DAVIS, Calif. – After an energetic start, UC Santa Barbara trailed only by one point entering halftime, but a 17-8 UC Davis run in the second half put the Gauchos behind in the 82-70 final score.
UCSB falls to 6-14 on the season and is now 1-6 in Big West play. The Aggies improve to 4-3 in conference and are 9-11 overall.
Head Coach Carlene Mitchell went with a young starting five, as all three freshmen, sophomore Jasmine Ware, and senior Melissa Zornig opened the game. It was Melissa Maraganes's first career start, while Ware made her second start of the season.
"I went with the players who finished the Irvine game with energy," Mitchell said. "Those five got after it in the first half, and they made some nice plays."
The Gauchos opened the game with a 9-2 run after forcing four Davis turnovers. Zornig picked up five points during that time, including her first three-pointer of the game.
The senior finished with a pair of triples, which marked the fifth game in a row that Zornig has made as many threes. She finished the afternoon with 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds in 40 minutes of play.
After that start, UCSB held on to its lead until the 3:23 mark when the Aggies knotted the score at 29.
En route to gaining its first lead, Davis earned 18 shots from the charity stripe and drained 15 of them.
Davis went up by as many as five points before the half ended, but the Gauchos went into the locker room only trailing by one after sinking four free throws. Mi'Chael Wright picked up three of those points and finished with a team-best 11 tries from the charity stripe.
With a slim 35-34 advantage to start the second, Davis pushed its lead into double figures after storming out to a 17-8 run in the opening eight minutes.
The Aggies hit four of their five second half three-pointers during the run and claimed the 52-42 edge by the 13:28 mark.
Nicole Nesbit looked to lead the Gauchos' comeback effort as she muscled her way to the free throw line on four different drives.
The senior missed only one of her eight second half free throws and finished with a team-high 17 points.
A pair of those free throws put UCSB within five of Davis at 60-55 with 6:34 remaining. The Aggies managed to keep the Gauchos behind for the rest of the game, though, as they had success at getting to the line themselves. By the end of the game, three Gauchos fouled out.
Alyson Doherty led all players by going 9-12 from the stripe and finished with a game-high 23 points. Behind her was Sydnee Fipps who tallied 21 points against UCSB.
The Gauchos will return to game action on Thursday when they host Hawai'i in the Thunderdome at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Ticketing Office at the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB (8272), or online here.