Tigers Rally Thwarted At UC Davis

Tigers Rally Thwarted At UC Davis

Davis, Calif. – The Pacific women's basketball team fell behind in the early to a hot-shooting UC Davis team, and the Tigers' second half comeback fell just short before free throws pushed the final score to 59-51 Saturday at the Pavilion.

In the battle between Pacific's Big West-leading scoring offense and the Aggies league-leading scoring defense, the Aggies' offense hit eight of its first 11 shots, and then the Pacific defense locked down for the rest of the contest, holding Davis to 13 field goals on its final 44 attempts (29.5 percent).

Junior forward Kendall Rodriguez led the Tigers with 18 points, scoring 13 in the final nine minutes. Senior center Christina Thompson added nine points on four-of-six shooting and junior guard Erica McKenzie hit two three-pointers for six points.

Down eight with 4:48 remaining, Pacific received a pair of threes from Rodriguez to cut the gap to just two, 53-51 with 37 seconds remaining. The Tigers' held strong on the defensive end and McKenzie came away with the defensive board with 19 seconds to go, and Pacific worked it up court to Rodriguez for the three-point attempt with nine seconds remaining. The shot drew too much iron, and the Aggies' Blair Shinoda came away with the rebound and promptly hit six straight free throws in the final five seconds.

The Tigers shot 50 percent in the second half (12-of-24) as Rodriguez hit six-of-nine from the field and four-of-six from three-point range after intermission.  The Tigers finished the game with a higher field goal percentage (38.5 to 38.2), and  owned the glass, with a 41-30 edge in rebounding. But Pacific's 24 turnovers led to 15 UC Davis points and the Aggies hit 13-of-15 from the free throw line, including 10-of-10 in the second half.

Pacific falls to 10-8 overall, 3-3 in the Big West while UC Davis improves to 12-6 on the year and 4-2 in the BWC. The Aggies were led by Shinoda's 18 points (on nine-of-nine from the free throw line), while Hannah Stephens added 13 points, four assists and four steals.

Sophomore guard Gena Johnson handed out five assists and blocked three shots for the Tigers, while also posting three steals. Freshman center Kendall Kenyon led the Tigers on the glass with seven rebounds.

The Aggies opened to a 12-4 lead in the early going, as the Davis defense held Pacific to two makes in the first eight shots of the game.  The Tigers defense settled in, holding the Aggies to just one field goal and two points over 8:39, and Christina Thompson's three-point play and inside bucket pulled Pacific within 20-13 with 5:24 to go in the first.

A floater from Rodriguez and a fast-break lay-up from Kenyon helped Pacific keep pace, as the game entered halftime 27-20 in favor of the Aggies. Pacific's defense held UC Davis to three field goals on their final 13 attempts of the half with 12 turnovers. But the Tigers committed 14 turnovers themselves and shot just 29 percent to face a seven-point deficit.

In the second half, Rodriguez answered a lay-up inside with a three-pointer, and Kenyon's fast-break lay-up pulled Pacific within three, at 29-26.

But Hannah Stephens tallied inside to restore a five-point advantage before Shinoda and McKenzie traded three-pointers. Shinoda then tallied four straight push the Aggies lead back up to nine with 11:52 remaining. Stephens and Thompson each posted inside buckets for their respective squads, and Rodriguez began to heat up, cutting the lead to four with a jumper at under eight minutes remaining.

The Aggies answered right back with Stephens' three and a lay-up from Sydnee Fipps for a 47-38 lead before a 13-4 Pacific run to set up the Tigers' final chance.

The Tigers were held to their second-lowest scoring output of the season, and held under 60 points for the first time since Dec. 17 against WAC leader Fresno State.

Pacific will continue it's four-game road swing with contests at Cal Poly on Thursday and UC Santa Barbara next Saturday.