DAVIS, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team fell to the UC Davis Aggies in their final regular season Big West Conference game, 80-44 at The Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
The Gauchos (8-21, 5-11 Big West) shot just 23.2% from the field and 19% from beyond the arc in the defeat to UC Davis (23-6, 15-1 Big West).
The Aggies got off to a hot start from the open, starting the game out on a 12-0 run with a trio of layups and a pair of triples.
The Gauchos would score all 7 of their first-quarter points in the span of a minute and a half to cut the Davis lead to 9, but the Aggies would continue finding success from their perimeter shooting after a Karley Eaton three-pointer put the Big West regular season champions up 22-7 at the end of the first quarter.
UC Davis continued to pile on the points in the second quarter, hitting three more treys while finding shots inside to go up 43-18 at the halftime interval.
In the third quarter, the Gauchos began to knock down shots to chip into the Aggies' lead. Sophomore point guard Danae Miller earned a foul and sunk her free throws to give UCSB the first point of the second half.
Twin guards Karley and Kourtney Eaton converted on three-pointers on either side of a pair of Morgan Bertsch free throws to extend the Davis lead to 51-20, but redshirt junior guard Tal Sahar put away a 15-footer to kickstart a 10-4 run for the Gauchos culminating in a three-pointer by freshman guard Kianna Vierra.
Davis put together a string of three shots from beyond the arc in their next three possessions to ultimately see out the third quarter with a 67-34 advantage.
The fourth quarter didn't see either team score until there was 7:43 left in regulation, when Gaucho sophomore guard Bri Anugwom hit a three-point shot to make it 67-37.
The Aggies went on a 10-3 run over the ensuing four minute stretch, ending with Kourney Eaton giving the home team their 13th made three-pointer of the game, to eventually lead to the final 80-44 scoreline.
Although the Gauchos succumbed to Davis' barrage of threes, UCSB allowed just 24 points in the paint compared to the 44 they allowed in their first matchup versus the Aggies.
In addition, the UCSB defense held Bertsch to her third-lowest point total of the year, in which she scored 16 points on just 3-of-11 shooting.
The Gauchos continued their takeaway streak, now with six or more steals in each of the last six games. This was also the third time in the last six games that UCSB recorded that many steals and committed single digit turnovers.
Sahar finished with 11 points and six rebounds, while Danae Miller added nine points and six rebounds.
Elsewhere, Hawai'i's victory over CSUN and UC Irvine's defeat of Long Beach State mean the Gauchos will fall to the eighth seed in next week's Big West Conference Tournament. They will open the tournament against the fifth-seeded UC Irvine Anteaters on Tuesday night at 6 PM from the Bren Events Center in Irvine. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and an audio-only stream will be available on UCSBGauchos.com
The schedule for the tournament is as follows:
Tuesday – First round (Bren Events Center, Irvine)
6 PM: No. 5 UC Irvine vs No. 8 UC Santa Barbara
8:30 PM: No. 6 Cal State Fullerton vs No. 7 Long Beach State
Wednesday – Quarterfinals (Bren Events Center, Irvine)
6 PM: No. 3 UC Riverside vs Lowest remaining seed
8:30 PM: No. 4 CSUN vs Highest remaining seed
Friday – Semifinals (Honda Center, Anaheim)
12 PM: No. 1 UC Davis vs Lowest remaining seed
2:30 PM: No. 2 Hawai'i vs Highest remaining seed
Saturday – Final (Honda Center, Anaheim)
4 PM: Winner of semifinal 1 vs Winner of semifinal 2