Aggies' 'D' leads to 64-53 victory in Big West opener

Jan. 4, 2018

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DAVIS, Calif. - Meeting for the first time since last year’s instant classic in the championship game of the Big West Conference Tournament, UC Davis scored 15 of 16 points during a six-minute timespan midway through the second half, forced seven UC Irvine turnovers, prevented the Anteaters from recording a field goal for over eight minutes and limited its opponent to only 13 points, on four baskets, throughout the final 14 minutes of the game to turn a four-point deficit into a 64-53 victory in Thursday’s Big West Conference opener.

With this result, the Aggies extended their home win streak to 16, notched their fifth victory in a league opener out of the six played on Hamilton Court since joining the Big West Conference in 2007, and will enter next Thursday’s ESPN3 game at UC Riverside —the first bye of UC Davis’ BWC slate will take place on Saturday — with a 10-5 overall and 1-0 Big West record.

UC Irvine will continue its season with records of 5-12 and 0-1 respectively.

Junior communication major TJ Shorts II lead all players with 22 points on a blistering 8 of 9 shooting, hit both shots from three and another four at the free throw line to post his third 20-point effort of the season and the second in the last four games.

Senior communication major Chima Moneke earned his league-high ninth double-double on 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, junior communication major Siler Schneider led all players with four assists and chipped in another 10 to round out the Aggies’ list of double-figure scorers.

Of UC Davis’ 64 points, 34 were scored in the paint and 19 took place off UC Irvine’s 22 turnovers, a season-high total for an Aggie opponent. Of those Anteater miscues, sophomore economics major Joe Mooney collected a career-high four steals, Schneider matched a career high with three of his own, and the team finished with 10 or more for the second straight game.

The Aggies recorded 13 steals against Holy Names in its final non-conference game of the year before finishing with 12 Thursday night.

“What I liked about our team is that our defense did not suffer after some of our early shots did not go in. The right players shot the ball at the right opportunities; some teams ease up on defense if the ball does not go in, and that did not happen to us tonight,” said head coach Jim Les.

“I told them about the law of averages at halftime, we just needed to keep defending until the ball went in and that is when we started to pull away. This was a really good team win.

Leading 31-30 at halftime, UC Irvine opened the second half by outscoring the Aggies, 10-7, until it turned ice cold on both ends of the floor. While the Anteaters struggled on offense, UC Davis scored seven unanswered to take the lead from good. When the Aggies’ 15-1 scoring run concluded, they led by as many as 15 points until the Anteaters hit a couple last-minute baskets to trim its deficit to the game’s final margin.

Until UCI scored late, it was held to only five points during a 10-minute chunk of action in the second half. Throughout the last 20 minutes of each team’s inaugural league game of the year, UC Irvine shot .233 overall since it made only 7 of 30 attempts.

Starting with next Thursday’s road game at UC Riverside, both of UC Davis’ games taking place next week will air for a national audience on ESPN3. After visiting the Inland Empire, the Aggies will visit Cal State Fullerton next Saturday.


UC DAVIS 64, UC IRVINE 53

UC IRVINE (5-12, 0-1 BWC)
Worku, Eyassu 7-12 5-6 19; Hazzard, Max 3-10 2-2 10; Edgar Jr., John 3-9 0-0 8; Traylor, Darrian 2-5 2-5 6; Rutherford, Tommy 1-5 4-6 6; Galloway, Jonathan 1-4 0-0 2; Leonard, Evan 1-4 0-0 2; Jones, Elston 0-0 0-0 0; Smith, Brandon 0-0 0-0 0; Welch, Riley 0-0 0-0 0; Greene, Brad 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-50 13-19 53.

UC DAVIS (10-5, 1-0 BWC)
Shorts II, TJ 8-9 4-7 22; Moneke, Chima 7-13 5-8 20; Schneider, Siler 4-13 2-2 10; Onyebalu, Michael 1-6 1-2 3; Mooney, Joe 1-4 0-1 3; Goode, Garrison 0-2 3-6 3; John, AJ 1-2 0-0 2; Russell, Colin 0-0 1-2 1; Jackson, Delveion 0-0 0-0 0; Hennings, Arell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 16-28 64.

UC Irvine.....................   30   23  -   53
UC Davis......................   31   33  -   64

3-point goals--UC Irvine 4-17 (Hazzard, Max 2-6; Edgar Jr., John 2-5; Leonard, Evan 0-2; Traylor, Darrian 0-3; Worku, Eyassu 0-1), UC Davis 4-17 (Shorts II, TJ 2-2; Mooney, Joe 1-3; Moneke, Chima 1-3; John, AJ 0-1; Hennings, Arell 0-1; Onyebalu, Michael 0-2; Schneider, Siler 0-5). Fouled out--UC Irvine-Leonard, Evan, UC Davis-None. Rebounds--UC Irvine 42 (Rutherford, Tommy 11), UC Davis 31 (Moneke, Chima 13). Assists--UC Irvine 7 (Hazzard, Max 4), UC Davis 11 (Schneider, Siler 4). Total fouls--UC Irvine 25, UC Davis 20. Technical fouls--UC Irvine-None, UC Davis-None. A-1203



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