UC Davis rallies from 17 down to win Big West women’s title

Published 8:48 p.m. ET March 16, 2019

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Morgan Bertsch scored 24 points, Cierra Hall added 14 and UC Davis rallied from a 17-point, third-quarter deficit to defeat Hawaii 58-50 on Saturday and win the Big West Conference Women’s Tournament.

The Aggies (25-6) — who are headed to the NCAA Women’s Tournament for the first time since 2011 — trailed 45-36 early in the fourth quarter but scored 16 straight points during a 9:12 span. Sophia Song gave UC Davis the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 4:18 remaining.

Bertsch, who is the Big West’s player of the year and was named the tournament’s MVP, scored six points during the run and Hall added four. The Rainbow Wahine missed their last 12 shots from the field and had four turnovers during the run.

UC Davis was 7 of 27 from the field in the first half but went 13 of 25 over the final 20 minutes. Hawaii made nine of its first 18 but was 9 of 40 the rest of the game, including 5 of 25 in the second half.

Tia Kanoa led Hawaii (15-16) with 15 points and Leah Salanoa scored 14.

Bertsch scored the Aggies first six points and gave them a 6-5 lead before Hawaii went on a 17-4 run the remainder of the quarter to take control. Kanoa had 10 points in the quarter, including a 3-ponter that gave the Rainbow Wahine a 22-10 advantage at the end of the first.

UC Davis missed all six shots from the field during the run and committed four turnovers while Hawaii was 7-of-12 shooting.

Hawaii led 32-18 at halftime and was up by as many as 17 early in the third quarter when the Aggies started to rally. They went on a 14-3 run to close the third as Bertsch scored five points to get within 42-36.

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Hawaii: The Rainbow Wahine committed only three turnovers during the first half but were sloppy during the second half as they had eight turnovers and committed 16 personal fouls.

UC Davis: The Aggies have won the Big West’s regular-season title three straight years but they fell short in the conference tournament in 2017 and ’18. This is their third straight postseason appearance after appearing in the WNIT the past two years.


Hawaii: Season complete.

UC Davis: Finds out its NCAA Women’s Tournament destination on Monday.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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