Jan. 12, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - By protecting the ball, making all 13 shots taken from the free-throw line and preventing UC Santa Barbara from scoring during a 4:33 block of time in the second half, UC Davis turned a double-digit deficit into a one-possession game with 1:46 left in Saturday night's Big West Conference game against the Gauchos at The Pavilion.
To preserve as much time as possible in the final minute of play, the Aggies had no choice but to foul; by scoring its final four points of the night at the line, UCSB (6-10, 2-3 BWC) turned what was a three-point lead into the game's eventual difference to defeat UC Davis 66-59.
Sophomore guard Corey Hawkins scored 16 of his team-high 23 points in the final half, junior guard/forward Josh Ritchart and junior guard Ryan Sypkens added another 12 and 11 points respectively for the Aggies (5-10, 1-3 BWC).
In the second half, Santa Barbara's offense was stifled by an aggressive Aggie defense that forced the Gauchos to commit six turnovers. Conversely, UC Davis only committed one turnover throughout that same timespan.
With 6:50 remaining in the game, Hawkins and senior guard Ryan Howley combined efforts to score six unanswered points, pulling UC Davis within four with three minutes still left in the game.
Santa Barbara's Kyle Boswell not only ended the Aggies' six-point run with a three, but he also snapped his team's scoring drought to push his team's lead back to seven prior to the game's final media timeout.
When action resumed, a free throw from Boswell extended the Gauchos' advantage to eight; during the following 50 seconds, free throws from Hawkins and a Ritchart three on consecutive UC Davis possessions trimmed UCSB's lead to three with only 1:48 left in regulation.
Responsible for one-third of his team's 30 rebounds, Howley finished with a double-digit rebound total for the seventh time this season. In addition to his 11 points, Sypkens also recorded six rebounds.
UC Santa Barbara forward Alan Williams led all Gauchos with 28 points and finished with 11 rebounds
Howley grabbed nine of his 10 boards on defense, preserving his spot as the Big West's leading rebounder on defense, one slot ahead of Williams, for another week.
UC Davis committed only seven turnovers Saturday evening, the second-lowest total of the season. Last December, UC Davis did not commit ball-handling error throughout the final 23:37 of action against Eastern Washington to finish with a season-low four turnovers.
Fourteen of the Aggies' 59 points were scored off 11 UC Santa Barbara miscues.
Saturday's game against the Gauchos was the last of a three-game homestand, UC Davis will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Cal State Northridge.