Costly turnovers and struggling to crash the boards would be the difference maker in the Seattle University women's basketball team's loss to UC Davis, 80-75, Friday evening in Davis, Calif.
"I really thought we played hard, but it was our rebounding and allowing too many second chance points for [Davis] that gave them the advantage," said head coach Joan Bonvicini. "We allowed them to get a double digit lead with four minutes left and it was [too] a big hurdle to overcome."
In a unique start to the game, the referees called an administrative technical foul on UC Davis due to equipment issues in the gym. Elle Kerfoot (Surrey, B.C.) would sink both shots to open the game with a 2-0 advantage.
She would go on to score in double figures for the 10th consecutive game, tallying 11 points and four rebounds.
The Aggies would push a fast paced tempo, but four straight baskets from Tatiana Heck (Lynnwood, Wash.) would make it a 6-4 game in favor of SU. Heck would make her second start in as many games and add 10 points.
Davis would tally five three-pointers over nearly a four minute span, while SU's outside shot was slow to develop. At 11:41, Kerfoot would sink a trey from the corner to make it a 21-17 contest.
Down 27-17, Salena Dickerson (Federal Way, Wash.) would make good on her three-point play opportunity and make it a seven-point game.
Dickerson would be the team's offensive leader with 17 points, going 5-for-10 from the field. She also had five rebounds in 34 minutes of work.
Davis would continue to push to hold onto a double figure advantage, but the Redhawks continued to fight down the stretch. Six first half points by Heck, along with points from Daidra Brown (Seattle, Wash.) and Ashley Ward (Irvine, Calif.) would bring SU within three heading into the break, 36-33.
Freshman Ward was SU's second-leading scorer in the game. She tallied 13 points, going 5-for-9 from the field.
In the second half, SU went on a 4-2 run to open up action and a six foot Kerfoot jumper made it a one-point game 42-41 working inside the 16-minute mark.
The Aggies would continue to hold onto their lead by taking advantage of second chance opportunities, in conjunction with offensive miscues by the Redhawks.
Heck would make it a five-point contest, 50-45, at 11:36, but Seattle U continued to struggle to play fluidly on the offensive end. UCD played very tight, forcing a critical turnover on SU's ensuing play.
At 9:29, Dickerson would break things up by sinking a three-pointer from the corner and followed by adding layin to make it a 57-51 contest.
Despite bringing the game within five off a Kerfoot jumper at 7:26, UC Davis would make defensive stops and back-to-back Paige Mintun baskets would establish a 64-55 Aggie lead.
Dickerson once again would break the double digit Davis advantage with her second three-pointer, but it was immediately responded to with a three by the Aggies' Vicky Deely.
UC Davis would continue to play tight defensively, preventing SU from putting together consecutive plays.
With 2:27 to go, Amani Butler (Corona, Calif.) made a second chance basket to make it a 75-62 contest, but it was not enough to swing the momentum to the Redhawks.
Sylvia Shephard (Alta Loma, Calif.) would put up a pair of three-pointers in the final minute of play and Dickerson would add five points.
"I think we have improved so much," commented Bonvicini. "We shot well this game .. [especially] from the free throw line and the three-point line. It is little things, whether it is closing out on a shooter or boxing out or getting that extra pass [that we need to do]. Davis is a very good team and we [were] right there."
Seattle U finished shooting 44.1 percent (26-for-59) from the field, while Davis shot 43.9 percent (29-for-66). The Redhawks shot 43.8 percent from three-point land, while going 16-for-20 (80.0 percent) from the charity stripe.
The Aggies saw their biggest advantage with rebounding, leading 43 to SU's 32. UCD had 20 offensive boards, converting them into 24 second chance points.
The Redhawks (7-19) will next travel to UC Santa Barbara for a Sunday, Feb. 20 midday matchup. SU will take on the Gauchos in a 2 p.m. contest.