February 11, 2006

Gauchos Rally from Deep Hole at UC Davis Before Falling 64-56

Feb. 11, 2006

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. -- Ellen Porshneva scored a game-high 26 points while Lara Gray and Jackie Turpin each had 11 on Saturday afternoon as the UC Davis women's basketball team won its eighth straight game with a 64-56 win at The Pavilion over 10-time defending Big West Conference champion UC Santa Barbara.

UC Davis, which held a 17-point lead in the first half only to have the Gauchos battle back to a one-point lead late in the game, improved to 15-9. The Aggies, who join the Big West beginning in 2007-08, are 10-2 against their future conference foes.

UC Santa Barbara, which was led by 20 points from guard Karena Bonds and 10 rebounds from Whitney Warren, dropped to 11-10. Santa Barbara saw its 11-year streak of finishing with single-digit losses end on Saturday.

"What (UCSB) has represented makes a win against them very special," said Aggie coach Sandy Simpson.

UC Davis played well in the first half and took a 34-17 late in the period before going into the break with a 37-25 halftime lead. The Aggies were up 51-39 with 9:29 remaining in the second half before the Gauchos started to cut the deficit. They held UC Davis to just a single field goal in the final 10 minutes of the game and took a 54-53 lead with 2:28 left on a layup by Jessica Wilson.

However, the Aggies responded with Turpin hitting a pair of free throw 14 seconds later for a 55-54 lead and UC Davis wouldn't trail the rest of the way. Guard Kimberly Smith found Porshneva underneath for a layup to make it 57-54 with 1:44 to go and Turpin and Porshneva combined to go 7-for-8 from the line over the final 1:05 to complete the win.

UC Davis, which lost at UC Santa Barbara 70-55 on Jan. 15, didn't trail in the game until the Gauchos held their brief one-point lead.

The Aggies used a strong start to gain the upperhand, using a 9-2 run midway through the first half to turn a 19-13 advantage into a 28-15 lead with 7:56 to play. Porshneva's layup with just over five minutes left gave UC Davis a 32-17 advantage while Jessica Campbell's layup less than two minutes later extended it to 34-17, the largest of the game.

The Aggies led 37-25 at halftime after making 61.5 percent (16 of 26) of their shots. Porshneva missed only one of her seven tries and had 13 points.

UC Davis held a double-digit lead through the first 13 minutes of the second half and - after a free throw from Porshneva - were up 51-39 at the 9:29 mark before UC Santa Barbara gradually climbed close.

The Aggies finished the game shooting 51.2 percent from the field. UC Davis, which entered the week with the best free throw shooting percentage (.813) in the NCAA Division I rankings, made 15 of 19 from the stripe. Smith had six assists for the Aggies, who posted assists on 18 of their 22 baskets.

Porshneva finished 9 of 10 from the field overall, including her first three-pointer of the year, and was 7 of 8 from the line, contributing to her season-best 26 points. Campbell added eight rebounds while Gray made a trio of three-pointers.

Bonds finished with a pair of treys and had two assists and two steals for the Gauchos, while Warren had four offensive rebounds as part of her 10. The Aggies played especially tough defense on the Gauchos' Jessica Wilson, who had 10 points, but was just 3 of 19 from the field, including 0-for-7 from three-point.

The Gauchos resume Big West Conference play on Thursday, Feb. 16, hosting UC Irvine in the Thunderdome at 7:00 p.m.