Jan. 6, 2011
DAVIS, Calif. - Despite four players scoring in double figures, the UC Davis men's basketball team scored just 28 points in the second half, en route to a final 77-65 loss vs. UC Santa Barbara Thursday, at The Pavilion.
UC Davis (6-9, 1-2) shot 54 percent in the first half, but still trailed 41-37 at the intermission. The Aggies had the game tied at 41-41 to start the second half, but UC Santa Barbara (8-5, 1-1) used a quick 6-0 run to pull away for good. UC Davis cut the lead to four late in the game, but never led in the second period.
Orlando Johnson scored a game high 21 points, including 16 second half points, five assists and four rebounds to lead UC Santa Barbara. James Nunnally also posted 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds.
UC Davis was led by Eddie Miller, who tallied 18 points on 8 of 12 shooting, while adding six rebounds. Mike Kurtz scored a career high 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting, hitting 3 of 5 from behind the arc. Ryan Sypkens reached double figures for the fourth consecutive game with 13 points, while Ryan Silva added a season high 10 points.
"I felt like we could have been more aggressive offensively," said head coach Gary Stewart. "We got a little tentative on the offensive end and that affected our defensive intensity. We really wanted to pressure and we weren't as aggressive in the second half."
After a 7-7 tie to start the game, UC Davis rattled off seven unanswered points, thanks to five Sypkens points, to take a 14-7 lead at the 14:40 mark. UC Santa Barbara responded with a 15-4 run to take a 22-18 advantage with 8:32 on the clock.
The first half had three lead changes and four ties, including a 29-29 score after a Sypkens free throw tied it up with 5:19 to go in the first. UC Santa Barbara managed to take back to lead shortly after, thanks to a four point play from Jordan Weiner.
The Gauchos were on fire from long distance in the first 20 minutes, shooting 7 of 10 from behind the arc. A pair of threes from Nunnally and Will Brew gave UC Santa Barbara a 41-36 advantage, their biggest lead of the first half with just 10 seconds on the clock.
Kurtz had a career high by halftime, leading the Aggies with 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting. Nunnally also poured in 11 first half points to lead the Gauchos.
UC Davis started the second with a Miller three and Joe Harden free throw to tie the score at 41-41. UC Santa Barbara responded with a 6-0 run of their own, to take a lead that they would not surrender.
UC Santa Barbara took their first double digit lead with a 57-46 score at the 10:17 mark in the second half. A fastbreak dunk for Eddie Miller sparked the offense for the Aggies, who climbed within four with 5:33 left to play. A Sypkens three made the score 59-55, but UC Davis would get no closer.
The Aggies suffered from multiple turnovers late in the game, as the Gauchos' lead did not dip below six in the closing minutes. UC Santa Barbara managed to hit their final six free throws, to take their biggest lead of the game with 77-65 final score.
"We had it down to a two possession game and we turned the ball over twice," said Stewart. "We could ill afford to do that. Not only in that situation, but 17 turnovers in the game is going to make it difficult to come away with a win."
UC Davis will look to bounce back this weekend, when they play host to the Cal Poly Mustangs on Saturday, Jan. 8 in The Pavilion.