DAVIS, Calif. —
Senior biomedical engineering major Morgan Bertsch
finished with a game-high 17 points, while sophomore cell biology major Cierra Hall
and freshman Sage Stobbart
combined for nearly half of the team's 44 rebounds on the night, lifting host UC Davis to a 68-45 win over Southern Utah on Friday evening at The Pavilion.
The win was the second straight for the Aggies, who improved to 2-3 overall on the season, holding the Thunderbirds to just four first-quarter points and 29 percent shooting for the game. Southern Utah fell to 1-3 overall, getting a team-high 10 points from Rebecca Cardenas.
Bertsch, who finished in double figures for the 40th consecutive contest dating back to last year, was joined in double digits by junior communication major Nina Bessolo
, who added 12 points to a balanced scoring performance that saw 10 different players finish in the scoring column — including the first-ever Aggie points for junior nutrition science major Katie Toole
and sophomore computer engineering major Brittany Nguyen
The 17-point night for Bertsch, moved her up two spots on the Big West Conference's career scoring list with 1,785, passing Fresno State's Yvette Roberts and Long Beach State's Cindy Brown. The Santa Rosa, Calif., native stands just two points back of Cal State Fullerton's Toni Thomas for a spot in the top 10.
Hall grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds to finish in double figures for the second time this season, finishing just one board shy of her career high while adding six points, three assists, and a pair of steals. Stobbart, who set her career high with four rebounds at Washington State on Nov. 18, nearly tripled that total on Friday night, grabbing 10 rebounds to go with six points in 18 minutes.
Senior psychology major Kourtney Eaton
dished out a game-high seven assists — moving her to within 11 of Jennifer Gross
' all-time career record — while her sister, fellow psychology major Karley Eaton
, added six more assists without a turnover. All told, UC Davis finished with 23 assists on 27 made baskets for the game, helping the Aggies shoot just under 46 percent from the field for the game.
The two teams traded baskets in the opening 90 seconds before UC Davis exploded to put the game away early. Kourtney Eaton
drained a three to start a run of seven straight points, part of a larger 21-2 run that staked the Aggies to a 23-4 lead at the end of the first quarter — the fewest points allowed by a UC Davis defense since holding UC Irvine to the same number in the first quarter on Feb. 11, 2017.
The Aggies' lead grew to as many as 22 points in the second quarter en route to a 40-18 halftime lead, and UC Davis led by as many as 31 points with 4:20 remaining in the third quarter.
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 5-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.
Launched in 2017-18, the Aggie EVO System is UC Davis Athletics' investment in the primary mission of preparing student-athletes for a successful "launch" after graduation. Thanks to a collaboration of alumni, university resources, corporate partners, coaches and Student-Athlete Outcomes staff, all Aggies are guided over four years to acquire the skills, knowledge, opportunities and tools to better know and navigate the "World of Work" after graduating from UC Davis. Follow the Aggie EVO system on Twitter and Instagram at @AggieEVO.