DAVIS, Calif. – UC Davis needed little time Thursday to put the Idaho Vandals in a deep hole.
Morgan Bertsch scored 20 of her game-high 27 points in the first half to power the Aggies (26-6) to an 82-62 win over Idaho (19-14) to open the Women’s National Invitation Tournament at the Pavilion.
UC Davis shot 21 for 34 from the field in the first half, including 5 of 12 on 3-pointers, and built a 47-27 lead despite having no free-throw attempts.
The Aggies extended their lead to 29 points with 4 minutes left in the third quarter and cruised to a second-round matchup on Sunday against Wyoming, which defeated New Mexico State 67-59.
Bertsch finished 12 of 15 from the floor and the Aggies shot 34 for 61 (56 percent). UC Davis hit 9 of 20 from long range.
Junior Taylor Pierce led the Vandals with 19 points, shooting 8 of 18 from the field. Pierce hit three of Idaho’s five 3-pointers and finished with 137 on the season.
Junior Mikayla Ferenz closed the season with 18 points, passing Emily Faurholt for Idaho’s single-season scoring record at 742 points.
Senior Nejra Solo had a game-high eight rebounds to guide Idaho’s 32-30 edge.
Vandals freshman Allison Kirby led all players with five assists.
Idaho closed with 10 points several times in the second quarter, but the Aggies used a 9-0 run to push their lead to 45-26. Bertsch had two layups and Sophia Song hit a 3-pointer during the run.
The Vandals earned the WNIT berth by advancing to the Big Sky Tournament championship game, which Northern Colorado won 69-61.
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