UC Davis couldn’t overcome a cold-shooting first half and ran into a defensive buzz saw Friday afternoon in falling 61-47 to Cal State Northridge in their Big West Conference women’s basketball semifinal at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Northridge, the defending tournament champion, will play top-seeded Hawaii for the title on Saturday.
The fifth-seeded Aggies (15-16) trailed the Matadors 25-14 at the half and had difficulty throughout the afternoon getting into their Princeton offense against Northridge’s nagging defense. Northridge (22-9) forced 19 UCD turnovers and held the Aggies to 43 percent shooting, including 14 percent from beyond the arc.
Northridge made a point of denying UCD perimeter standout Kelsey Harris, who scored 26 points and had a tournament record-tying eight three-pointers in the Aggies’ 70-67 upset of No. 4 Long Beach State on Wednesday. The senior guard was held to six points and missed on her only three-point attempt.
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Junior forward Alyson Doherty led the Aggies with 14 points – 12 in the second half – and seven rebounds and junior forward Celia Marfone added 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and had 10 rebounds. Senior guard Ashlee Guay led Northridge with a game-high 21 points and added seven rebounds and six assists.
UCD closed to within 33-31 with 10:56 to play on Doherty’s layup before threes by Randi Friess, Guay and Cinnamon Lister keyed a 9-4 Matador run and 42-35 lead with 9:08 to go. The Aggies would not get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Lister added 13 points for Northridge while Janae Sharpe scored 10.