Go ahead, play a zone defense. Then admire all the pretty rainbows.
USC dropped into a zone last Friday in the first round of the Women of Troy Classic in Los Angeles, and UC Davis buried 14 three-pointers as the Aggies shocked their Pacific-12 Conference host 78-69.
The victory evened the Aggies' record and had head coach Jennifer Gross marveling at her team's accomplishment.
The Aggies' team record of 17 three-pointers was set in 2007 against Cal Poly. Against the Trojans, the Aggies were 14 for 26 and are now 67 for 195 (.344 percent) this season after they beat Cal State Bakersfield the next day 71-59. The Aggies were just 3 for 9 as the Roadrunners play an up-tempo man-to-man defense and rarely drop into a zone.
"We shot really, really well against USC, and when we shoot like that we are tough to beat," Gross said. "Hopefully our team can see the results of their hard work, because they put up a lot of shots over the (holiday) break."
The Aggies made seven three-pointers in each half against the Trojans led by Blair Shinoda, Sydnee Fipps and Cortney French. French was 5 for 9 from three-point range and scored 20 points. Shinoda was 3 for 4 and scored 13 points. Fipps made all three of her three-point shots, all seven of her free throws and topped all scorers with 22 points.
Shinoda and USC forward Christina Marinacci, both seniors, played Amateur Athletic Union and prep basketball together at Santa Ana's Foothill High School. That connection, almost sister-like, Gross said, was a major reason the Aggies were invited to participate in the tournament.
"Blair has bragging rights for the rest of their lives," said Gross, who has her team on a three-game winning streak. The Aggies (5-4) host another Pac-12 team Washington (7-3) today at 7 p.m.
The Aggies visit Sacramento State for a 2 p.m. game Sunday.
So close to history Sacramento State's men (6-4, 1-1 Big Sky Conference) lost 61-60 at home to Montana last Friday, missing an opportunity for a 7-3 start that would have been the best in the program's NCAA Division I era.
The Hornets missed 15 of their first 16 shots and trailed 17-6 midway through the first half.
Sac State's Dylan Garrity tied the score with seven seconds left on a three-pointer. But Montana's Will Cherry made a free throw to break the tie for the win.
The Hornets' loss was the 12th consecutive to the Grizzlies, a streak that began on Feb. 7, 2007. Montana (6-4, 2-0) is the defending Big Sky regular-season and tournament champion.
The Hornets next play Thursday at Northern Arizona (4-8, 1-1) in a conference game.
Aggies men heating up The UC Davis men have won three of their past four games, including two of three at the World Vision Challenge at Utah State last weekend.
The Aggies (4-7) opened the tournament with a 78-70 victory over Southern Illinois. They lost 73-61 to Utah State, and then defeated Nicholls State 82-71.
Junior guard Ryan Sypkens (Franklin High) scored 23 of his career-high 28 points in the second half against Nicholls State. Corey Hawkins scored 19 points and was named to the all-tournament team. He averaged 16.7 points and four assists a game.
The Aggies begin Big West Conference play Saturday against UC Irvine (6-7), which defeated USC 61-54 on Dec. 20.
Waiting for their rivals The Sac State women (5-5) have lost three of four games (all on the road) after winning four in a row.
The Hornets host UC Davis at 2 p.m. Sunday, just their third home game this season.
"We're looking forward to getting a home game, and with it being a rivalry game we always get a little more up for the Aggies," Hornets head coach Jamie Craighead said.
There's not much chance of the Hornets playing zone defense against the Aggies. Craighead and her squad prefer to play a full-court, pressure defense.