Balance lacking for UCI

Anteaters find difficulty blending offense and defense in the same lineup during lopsided loss to visiting UC Davis.

January 29, 2011|By Barry Faulkner,

IRVINE — There are plenty who would forgive Molly Goodenbour for reflecting on the past. In her third season as the UC Irvine women's basketball coach, Goodenbour is 29-52. The two years previous to that, she was 52-11 guiding Chico State, and her playing career includes helping Stanford win the 1992 NCAA crown, when she was named MVP of the Final Four.

But Goodenbour's thoughts have ambled further into her past, these days, as she considers a possible solution to a rough patch that has included three straight Big West Conference home losses. The latest of those was a 91-72 drubbing at the hands of UC Davis on Saturday that dropped the Anteaters (12-8, 4-4 in conference) from a three-way tie for third into sole possession of fifth in the nine-team conference.

"If we played six-on-six, we'd be great," said Goodenbour, who played the now-outlawed system during her junior high school days in Iowa, where the six-on-six scheme — that allowed three players to play exclusively on offense, with three others only on defense — was still used at the high school level into the early 1990s.


"Right now, we have some players who can play defense and not help us so much, offensively," Goodenbour said. "And we have some players who can play offensively, but not help us as much defensively. Our challenge is to try to blend those to be able to have the right combination on the floor, so that we don't suffer on either end."

There was suffering at both ends against the Aggies, who found equal offensive cohesion against the Anteaters' man-to-man and 2-1-2 zone defenses.

UC Davis (15-5, 5-3), ranked No. 10 in the mid-major poll, particularly excelled after halftime, when it shot 51.6% from the field and made half of its 12 three-point attempts to finish 12 of 26 from beyond the arc for the game.

The Aggies, who play the same zone defense employed by UCI, forced 16 turnovers, twice as many as they committed. And while the visitors buried shots from the perimeter, including a five-for-five three-point performance in the second half by Davis sophomore guard Vicky Deely, they also dissected the UCI defense efficiently enough to post a 34-18 scoring advantage in the paint.

UCI, meanwhile, was six for 23 from three-point range (26.1%) and finished 28 of 60 from the field (46.7%) overall.

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