Feb. 10, 2005
DAVIS, Calif. - Ryan Moore had his first double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Aggies withstood a late Gaucho charge as UC Davis broke a five-game skid with a 72-63 victory over UC Santa Barbara in a men's nonconference basketball game Thursday evening at the Pavilion.
With the win the Aggies improve to 9-14 on the season and snap an eight-game losing streak to UC Santa Barbara dating back to the 1939-40 season. UC Santa Barbara falls to 8-13 following the loss.
UC Davis held a 22-point lead midway through the second half and appeared to be in control until an 18-5 run by the Gauchos closed the deficit to nine with three and a half minutes to play. The Aggies entered the game seventh in the nation in free throw shooting at 76 percent, but on Thursday missed free throws allowed the Gauchos to get back in the game.
The two teams combined for 54 fouls and a total of 74 free throw attempts, but it was the missed opportunities that came back to haunt the Aggies. UC Davis went to the line 29 times in the second half, making just 18. With the clock stopped so much, UC Santa Barbara continued its charge, cutting the lead to six on three occasions in the final two minutes. When it mattered most, UC Davis regained its touch, making eight of 10 free throws in the final 1:22, including five by Moore and three from Justin Stearns, to clinch the victory.
The Aggies had struggled offensively in its last two games, averaging 52.5 points while shooting just 36 percent from the field and 19 percent from three-point range. On Thursday, however, the spark returned as UC Davis shot 54 percent from the field, its highest shooting night since connecting for 57 percent against Dartmouth on Dec. 20. The Aggies also hit 44 percent of its three-point attempts, its highest figure in the last 11 games.
UC Davis used the three-point shot to jump out to a 17-point lead in the opening 20 minutes. The Aggies hit six trey's, two each from Fowzi Abdelsamad and Rommel Marentez, to balance a strong defensive effort in the half. The Gauchos shot just 33 percent from the field and committed 10 turnovers as UC Davis took a 32-21 lead into halftime.
For a while it looked as though the Gauchos would struggle to get above the 50-point mark as with 14:30 to play they had only scored 22 points. Midway through the half they were still on 31 points, but a Joe See jumper followed by a pair of Josh Davis free throws started the 18-5 run over the next six minutes cut the lead into single digits.
"We played with great energy and passion tonight, we were energized by our fans who were a great help tonight," said Aggie head coach Gary Stewart. "It was a familiar script as we jumped out early but then let Santa Barbara back in the game. Fortunately for us by that time they were playing against the clock.
"We received a real strong effort from our bench tonight and that afforded us the opportunity to pressure them defensively," Stewart continued.
Moore's double-double was the first by an Aggie player this season and marked the ninth time this year he has scored 20-plus points. Abdelsamad finished with 13 points while Phil Rasmussen came off the bench to add 11.
UC Santa Barbara had four players in double figures, led by Davis' 13 and eight boards, while Michael Chambers added 12 and Alex Harris had 12 with eight rebounds.
UC Davis is next in action on Saturday when it closes out its 2004-05 home schedule against Cal Poly. Gametime is set for 7 p.m. with a short pregame ceremony honoring five seniors just before tipoff.
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