Feb. 10, 2010
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis defeated Pacific, 62-59, in a Big West Conference men's basketball game Wednesday night at The Pavilion. The effort ended Pacific's 49-game winning streak over UC Davis as the Aggies collected their first win in the series since Feb. 17, 1940. Julian Welch led UC Davis with 19 points, and Dominic Calegari added 13. In addition, the Aggies won without leading scorer Mark Payne, who is out indefinitely due to illness.
UC Davis improved to 10-13 overall and 6-5 in the Big West. Pacific dropped to 15-8 overall and into a first-place tie with UC Santa Barbara at 8-3. Terrell Smith led the Tigers with 16 points. The game was played before a season-high 2,878 fans at The Pavilion.
"We competed really well and won an old-fashioned slugfest," said UC Davis head coach Gary Stewart. "We won it on the defensive end. We fought really hard and had to do it without Mark (Payne). We relied heavily on our student body to energize us. We talked about that. We felt like they would be a huge part of it, and they were. We were able to weather some storms, and that was huge for us."
UC Davis shot 44.4 percent for the game while holding Pacific to 40.7 percent. The Aggies shot 6-for-14 from beyond the arc, and the Tigers managed just 5-for-23 from long range. Each team committed 11 turnovers.
The largest lead of the game was nine by Pacific in the first half, while the Aggies led by as many as four in each half. The battle featured 17 lead changes and 11 ties. UC Davis led by one point at the half to set up a tight second half as neither team led by more than five the rest of the way.
Neither team shot better than 37 percent in the first half. The Aggies jumped out to an early lead after a three-pointer by Ryan Sypkens made it 8-4 at the 15:55 mark. Pacific countered with a 14-2 blitz and built an 18-10 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the half.
The Tigers led 25-16 with just under five minutes in the half before the Aggies closed the period on an 11-2 run. Welch scored eight of his 12 first-half points during the run, including a pair of free throws with 1:08 left to give the lead back to the Aggies and account for the 27-26 halftime score. In all, UC Davis held Pacific without a field goal in the final 4:50 of the half.
The start of the second half featured five lead changes in the first three minutes before Pacific used a 6-0 burst to claim a 37-32 lead with 14:48 remaining. UC Davis responded with an 11-4 run over the next five minutes to regain the lead. Welch scored five points in the run, and the Aggies led 43-41 at the 9:46 mark.
Pacific tied it at 43-43 and eventually led 46-45 after a trey by Smith just inside the nine-minute mark. Less than a minute later, the Aggies regained the lead on a three-pointer by Ryan Howley. A three-pointer by Todd Lowenthal, his first of the year, made it 53-49 with 6:08 to play. Pacific followed with four straight points to tie the game. A dunk by Smith with 2:17 left gave Pacific a 56-55 lead, but it would turn out to be the final field goal by the Tigers.
Joe Harden, who finished with eight points and five rebounds, scored seven of the Aggies' final nine points. His jumper with 1:57 left gave UC Davis a 57-56 lead. Two free throws by Sam Willard put Pacific back on top 58-57. Calegari made two free throws with 1:06 remaining to push the lead back in the Aggies' favor. Harden went 1-2 from the line with 34 seconds left and then drew a charge in the next Tiger possession. With 12 seconds left, Harden went 2-for-2 from the line to push the lead to 62-58.
Pacific's final point came on a free throw by Allen Huddleston with 2.1 seconds remaining. Demetrece Young missed an off-balance three-pointer deep in the left corner as time expired.
Welch finished the night 6-for-11 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line. The redshirt freshman also added three assists and one steal.
Pacific outrebounded UC Davis, 34-28. Joe Ford grabbed a game-high eight boards while Calegari led the Aggies with seven rebounds. Harden and Lowenthal each finished with five.
UC Davis returns to action Saturday when it plays at UC Irvine at 7 p.m.