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Women's Basketball

#4 UC Davis Upends #1 Cal Poly To Claim 2011 ampm Big West Tournament Title

Files associated with this release:
UCD-CP Box Score.pdf
UCD-CP Quotes.pdf

3/12/2011

Two teams with a dream battled for the right to be crowned Big West Tournament Champions for the first time in their program's history. And with that, the opportunity to attend the ultimate dance.

Let the celebration begin in Davis, California. UC Davis defeated Cal Poly 66-49 to win the 2011 ampm Big West Women's Tournament Championship Saturday afternoon at the Honda Center. The Aggies received the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA women's selection show will be shown live on Monday at 4 p.m. (PST) on ESPN.

Paige Mintun, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, scored a game-high 20 points while teammates Vicky Deely scored 12 and Heidi Heintz added 11 and a game-high nine rebounds as UC Davis won their first-ever Big West Tournament Championship.

The two teams split in the regular season so the rubber match had much more at stake. Aggie Coach Sandy Simpson, who announced prior to the season that this season will be his last, will put off retirement for at least another week as he leads his team into the program's first-ever NCAA appearance.

No. 4 UC Davis (24-8) came out the aggressor in the first half as they built an early 9-2 lead. Mintun scored on power layup, drew the foul and completed the three-point play to extend the Aggies lead to 14-4 at the 12:40 mark.

Following a three-pointer by Deely from the right wing, Mintun scored again on another strong post move with 10:10 left. Suddenly the lead was 21-9 and momentum was all in favor of the Aggies.

Within a blink of an eye, it was 30-14 after Hannah Stephens scored with 4:42 left in the half.

Halftime came as fast as it could for the No. 1 seeded Mustangs as they entered the break trailing 35-22.

Cal Poly (18-12) rallied the troops and started out the second half on a bang. Clancy, the Big West Conference player of the year, drilled a three-pointer from the left wing and then nailed a mid-range jumper from the left baseline to bring Cal Poly to within eight at 36-28 with 17:07 left.

Clancy was beginning to heat up. She then knocked down a wide-open trey from the left wing to cut the deficit to 38-33. Clancy would finish with 20 points. No other Mustang scored in double figures.

But the Aggies countered by going on the decisive 18-4 run to rebuild the lead back up to an insurmountable advantage at 56-37 with 10:16 remaining. Mintun converted on five of six free throws and Heintz made a jumper followed by converting a layup into a three-point play.

Clancy scored on a three-foot jumper to score the first Mustang points in close to six minutes and halt the Aggie run. It sparked Cal Poly on an 8-0 run to trim the lead to 56-45 with 3:16 left in the game.

But it wasn't meant to be for Cal Poly. A couple possessions later Mintun put the game away on a slashing layup to make it 60-45 with 1:18 remaining. She finished the game making 7-of-15 field goals and six-of-seven free throws.

UC Davis had a huge advantage off the bench as their reserves outscored Cal Poly’s bench, 25-4.

The Aggies shot 19 for 42 (45.2%) for the game while the Mustangs struggled at 17 for 53 (32.1%). UC Davis also made 23 free throws to only eight for Cal Poly.

The 2011 ampm Big West Women's Basketball All-Tournament team included Mintun, Heintz, Clancy, Abby Bloetscher (Cal Poly), Tre'Shonti Nottingham (UC Riverside) and Danielle Peacon (Pacific).

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