DAVIS – The UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball team came close to halting UC Davis’ 25-game unbeaten run in Big West home games, but the Aggies’ MacKenzie Trpcic hit a triple with 3:42 remaining to put the hosts in the lead for good en route to their sixth-straight win over the Gauchos, 66-63, at The Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
Junior point guard Danae Miller scored a team-high 19 points, redshirt senior guards Coco Miller and Tal Sahar added 13 each, and freshman center Ila Lane scored 12 in a matchup that featured 10 lead changes between the Gauchos (8-12, 3-4 Big West) and Aggies (11-9, 6-1 Big West).
There wasn’t much to separate the two teams throughout the first half of play. Even when the Gauchos managed to get their largest lead of the half at 23-17 with just over two minutes gone in the second quarter, Davis stormed back with back-to-back threes from Makaila Sanders and Evanne Turner to tie the game up.
In the dying seconds of the second quarter, Danae Miller hit a buzzer-beating triple to put the Gauchos up 33-30, but Katie Toole scored a layup on Davis’ final possession of the half to make it a one-point game.
As the game progressed throughout the third quarter, the Gauchos again created some distance between themselves and the Aggies. Another three-point basket from Danae Miller gave UCSB a four-point lead just before the media timeout, and Coco Miller extended it to five with a free throw inside of four minutes remaining.
However, UC Davis began to shut down the Gaucho offense and take over the game, going on a 9-0 run to close out the third quarter up 50-46.
Danae Miller scored the first four points of the quarter to tie it up again, and the game would be tied up twice again as both squads battled back-and-forth to try to create some sustained momentum.
Ultimately, it was Davis that found the breakthrough. After Trpcic’s triple with 3:42 left, the Gauchos fell flat offensively
Davis maintained the lead through to the end, despite an attempt from Danae Miller to tie the game with three seconds left
The Gauchos ended the game shooting 34.5%, including a 47.4% mark from three-point range on 9-of-19 shooting after starting 4-of-4. UCSB also failed to convert on a free throw just once, finishing 16-of-17 from the charity stripe.
The Gauchos return to the Thunderdome for a short homestand, taking on UC Irvine on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. and Hawai’i on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. A ceremony recognizing head coach Bonnie Henrickson’s 400th career win will take place after the UC Irvine game, while the Hawai’i game will feature a halftime ceremony recognizing the 2004 Sweet Sixteen team.