Yosemite High graduate Sydnee Fipps scored 13 points for the UC Davis Aggies (5-7, 0-1) Jan. 5 in a 78-64 loss to the University of Pacific (11-2, 1-0) in Stockton. It was the Big West Conference opener for both teams. Fipps, a sophomore starter averaging 18.6 points per game entering Saturday's contest, has now scored in double figures in all 12 games of the season. All her points against UOP came in the second half of the game.
Freshman Molly Greubel of Santa Ana scored a career-high 18 points for the Aggies. She hit 6-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-3 from three-point range, and sank all four of her free throw attempts. She also dished out three assists and collected three steals.
Fipps, who broke eight eights school records as a Badger before graduating in 2011, had four steals and three rebounds on the night. She also had about 25 relatives in the stands from Mariposa, Fresno, Clovis, Hanford and Sacramento rooting for her and Aggies.
Pacific jumped out to an 11-6 lead just four minutes in, but junior Idit Oryon (Jerusalem, Israel) cut the lead with a jumper and a free throw, then Greubel cut the Tiger lead to just one after sinking a 3-pointer at the 14:04 mark. The teams stayed within just a few points of each other until back-to-back treys from Sam Pettinger put Pacific back up by six points with 10:13 to go. Another Tiger basket put them up 24-16.
Two straight buckets from Greubel cut back in to Pacific's lead while senior Cortney French (Stockton's Saint Mary's High) added a jumper in the paint at the 5:41 mark and UC Davis trailed by just four points.
Freshman Celia Marfone (Laguna Hills) grabbed an offensive board and her putback was good with just 4:18 to play and the Tigers' lead dwindled to two points, however that would be the final field goal of the half for Aggies, as Pacific closed the first period on a 14-1 run to take a 40-27 lead into halftime.
Out of the break, Pacific scored six straight points until Fipps' layup stopped the Tiger run and gave the sophomore her first points of the game. Erica McKenzie responded with a three pointer, however, and Pacific held a 49-29 lead with 17:33 to play.
UC Davis clawed back with a 17-4 run over the next six minutes. The run started with a Greubel jumper and was capped off by a three from French. Fipps added two free throws and UC Davis was within seven points at 53-46 with 11:24 to play.
Pacific regained a double-digit lead on three consecutive baskets, but UC Davis cut into the Tiger lead once again after Marfone scored, then made two free throws with 7:34 to play.
A long-range three from Shinoda pulled the Aggies to within seven yet again with 5:19 to play and Greubel kept UC Davis there with a pair of free throws, but in the final 3:37, Pacific went on a 9-2 run to seal the 78-64 win.
Aggies coach Jennifer Gross said there were stretches in the game where her team played very well, but in the tough Big West Conference, her team needs to play well for 40 minutes.
After 12 games, Fipps leads the team in scoring with 218 points (18.2 per game average). rebounds (56) and made free throws (68). She is tied with teammate Shinoda for steals with 27, is second on the team in made 3-point shots (21) and is third in assists (20).
UC Davis continues a four-game road trip as the Aggies take on Cal Poly tonight and UC Santa Barbara Jan. 12.
Fipps holds eight records at Yosemite and is only the second player in the school's history to score more than 2,000 points in her four-year varsity career under coach Gary Blate.
All UC Davis games can be seen at ucdavisaggies.com.