The USF Lady Dons basketball team faced the Aggies of UC Davis last Friday night in their first regular season contest of the year. The Dons (0-1) fell to the Aggies (1-0) 69-45 in a game of almost complete domination by UC Davis. The Lady Dons started the game strong with a three pointer by junior guard Heidi Anton but the Aggies responded and completely took control, answering with a series of three-pointers to give them a 16-6 lead only 6 minutes into the game. For the rest of the game the Aggies continued to build on their lead and fight away multiple Lady Dons rallies.
The Lady Dons terrible first half of play really hurt their chances of winning because after the opening three from Anton, the team shot a dreary 17.4% from the field. The Aggies, selected in the preseason to win the Big West, were led by their All Big West Conference center Paige Mintun who put up 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Mintun was able to use her 6-2 frame to dominate the Lady Dons down low while also converting both of her attempts from outside the arc.
Losing 32-14 at half, San Francisco’s new head coach Jennifer Azzi must have turned out quite the halftime speech, because during the second half the Lady Dons looked like a completely different team. Sophomore shooter Ashley Boggs entered the game and made an immediate impact, sinking two from behind the arc, helping the Lady Dons come to within 6 points of the Aggies. Senior guard Kelly Jo Mullaney, a recent transfer to USF from Colorado, also contributed by putting up 12 points. Had the Lady Dons played as well in the first half as in the second the game would have had a much different result.
With ten minutes left in the game the Lady Dons knocked the Aggies to a 52-36 lead, after Mullaney sank a much-needed three. Just as the tables looked to be turned, the Aggies once again went on the offensive. Knocking down a pair of three pointers and two free throws the Aggies took the next ten points and put the game out of reach for the Lady Dons.
The Lady Dons struggled at shooting from beyond the arc, normally an important aspect of their game, converting 6 out of 20 attempts or 30%, down from 42% in their first exhibition game. The Lady Dons also had a hard time completing passes, finishing the game with only 7 assists while giving up 19 turnovers.
On Monday, November 15 the Lady Dons return to the Hilltop, hosting Bay Area neighbors the Spartans from San Jose State University. The game is the first of the “Be a Part of It” campaign in collaboration with the West Coast Conference. As part of the promotion for “Fitness Day” fans that bring a canned food donation will receive free “Building Champions” bracelets. Also, fans can hear Lady Don’s head coach Jennifer Azzi and nutritionist Rosie Bank give a post game talk on nutrition and wellness. Tip-Off against the Spartans is schedule for 7 PM.
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