Gauchos' Defense Stifles UC Davis in 57-52 Victory

Kristine Brance (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Kristine Brance (Photo by Tony Mastres)

DAVIS, Calif. –UCSB played spoiler on Senior Day at UC Davis, as the team held the potent Aggies to just 35 percent shooting in their 57-52 victory.

Santa Barbara improves their conference record to 2-12 and is now 2-25 overall. Davis is now on a three-game skid with a 13-13 record and an 8-6 mark in the Big West.

"The players stepped up today," UCSB Head Coach Carlene Mitchell said. "They defended an offense that's done well this season and forced them into a lot of turnovers."

Davis coughed up the ball 21 times and the Gauchos took advantage in scoring 13 points on the other end. 

Jasmine Ware led UCSB with 14 points and was second with six rebounds, while Kristine Brance was behind her with 10 points. The senior made four of her points in the final 30 seconds to seal the win at the foul line. Onome Jemerigbe paced the floor with seven assists and also recorded eight points and five rebounds.

Coming off the bench, Chaya Durr chipped in eight points – all in the second half – and also added a steal in her 19 minutes of play.

"She stepped up today with her family and friends watching," Mitchell said of the Sacramento native. "It is great to know that we get to have her for three more years on this team."

In the rebounding category, Clair Watkins paced the Gauchos with seven boards despite fouling out with 10:10 left in the game. Along with Ware, Taylor Farris added six rebounds to follow Watkins.

Though a close battle, the Gauchos held a led for nearly 33 minutes of the game, while UC Davis was only ahead for a total of 1:46, and trailed for the entire second half.

With both teams struggling to shoot the ball early in the game, Ware was the spark for UCSB when she netted back-to-back baskets to give her team the 6-4 lead after six minutes of play. It proved to be a lead the Gauchos never gave up.

UCSB soon garnered the largest lead of the half at 15-7, but Davis went on an 8-0 run anchored by back-to-back triples from Sydnee Fipps. Mitchell immediately called a timeout after Fipps' second three and her Gauchos responded in holding the Aggies to just two points in the final 3:30 of the half.

After cold shooting performances from both teams in the first half, UCSB and Davis found themselves in a shootout to start the second half. The Aggies drained two three pointers plus a lay up from Fipps in scoring eight, while the Gauchos answered back with six.

A block form Farris put an end to the scoring spree, which denied Celia Marfone of her second chance lay up.

The Aggies would not score for the next three minutes of game action, but that basket tied the game at 27-27 with 14:25 remaining.

Brance immediately broke the tie with a three-pointer and sparked a 9-3 Gaucho run in taking a 36-29 lead. Brance was called upon again in the final 14 seconds of the game.

Aggie Rachel Nagel hit a transition three-pointer to put Davis within six points. On the ensuing inbounds play, the Gauchos got Brance the ball, and was immediately fouled. Calmly, she made both free throws and went on to sink two more to ensure UCSB's win.   

The Gauchos will be back in action next Thursday with Hawaii at 7 p.m. in their final home game of the season. Tickets are available at the Ticketing Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building, over the phone at 805.893.UCSB, or online here.