FULLERTON, Calif. – The Titans were holding their own against the first-place Aggies until the fourth quarter and the game ended in a 67-53 loss for Fullerton.
"We battled and competed for about 32 minutes, but Davis showed why their record is what it is," said head coach Jeff Harada. "They have so many different players who can make a play when they need one and are a very good team. Again, I thought we stayed within striking distance for most of the night and our effort was there. We just had a few too many lapses on both ends which they took advantage of."
Junior Hannah Thompson led the way for the Titans putting up 12 points on 4-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Junior Daeja Smith recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds to go along with a team-high three assists. Junior Jade Vega was the next highest scorer with nine points and matched the team-high three assists.
The Aggies had three double-figure scorers, two of which put up 20-point performances. Morgan Bertsch finished with a game-high 23 points on 11-21 shooting. Pele Gianotti was right behind her finishing with 21 points, going 6-7 from the field and 8-8 from the strike. Rachel Nagel put up 11 points for the game.
UC Davis put points on the board first and while they never relinquished the lead, Fullerton kept it close all game. The Titan offense was a bit slow to start turning the ball over on their first two possessions and shooting 33% from the field in the quarter. However, they battled and only trailed by three at the end of the first.
Fullerton outshot Davis in the second 60% to 46.2%, but unfortunately for the Titans six turnovers in the quarter resulted in nine extra points for the Aggies. All of the CSF scoring was by H. Thompson (six), Triann Thompson (five), and Vega (four) in the second. Meanwhile, Bertsch put up 11 points for UC Davis and they went into the half with a six point lead.
The third quarter was a continuation of the battle between the two teams as they both shot 50% or better and it was the highest scoring quarter of the game, 36 points combined. The difference this time around was the three-ball, as the Aggies shot 4-5 from beyond the arc while the Titans shot 2-5. It gave Davis a double-digit lead going into the final quarter.
Even down by 10 points, Fullerton was still in the game and playing well. Unfortunately, that changed in the fourth quarter. The Titans shot just 2-14 (14.3%) from the field in the final 10 minutes of play and those two field goals came within the first minute and a half of the quarter. Davis took full advantage of the Titans' offensive struggles and put the game too far out of reach after going on an 8-0 run extending their lead to as many as 17.
Harada took the game as a positive though, "Despite the outcome, I thought we showed some heart and still did some good things. Hopefully we can continue to improve and fight the fight because there's a lot of basketball left to play for."
The Titans return home on Saturday as they play host to the Mustangs of Cal Poly at 6:00 p.m.
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