Big Second Half Lifts Aggies Over Rival Sonoma State

Fowzi Abdelsamad made 8 of 10 free throws in the closing minutes to preserve the Aggie victory. (Wayne Tilcock/The Davis Enterprise)
 
Fowzi Abdelsamad made 8 of 10 free throws in the closing minutes to preserve the Aggie victory. (Wayne Tilcock/The Davis Enterprise)
 

Feb. 14, 2004

Box Score

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. - Fowzi Abdelsamad scored 15 points and the Aggies sank 12 of 14 free throws in the final minute and a half as UC Davis defeated Sonoma State 74-64 in a California Collegiate Athletic Association men's game Saturday evening at Seawolf Gym.

With the win the Aggies improve to 15-6 on the season, 12-4 in conference play. UC Davis has also won 11 of its last 12 games dating back to early January. Sonoma falls to 8-13 overall, 7-9 in CCAA action.

The first half saw the lead go back and forth as there were eight leading changes in the opening 10 minutes. UC Davis opened its biggest lead of the half at 23-13 at the 8:13 mark following a Rommel Marentez jumper that capped an 11-0 run over a 2:17 stretch.

Sonoma responded with a 13-1 run of its own to grab a 26-24 lead with 4:04 remaining. Back-to-back jumpers from James Tipton, the second a three-pointer, got Sonoma back the in the game. The Seawolves held as much as a seven-point lead late in the half before settling for a 35-31 lead at intermission.

Lamar Abbott carried the Seawolves early on, scoring 12 first-half points as Sonoma shot 54 percent from the field.

In the second half the Aggies scored the first five points on a three from Ryan Moore and another jumper from Abdelsamad to take a one-point advantage. The lead exchanged hands six times until a Marentez free throw followed by his only three of the game gave the Aggies the lead for good midway through the half.

As been the case all season, different players stepped up at different times throughout the game to help the Aggie victory. Thomas Juillerat had two putbacks late in the half to keep it a two-possession game while Gus Argenal's three-pointer pushed the lead to six with 4:25 remaining.

 

 

Down the stretch Sonoma was forced to foul and UC Davis made them pay. The Aggies hit 12 of their final 14 free throws in the final minute and a half to seal the win. Abdelsamad did much of the damage as he made eight during the stretch and connected on all six in the final :18 seconds.

"This is a very satisfying victory," said Aggie head coach Gary Stewart. "This was a difficult weekend for us against two schools with long standing rivalries and two excellent prepared teams. Our guys responded beautifully and I'm very proud of the way they competed. The second time around in conference is so difficult because the scouting is so intensified. They made adjustments and we responded and worked around that.

"JaQay (Carlyle) really gave us a lift in the first half with his defense and rebounding," Stewart continued. "Ryan Schwarz gave us great energy in the second half and I though for about a six or seven minute stretch in the second half Robert (Ehsan) was playing at a level higher than anyone on the court."

For the game Abdelsamad led four Aggies in double figures with 15 points, eight coming from the free throw line. Moore and Argenal added 13 each, a season-high for Argenal, while Juillerat finished with 11. UC Davis committed a season-low eight turnovers on the night and held a slight 35-33 advantage on the boards.

Abbott led all scorers with 19 points to go with six rebounds for Sonoma. Ryan Hensel, who had 30 points on Friday night against Chico State, was held to 10 against an Aggie defense that has held opponents under 70 points in 11 of the last 12 games.

UC Davis will next be in action on Friday when it returns to Recreation Hall to host Grand Canyon. Gametime is set for 8 p.m.

UC DAVIS (15-6, 12-4 CCAA)
Fowzi Abdelsamad 3-8 8-10 15, Gus Argenal 4-8 3-5 13, Robert Ehsan 3-10 1-1 7, Ari Warmerdam 0-1 0-0 0, Thomas Juillerat 3-7 5-5 11, JaQay Carlyle 1-1 0-0 2, Rommel Marentez 3-7 2-4 9, Ryan Moore 5-14 2-2 13, Ryan Schwarz 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 24-58 21-27 74.

SONOMA STATE (8-13, 7-9 CCAA)
Chris Getty 1-1 0-0 2, Ryan Hensel 4-13 1-2 10, James Tipton 2-4 0-0 5, Kevin Cornell 4-9 0-0 9, Lamar Abbott 6-12 7-8 19, Jeff Fuller 2-4 0-0 4, Paul Porter 4-4 0-0 9, Kevin Christensen 2-3 0-0 4, Barry-Russell Murrey 0-4 0-0 0, Barry Weiss 0-0 0-0 0, Tommy Moran 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 26-56 8-10 64.

Halftime: SSU 35-31. Three-Point Field Goals: UC Davis 5-19 (Argenal 2-5, Moore 1-4, Marentez 1-4, Abdelsamad 1-5, Warmerdam 0-1), SSU 4-11 (Tipton 1-1, Porter 1-1, Hensel 1-4, Cornwell 1-4, Fuller 0-1). Rebounds: UC Davis 35 (Moore 9), SSU 33 (Tipton 9). Assists: UC Davis 8 (Argenal 4), SSU 8 (Tipton 3). Turnovers: UC Davis 8, SSU 13. Fouls: UC Davis 16, SSU 22. Fouled Out: Porter. Att. 830.