Jan. 9, 2014
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Corey Hawkins fueled UC Davis’ second-half comeback by scoring 16 of his 25 points throughout the final 20 minutes of Thursday’s Big West Conference opener from The Matadome in Northridge, Calif., pulling the Aggies within five with 3:08 remaining. Unfortunately for the Aggies, Cal State Northridge was able to pull away to snap the Aggies' three-game win streak against the Matadors by an 89-77 score.
UC Davis will enter Saturday’s game at Long Beach State with a 5-11 record and 0-1 league mark; Cal State Northridge improves to 9-7 and 1-0 respectively with the result.
In addition to Hawkins, four other Aggies finished in double figures against the Matadors. Darius Graham ended with 13 points, Clint Bozner set a new career high with his 12, Georgi Funtarov chipped in another 12 with Ryan Sypkens rounding out the group with 11 points.
Bozner also matched another career high by finishing with a team-high six rebounds.
In his previous appearance against Simpson University last Thursday, Avery Johnson set a new career high by earning five assists; against Northridge, the junior forward continued to successfully set up quality looks for his teammate and was one of two players to record a team-high four assists.
Graham was the other Aggie to lead the team in assists.
With UC Davis trailing by 14, with just under nine minutes left in the game, Hawkins sparked his team’s comeback effort by scoring 10 straight points for the Aggies. Combined with back-to-back threes from Sypkens, UC Davis whittled the Matadors lead down to a paltry five points within a four-minute timespan.
After both teams matched one another shot-for-shot both around the court, and at the line throughout the next two minutes of game time, CSUN enhanced its lead in the final 90-plus seconds by scoring eight points, primarily at the stripe.
In a game that featured six of the Big West Conference’s top 10 free-throw shooters, both teams lived up to expectations as each only missed one shot throughout the entire contest.
UC Davis was 15 of 16 from the stripe and set a new season high with its .938 percentage, CSUN made 22 of its 23 free throw opportunities.
Even though the Aggies set a new Division I standard Thursday night against the Matadors, their percentage fell just short of matching the all-time school record of .958 set on March 6, 2004, at Cal State Stanislaus. That evening, the Aggies were 23-for-24 at the free throw line.
Hawkins led all players at the line with his 11-for-12 effort, falling one free throw shy of matching his career high.
With Bozner leading the way for UC Davis, the Aggies’ bench outscored CSUN’s reserves by a 16-12 margin.
Northridge forward Stephen Maxwell led all players with 26 points and sank all 10 of his free throw attempts. Josh Greene and Stephan Hicks finished with 22 and 17 points each.
Prior to Thursday’s game, UC Davis split its six previously played league openers since joining the Big West Conference in 2007.
UC Davis will end its first week of league action Saturday afternoon with a 4 p.m. game at Long Beach State; in addition to a radio broadcast on KSAC (105.5 FM), links for internet audio and live stats are available at ucdavisaggies.com.
MBB at Idaho (7 p.m.)