Jan. 28, 2010
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Joe Harden finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and five steals to help lead UC Davis to a 60-50 road win against UC Riverside Thursday night in a Big West Conference men's basketball game at the Student Recreation Center. The Aggies used a 10-0 run late in the game to pull away from the Highlanders while picking up their first Big West road win of the season.
UC Davis improved to 8-11 overall and 4-3 in the Big West while UC Riverside dropped to 8-12 and 2-6, respectively. Kyle Austin led the Highlanders with 22 points but shot 1-for-10 from the free throw line.
Harden was the only Aggie in double figures in scoring, but the squad was helped by a big performance from Todd Lowenthal. The junior finished with a career-high seven rebounds and five assists and tied a career-best with four steals in 31 minutes of action. Mark Payne was held under 10 points for the first time this season but did finish with eight rebounds and five assists. Dominic Calegari was hampered by foul trouble and finished with nine points.
It was just a 48-47 lead for the Aggies with 3:28 remaining before the decisive run. Calegari and Harden each scored four points during the stretch, and Lowenthal provided the other two points. When it was over, UC Davis led 58-47 with 33 seconds remaining.
"It was a collective effort tonight. Everyone who suited up really laid it on the line defensively," said UC Davis head coach Gary Stewart. "In the second half, we allowed just 23 points, and our field goal percentage defensive was superb."
UC Davis held UC Riverside to just under 35 percent from the field in the second half on 9-for-26 shooting.
"We had great contributions from everyone and particularly Todd Lowenthal," added Stewart. "He was outstanding. He did everything but sell popcorn down here. He had a tremendous effort on the backboard, timely steals and made great decisions all night long."
Each team traded buckets through the first six minutes of the game, and the score was tied 8-8 after a Harden basket at the 14:02 mark. Jelani Floyd
gave UC Davis its first lead at 11-8 when he made a three-pointer less than a minute later.
After the Highlanders tied it, the Aggies went on a 6-0 run that was fueled by three-pointers by Payne and Adam Malik. UC Riverside came right back with a 6-0 run of its own and tied the game once again at 17-17. The Highlanders led 27-23 with 2:41 remaining in the period after consecutive field goals by Bryson Hampton. The Aggies would close the half on a 5-0 burst with a layup by Ryan Howley giving UC Davis the lead for good with just over a minute left.
The Aggies continued their surge to start the second half by scoring the first four points. UCR pulled within 32-31, but UC Davis went on a 7-0 run to take a 39-31 lead. Harden started it with a jumper in the lane. Malik made a three-pointer at the top of the key, and then a steal by Lowenthal set up a fast-break layup by Harden. Payne fed Harden with a behind-the-back pass from the right side as the bucket prompted a Highlander timeout.
The momentum then shifted back to UC Riverside as the Highlanders held the Aggies scoreless for more than six minutes. However, they were only able to close the gap to 39-37. Dominic Calegari then scored five straight points on a three-pointer and transition layup to push the lead back to 44-37. UCR countered with a 10-4 run before the Aggies went on their final blitz.
For the game, UC Davis shot 46 percent while holding the Highlanders to 41 percent. The Aggies shot 9-for-15 from the line with the Highlanders managing just 9-for-22. Each team had 33 rebounds. The Aggies finished with 10 steals.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak by the Aggies at UC Riverside.
UC Davis concludes its road trip Saturday afternoon at Long Beach State.