UC Riverside 71

(17-15, 11-5 Big West)

UC Davis 67

(21-10, 12-4 Big West)

    4:00 PM ET, March 13, 2010

    1 2 T
    UCRV 29 4271
    UCD 28 3967

    Top Performers

    UC Riverside: A. Cox 27 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    UC Davis: H. Heintz 22 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast

    Cox's career-high 27 points send UC Riverside to NCAA tournament

    Associated Press

    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- UC Riverside's Amber Cox and Alyssa Morris proved to be too much for UC Davis to handle and the pair vaulted the Highlanders to the NCAA tournament.

    Cox scored a career-high 27 points and Morris added 19 to lead UC Riverside to a 71-67 victory over UC Davis for the championship of the Big West Conference women's basketball tournament Saturday.

    Cox made all five of her 3-point shots and was named the tournament's most valuable player.

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    "I definitely feel like I'm in a zone," Cox said. "Each shot that I put up counts. But it's really about being ready whenever the ball does come to you."

    The third-seeded Highlanders (17-15) have won 14 of their past 17 games after a rough start.

    "It really came down to too much Amber Cox and too much Alyssa Morris," Davis coach Sandy Simpson said. "We were right into them [defensively] and they're still knocking it down. They were just lights out."

    Riverside coach John Margaritis said his team's 3-12 start reflected numerous injuries.

    "I was deciding what drills to run with six people," Margaritis said. "We were just not developing. But we got healthy and we went home for four games. We won those four and that gave us some momentum.

    "Down the stretch, we had enough weapons and enough trust in each other to compete."

    Heidi Heintz scored a career-best 22 points and made 12 of 14 free throws for the top-seeded Aggies (21-10), who would have qualified for their first NCAA tournament with a victory. Paige Mintun added 18 points.

    Riverside held a 67-55 lead with 5:37 to play but Heintz scored six points during an 11-0 surge that narrowed Davis' deficit to 67-66 with 1:38 remaining.

    "We knew at that point just to take an aggressive mindset, and just attack them and attack the rim," Heintz said. "They were fouling us every time we drove."

    Haylee Donaghe had a chance to put the Aggies ahead after making a steal but missed her layup and the Highlanders' Brittany Waddell grabbed the rebound with 48 seconds left.

    Riverside freshman Tre'shonti Nottingham made two free throws with 15 seconds left to create a 69-66 lead. Minton converted the first of two free throws with 4.5 seconds left but Nottingham responded with two free throws with 1.9 seconds to play.

    "It was very overwhelming because I had never been in a position like that," Nottingham said. "I was more nervous than ever at that point. But after I hit the first one, I was fine."

    In the second half, Riverside shot 68.4 percent from the field and 72.7 percent from 3-point range.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 71 67
    FG Made-Attempted 25-43 (.581) 18-38 (.474)
    3P Made-Attempted 11-20 (.550) 3-8 (.375)
    FT Made-Attempted 10-10 (1.000) 28-34 (.824)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 12 8

    Game Leaders

    PointsA. Cox 27H. Heintz 22
    ReboundsB. Waddell 6K. Riecks 3
    AssistsA. Morris 6H. Heintz 2
    StealsT. Nottingham 3H. Donaghe 3

    2009-10 Season

    Jan 28, 2010 @UCD 54, UCRV 50Recap | Box Score
    Feb 27, 2010 @UCRV 57, UCD 53Recap | Box Score
    » Mar 13, 2010 UCRV 71, @UCD 67Recap | Box Score