Feb. 14, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. -
Harrison Dupont scored 17 points and had eight rebounds off the bench to lead five Aggies in double figures on Tuesday night as the Aggies used a strong second half to beat rival Pacific 73-64 in a Big West Conference men's basketball game at The Pavilion.
The win was UC Davis' second in its last three games and improved its overall record to 3-22 and its Big West mark to 2-11. Pacific, led by 14 points from guard Lorenzo McCloud and 12 from both Khalil Kelley and Travis Fulton, fell to 10-15 overall and 6-6 in the league.
The Aggies featured a balanced scoring attack to beat Pacific for just the second time in their last 54 meetings. Tyler Les had a trio of three-pointers and scored 15 points, guard Paolo Mancasola had 13 and Eddie Miller and Josh Ritchart each had 10 points and nine rebounds.
UC Davis trailed 42-41 with 12 minutes, 36 seconds left on the clock but used a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to take a 51-42 lead with 9:16 left. The Aggies led the game the rest of the way, not letting the Tigers get closer than seven points and leading by as many as 13.
UC Davis outrebounded Pacific 37-33 overall including 25-17 in the second half. Besides Miller and Ritchart's rebounding efforts, DuPont added his eight and freshman J.T. Adenrele pitched in with six.
"I thought the big keys for us were the start of the game and the start of the second half," said Aggie coach Jim Les. "I thought we had good energy and good execution on both ends of the floor and guys (made) plays.
"I thought we took advantage of opportunities for drivers to drive the ball and opportunities when (Pacific) did help to get the ball to shooters and they stepped up and made shots," he added. "I thought consistently all night our defense did a nice job."
UC Davis and Pacific played a tight first half that featured five ties and no lead larger than five points. The Tigers opened an 8-3 lead after scoring six straight points and then stretched their advantage to 12-7 after a jumper from Ross Rivera six minutes into the game.
The Aggies later used an 8-0 run - punctuated by back-to-back three-pointers from Les and Ritchart to take a 17-14 lead midway through the half. Trailing 21-17, Miller got UC Davis back to within 21-20 with the Aggies' fifth trey of the opening 20 minutes.
The teams were tied four more times the final nearly seven minutes of the half before DuPont's transition layup after a steal from Adam Malik put UC Davis up 31-30 at the half.
Les' three-pointer to start the second half, followed by another by Ritchart helped UC Davis gain some separation for a 39-32 lead. McCloud's layup cut the lead to three at 39-36 and the Tigers later used a 6-0 surge to take their final lead at 42-41 after Rivera's layup.
DuPont then scored four straight points, added another jumper after Miller's bucket and Mancasola hit a basket as the Aggies scored 10 straight points for a 51-42 lead they would not relinquish.
UC Davis made 20 of 25 free throws in the second half and canned 26 of 33 overall. They also had seven three-pointers including three by Les and two each by Ritchart and Miller. Both teams did a good job protecting the ball, committing just 11 turnovers each.
"I'm pleased that these guys are just sticking with the process and continuing to work to get better and (play) together," Les said.
UC Davis will take a break from Big West action for its next two games, traveling to face Northern Arizona in an ESPN Sears BracketBuster game on Saturday before heading to the Pacific Northwest to face Seattle on Monday.