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Stobbart’s big game tempered by Aggie loss

IRVINE — It should have been a loud bus ride to the airport after Sage Stobbart scored a career-high 18 points and tied the UC Davis record for blocks — seven — in a game.

But on a Saturday afternoon that saw just enough go wrong for the Aggie women at Bren Arena, it was UC Irvine whooping it up after snapping UCD’s seven-game Big West win streak, 73-68.

Davis (12-10, 7-2 in BWC) continues to pace its conference — but only by a half-game now that second-place Hawaii (13-10, 7-3) knocked off UC Santa Barbara this weekend.

The Aggies came in not having lost since UC Riverside prevailed, 75-70, in the Big West opener. But Irvine, who at one point led by as many as 10, overcame a late Davis rally, in which the visitors led 68-66 with 2:48 to play. It marked the first time since the Highlander loss that anyone had scored more than 70 points against the three-time defending circuit champs.

365体育滚球Davis’ Big West opponents had been limping along with a 53-point average when facing the Blue-and-Gold.

However, on this day, the Anteaters (7-16, 3-6 Big West) showed some of the promise bestowed upon them when BWC coaches voted UCI to win the conference in preseason voting.

Irvine — expected to be accomplished from the outside — got a back-breaking 3-pointer from Dani Guglielmo with 43 seconds remaining. The trey vaulted the ‘Eaters into a 69-68 lead. From there, the Aggies didn’t recover as Davis was forced to foul and Lauren Saiki and Guglielmo sank game-securing charity tosses.

365体育滚球Nonetheless, along the way, it was redshirt sophomore Stobbart showing fans why she was a 2017 ESPNW four-star recruit, the 13th-ranked prep post player in all of her native Canada.

365体育滚球Stobbart hit seven of her 11 overall attempts — including 3 for 3 from downtown — to establish her game- and career-best 18 points. Her 14 rebounds also signaled her new collegiate standard.

365体育滚球With her big afternoon, Stobbart passed teammate Kayla Konrad for second among Aggie rebounders (136-130), both behind junior glass-cleaner Cierra Hall.

And speaking of Hall, the Fairmount Prep Academy graduate was en fuego herself: her 16-point, nine-rebound performance included two assists and three steals. The 6-foot-tall forward canned 4 of 6 beyond the arc and went 5 for 10 shooting overall.

365体育滚球Point guard Mackenzie Trpcic, another Canadian Aggie, added 12 points and handed out five assists. Sophia Song scored 7.

365体育滚球Still, UC Davis couldn’t overcome Irvine’s inspired play.

Saiki went 7 for 14 from the field for 17 points. Her game-high seven assists did extensive damage in the second half. Guglielmo finished with 16 points, thanks mostly to four 3-pointers. Defensively, Irvine had its eye on UCD leading scorer Katie Toole, holding the Utah State transfer to 5 points, almost 10 off her season’s average.

While the statistics seemed even — both schools schools shot 44 percent and split 68 rebounds — Irvine got two more baskets than Davis (27 of 61) and sank five more free throws.

Next up for the Aggies will be an encounter with visiting Cal Poly on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Two weeks ago, Davis scrambled past a stubborn Mustang crew (6-14) in the lowest-scoring contest of the Big West season, 42-38. Cal Poly beat Long Beach State, 61-41, on Saturday.

Wednesday’s matchup marks the first of three consecutive home games for Davis, which also gets UC Irvine right back next Saturday (at 2:30 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the men at The Pavilion). The Aggie men meet CSUN at 5 p.m. Then on Feb. 20, the Aggie women face Cal State Fullerton in an unusual 11 a.m. start.

CalMatters


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