Yosemite High 2011 graduate, now UC Davis senior Sydnee Fipps scored 20 of her team-high 27 points after halftime to lead Aggies (12-10, 7-3 Big West Conference) to a 74-67 overtime win over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 12.
It marked the fourth consecutive win for UC Davis, and Fipps tied a season high by hitting 7-of-10 from the floor, including four 3-pointers. It was her seventh 20-point game of the year and the 30th of her career - just one shy of the school record held by Staci Stevens (1984-88).
“The team brought it themselves, they understand what’s on the line here,” Coach Jennifer Gross said after the game. “Every game from here on out is just so crucial, and every time we play Fullerton it comes down to the wire and it's a battle because both teams want it so badly.”
Chante Miles finished with a game-high 33 points for Fullerton.
A 9-0 Fullerton run late in the second half erased a 54-49 UC Davis lead to put the Titans up four with 5:48 to play. Fipps slashed to the hoop to stop the bleeding and cut it to two, but Miles nailed a deep three to put Fullerton up five and set up the Aggies‘ rally.
Fipps hit 1-of-2 from the line out of a Fullerton timeout and then drained a 3-pointer with 3:46 to play to make it a one-point game before Alyson Doherty hit another from the line to tie the game a minute later.
With time winding down, and Fullerton looking to put it away, Doherty swiped the ball away inside and Fipps was fouled, nailing the first of two to tie it up once again.
The Titans had one last chance, but Tailer Butler missed a three-pointer from the right corner as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra period, the Aggies came out firing, scoring the first six points on buckets by Celia Marfone, Doherty, and Fipps, to go up 68-62 with 2:27 to play. Fullerton got no closer than three points, as UC Davis hit 6-of-6 from the line down the stretch to ice the game.
The Aggies shot 52% from the floor for the game, topping the mark for the third consecutive contest.
No. 2 for all time career points
Solidifying her hold on second place on the UC Davis women’s basketball all-time scoring list, Fipps now enters this week’s games with 1,572 career points, now setting her sights on Carol Rische and the No. 1 spot. She needs needs 140 more points to pass the Aggie all-time great. She will need to average 23 points per game over the remaining six regular season contests to place her atop the list.
Should Fipps finish atop the Aggies’ leaderboard when it comes to scoring at the end of the season, she would become only the fourth UC Davis women’s basketball player to do so in three consecutive seasons, joining Paige Mintun (2008-11), Staci Stevens (1985-88), and all-time leading scorer Rische - who is the only Aggie to lead the team in scoring all four years of her career from 1979-83. Last season, Fipps became just the ninth UC Davis player to accomplish the feat in back-to-back seasons.
Big games Thursday and Saturday
The Aggies play tonight (Thursday), hosting Long Beach State and travel to Hawaii this Saturday. It’s a big week for the Aggies as they are tied for second in the conference with Long Beach (both 7-3 BWC), just one win behind Hawaii (8-2 BCW).
“We are on a four-game win streak, and these two games are very important for us,” Fipps said. “The first time we played Long Beach, we lost on a buzzer-beater shot. The first time we played Hawaii, we were ahead by 12 in the second half and they ended up beating us.”
Fipps said UC Davis had one of the toughest per-conference schedules in the county this year, playing the likes of national power U-Conn, along with Stanford, Arizona, Pacific, and St. Mary’s.
Fipps said this year’s team is the strongest since she has been at Davis.
“We lost just one senior last year, so as a team, we have a lot of experience this year,” said the 5-foot-8 forward.
Fipps worked hard in the off-season to improve her shooting.
“I am a better shooter this year,” Fipps said. “I have improved my 3-point shooting and that is a bigger part of my game this season in addition to slashing to the basket.”
Fipps, who holds eight basketball school records at Yosemite, and lead the Badgers to a 39-1 league record during her four years on the varsity team, will graduate in June with a degree in Economics. Upon graduation, she plans on retaining an agent with hopes to play professionally overseas.