UC Davis sophomore center Alyson Doherty is earning plenty of respect around the Big West Conference these days.
Doherty had 20 points, six rebounds and four assists while playing toe-to-toe with Big West Player of the Year candidate Molly Schlemer, a 6-foot-5 senior from Cal Poly, in the Aggies’ 81-72 loss to the first-place Mustangs last Thursday at the Pavilion.
The 6-3 Doherty, who is averaging 12.4 points per game this season, came back with 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists in an 82-70 win over visiting UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
Her effort was one point off her career high of 24 points scored in a loss at Hofstra on Dec. 7. Then Doherty missed three games with an illness and it took her until the Big West season started to get untracked.
She has helped keep the Aggies (9-11, 4-3) among the top half in the Big West standings entering tonight’s game at Cal State Northridge (10-12, 6-2).
“We knew all along what she was capable of,” said UC Davis coach Jennifer Gross. “But the last couple of weeks we’ve realized what a tough matchup she can be. She’s physical, but mobile. … The thing is, it’s really hard to double us because we have a lot of shooters on the floor, so she gets a lot of one-on-one matchups.”
Shot heard ’round nation – Sacramento State is capitalizing on the national buzz created by junior guard Dylan Garrity’s 75-foot, buzzer-beating 3-pointer in last Saturday’s 78-75 overtime upset of Big Sky Conference-leading Weber State at The Nest.
The Hornets (8-11, 4-6) will hand out “The Hail Garrity” commemorative T-shirts to the first 250 fans at tonight’s game against Northern Arizona (9-12, 6-4).
Sac State coach Brian Katz is amazed at how the shot, which he didn’t see when Garrity took it, “has blown up” in the national media, including the No. 1 play of the night on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
“It’s pretty shocking,” Katz said on a Big Sky Conference podcast. “I don’t live in that world much. I’m not on social media. I don’t really watch TV. Everywhere I turn, we’ve got all the local stations here interviewing our players.”
Garrity’s basket overshadowed a remarkable performance by junior guard Mikh McKinney,
who scored a career-high 30 points against Weber State, including seven in overtime.
The Hornets’ victory snapped a 12-game losing streak to Weber State dating back to the 2006-07 season.
Sac State hosts Northern Arizona tonight. The Lumberjacks have beaten the Hornets in 17 of the past 18 meetings.
Another Hornets record – The Sac State women earned their first Big Sky road victory of the season, a much-needed 111-104 win at Weber State last Saturday, breaking their own conference records for points scored and combined points the Hornets set the week before at home against North Dakota.
Sac State (14-5, 6-4) did it playing shorthanded, something it may have to do the rest of the season.
Junior Andrea Chenier, who averaged 10 points and 2.9 steals, missed her seventh consecutive game with a knee injury that likely is season-ending. Junior Shanti Smith, averaging 9.7 points and one of the Hornets’ top inside players on an undersize team, missed last Thursday’s Idaho State game as well as the Weber State contest. She is doubtful for games tonight at Northern Arizona (6-13, 3-7) and on Saturday at Southern Utah (12-7, 6-4).
Returning starting senior guard Se’Nyce Parrish suffered a season-ending knee injury before the season started.
Sac State still leads all NCAA Division I teams (343 total) with 12.9 three-pointers made per game, 14.6 steals per game, and a 10.1 turnover margin.
Aggies at home – The UC Davis men (7-15, 2-5) face a couple of intriguing matchups at home tonight against Northridge and Saturday against UC Irvine
Northridge (11-12, 3-5) is coached by former Sacramento Kings coach and player Reggie Theus, whose team has played well at home but is just 1-10 on the road.
UC Irvine (14-9, 5-2) is tied for the conference lead with UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State and is one of the tallest college teams in the country, topped by 7-6 freshman Mamadou Ndiaye.
Former Sacramento High standout Will Davis, a 6-9 junior forward and an All-Big West Conference Preseason selection, is the conference’s active career shot blocking leader with 163.
UC Davis snapped an eight-game road losing streak beating Cal Poly 62-58 last Thursday in San Luis Obispo.
Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.