SANTA BARBARA — The UC Davis basketball team thought it would escape the chilly local temperatures by playing at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
But the Aggies were still ice-cold in losing, 58-43, in a Big West Conference contest at The Thunderdome.
UCD (5-9, 0-3) made just 3-of-24 shots (12.5 percent) and managed just 11 points in the opening half. A jump shot by Nicole Nesbit put UCSB ahead 4-2 with 16:29 to go before intermission, and the Gauchos (6-10, 2-2) never trailed again.
For the Aggies, freshman Alyson Doherty scored a career-high nine points to go with six rebounds while Heidi Johnson matched her classmate with nine points of her own, but it wasn’t enough to prevent UCD’s fifth consecutive loss. Local senior Cortney French added eight points and four rebounds, and freshman Celia Marfone had five boards while senior Blair Shinoda dished out four assists.
UCSB’s Melissa Zornig led all scorers with 24 points, hitting 8-of-15 from the field and 5-of-9 from 3-point range. She also had five assists.
In the opening minutes of the first half, Sydnee Fipps took a steal all the way to the other end for a layup with 16:59 to go to tie the game at 2-2, but the Aggies were held scoreless until Heidi Johnson hit two free throws at the 11:49 mark. She made another two with 10:21 left, but by that time, UC Santa Barbara held a 13-6 lead.
Already trailing by 15 points at halftime, UCD fell behind 33-14 after a 7-1 Gaucho run.
The Aggies, however, used their own 8-1 spurt to cut the lead to 35-25 on Doherty layup with 12:40 remaining. But that’s as close as UCD would come.
Ten late UCSB points from the free-throw line pushed the final margin to 58-43.
Looking to snap their skid, the Aggies get to return home for a pair of games next week. The 7 p.m. contests — against Cal State Northridge on Thursday and Hawaii on Saturday — are the Aggies’ first at The Pavilion since Dec. 28.