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College Basketball

UCSB Women Fall in First-Place Battle With UC Davis

In a battle for first place in the Big West, UCSB struggled with its shot throughout and suffered a 62-48 women's basketball defeat against UC Davis on Saturday at the Thunderdome.

The loss was Santa Barbara's first at home in conference play, ending a run of four straight wins at home.

The Gauchos drop to 6-3 in conference and 11-11 overall while Davis is 17-6, 8-2.

Despite a slow start which saw them score just 20 points in the first half, the Gauchos continued to fight and cut a 12-point third quarter deficit to as little as three with 2:39 to go in the period.

But Davis forward Morgan Bertsch had an answer for every UCSB run, including a stretch in the fourth quarter where she scored on four straight possessions. Bertsch tied a career-high with 27 points on 11-14 shooting to lead all scorers.

"At some point, we needed someone to step up on the defensive end to force tougher catches and make it harder for them to finish," head coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "Their shots weren't hard enough, they were unchallenged, everything was in rhythm. Give them credit."

Leading the Gauchos on offense was Coco Miller with 11 points, while point guards Onome Jemerigbe and Drea Toler scored nine each. Jemerigbe also finished with four steals, tying a season-high, and two assists. Now with 404 career assists, she moves into a tie with Barbara Beainy (1988-92) for the fifth most in program history.

Seeing her first real action since missing eight straight games due to injury, Taylor Farris led all players with a season-high 10 rebounds to go along with six points. Redshirt junior Drew Edelman added eight points, finishing a perfect 4-4 from the field for the second time this season.

The Gauchos will now look forward to next week when they will finish off their current three-game homestand against Cal State Northridge (Thursday) before flying out to face Hawai'i (Saturday).

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