Normally games are a tale of two halves, this one, was a game of two quarter. The UCSB women’s basketball team dropped its second consecutive match after losing to UC Davis, 68-61 at home Wednesday night.
UCSB now drops to 6-11 on the season, 3-2 in conference play while first place UCD now improves to 14-3 overall and a still unbeaten 4-0 mark in Big West play.
Santa Barbara began the night off strong jumping out to a very early 15-8 lead following six points from junior forward Drew Edelman. However, UC Davis would bounce back with two baskets before the end of the quarter to only go down three points heading into the second.
The Aggies then took their first lead of the night following a 4-0 run to begin the second to take the lead at 16-15 before Tal Sahar nailed a three to put the Gauchos back on top.
After that however, it was all UC Davis who used a 16-6 run until the end of the second to take a 32-24 lead into the break. In the first quarter, the Gauchos had redshirt Morgan Bertsch held to zero points, but the Aggies star came alive in the second scoring eight points to help give her team the eight-point lead heading into the break.
The third quarter began with UCSB and UC Davis trading buckets. With around four minutes remaining in the third, and UCSB down four, the Gauchos put together an 8-0 run to take a 48-43 lead. Like the first, the Aggies scored the final four points of the quarter to go down by just one heading into the fourth.
Much like the second, in the final frame, Santa Barbara just could not buy a basket. After a make by senior guard Drea Toler which made the score 50-47 with 8:04 on the clock, UC Davis scored the next 12 points, fueled by a pair of three-pointers from junior guard Karley Eaton, to go up 59-50.
UCSB tried to fight back with three points from freshman guard Sarah Bates and Toler but UC Davis was great from the charity stripe down the stretch, sealing the Gauchos fate as they lost 68-61 at the final buzzer.
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.
Bertsch, despite shooting under her season average, still tallied a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and was a huge factor down the strech.
Following two straight losses, albeit competitive ones, the Gauchos now know they need to make some quick fixes if they dont want to fall into a deep losing streak like they did earlier this season.
Luckily, the return of a guard like Toler could provide the offense a much needed passing boost. She finished with a team-high 15 points in her home debut.
UCSB is back in action on Saturday against Long Beach State.