UC Davis Downs Gauchos Behind Big Fourth Quarter

Drew Edelman (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Drew Edelman (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – In a battle between the top two teams in the Big West Conference, first-place and undefeated UC Davis used a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away from second-place UC Santa Barbara and eclipsed the Gauchos 68-61 on Thursday night at the Thunderdome. 

UC Davis improves to 14-3 overall with the win and is now off to a 4-0 start in conference play while the Gauchos fall to 6-11 overall and 3-2 in the Big West.

UCSB started the night strong, jumping out to an 8-3 lead and then 15-8 moments later behind six early points from Drew Edelman and a three-pointer from Tal Sahar.

The Aggies responded with an 8-0 run to take a 16-15 advantage midway through the second period, but Sahar answered back with a triple in transition.

The two teams went back and forth, changing leads seven times throughout the night, but UC Davis was able to create some separation with a 20-9 second quarter and led 32-24 at the break.

Trailing 43-39 with 4:20 remaining in the third, the Gauchos proceeded to go on an 8-0 run, highlighted by a nifty Edelman dish to Chaya Durr underneath followed by five straight points from Danae Miller. Sarah Bates continued the Gauchos momentum by taking a charge on the defensive end, but the Aggies recovered and scored the final four points of the quarter to make it a one-point UCSB lead, 48-47, entering the fourth.

After a Drea Toler layup made it 50-47 with 8:04 on the clock, UC Davis scored the next 12 points, fueled by a pair of three-pointers from Karley Eaton, to go up 59-50. The run did not end until 2:53 remaining after another Toler layup.

Bates and Toler hit back-to-back three's down the stretch to make it a five-point game, but junior forward Morgan Bertsch knocked down a couple of mid-range jumpers and UC Davis made their free-throws to hold off any comeback attempt from UCSB.

Neither team shot the three-ball particularly well, with the Gauchos hitting on just 25 percent (7-for-28) while the Aggies went 4-for-23 (17.4 percent) from beyond the arc. Overall, UC Davis went 26-for-58 (44.8 percent) from the field compared to a 33.9 percent (21-for-62) shooting night for UCSB.

Making her home debut this season, Toler finished with a team-high 15 points while Bates and Edelman reached double-figures with 14 and 12, respectively. Durr led the team with 10 rebounds while Edelman pulled down nine.

Bertsch finished with a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double to lead UC Davis and Pele Gianotti added 15.

UCSB looks to return to the win column this weekend when it travels to Long Beach State for a Saturday, Jan. 20 matchup at 4:00 p.m.