. at The Pavilion) would put the Aggies in the tourney.
On Saturday, Long Beach (15-13, 8-8) had four players in double figures, led by Lauren Spargo, who had 15. Guard Chantel Dooley had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
“I thought our effort was there from start to finish,” said UCD coach Jennifer Gross. “We really played very hard (Saturday). Unfortunately, in the second half we went through a couple of stretches when we gave them second and third chances, and they were able to capitalize.
“There are a couple of areas we still need to improve but in the locker room afterwards we felt good about putting the work in. I know it’s the final stretch here but our team is 100 percent focused and we’re going to do everything we can to put a good stretch run together.”
After the Aggies trailed early, Celia Marfone’s 3-pointer started a 13-3 run that was capped by back-to-back treys from Blair Shinoda and Fipps. That put UCD up 25-24 with 5:39 to play until halftime and the locals enjoyed a trio of five-point leads in the minutes before intermission.
They eventually led 37-34 at the break, and extended that to 39-34 with Fipps’ layup in the first minute of the second half.
However, the 49ers strung together the next 10 points, keyed by 3-pointers from Ella Clark and Alex Sanchez, taking a 44-39 advantage just two minutes later. Another trey from Clark three minutes after that gave Long Beach a 49-39 lead and the 49ers would not trail again.
Finally, freshman Alyson Doherty broke a nearly seven-minute scoreless streak for the Aggies with a free throw, bringing the deficit to 49-40.
Trying to come back, UCD cut the lead to 54-49 on a layup from Marfone with five minutes remaining, but that would be as close as the Aggies would get. The Beach went 10-of-12 from the line in the final four minutes to seal the win.
Fipps finished with four 3-pointers — giving her nine in UCD’s two games this weekend — and added a team-high-tying six rebounds. Marfone also had six boards, Molly Greubel finished with seven points while Shinoda had four steals and three assists.
The Aggies shot just 29.6 percent from the floor in the game, including 19 percent in the second half.