Feb. 14, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Missing out on UC Davis' record-setting effort when the team faced Hawai'i on its own court on Jan. 19, the Aggie faithful were rewarded with a memorable game of their own Thursday evening at The Pavilion when they witnessed Ryan Sypkens set two new three-point records, a halftime marriage proposal, and a dominating performance by the Aggies in their 89-65 victory over the Rainbow Warriors.
The victory improves UC Davis' overall record to 10-13 and Big West record to 6-6, Hawai'i falls to 15-10 overall with a 9-5 league mark.
With the win, the Aggies snap second-place Hawai'i's five-game win streak and become the first team to sweep the Rainbow Warriors since they joined the Big West.
Entering the evening tied with Fowzi Abdelsamad's single season (83) and career three-point totals (197), Sypkens wasted no time in taking the top spot by sinking the first of his five threes in his inaugural shot of the night.
"After I hit my first one, everyone congratulated me when I went to the huddle (during the first media timeout). It gave me a lot more confidence as the game progressed," said Sypkens.
Hawai'i scored the first basket of Thursday's Big West game to take an early 2-0 lead; by making back-to-back baskets, Paolo Mancasola and J.T. Adenrele gave UC Davis its first lead of the game, one the Aggies would possess for the rest of the night.
Led by a quintet of Aggies who scored double figures against Hawai'i, UC Davis eventually extended its lead to a game-high 28 points with 6:11 left in the game.
In addition to Corey Hawkins who finished with a team-high 21 points, Sypkens (17 pts.), Mancasola (11), Tyler Les (11) and Adenrele (10) fueled an Aggie attack that was 32-for-66 (48.5 pct.) from the floor, 11-for-19 (57.9 pct.) from three and 14-for-18 (77.8 pct.) at the line.
This is the third time this season that five UC Davis players scored 10 or more points in a single game, victories were recorded on all three occasions.
Even though the Rainbow Warriors shot 25-for-55 (45.5 pct.) on the night, they were stymied by an Aggie defense that forced 17 turnovers - an effort that included a season-high nine steals, which led to 26 points.
"First and foremost it was our defense tonight," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les when asked to explain how his team was able to earn its statement-making victory over Hawai'i.
Continued J. Les: "They have won five in a row, and were scoring in the 80's in those five wins. Tonight, we held them to 65."
Entering the night with three steals earned throughout the entire season, Clint Bozner matched that collective effort in his 23 minutes played against Hawai'i to finish with a team and career-high total.
How dominant were the Aggies in Thursday's Big West game?
Hawai'i made 12 of its 23 (52.2 pct.) shots in the first half, and still entered the locker room at the break trailing by 16.
The Rainbow Warriors entered The Pavilion as the top rebounding team in the Big West averaging 39.7 rebounds per game, and possessed the largest positive rebounding margin at +6.7.
Not only did UC Davis outrebound its opponent by a 38-29 margin, the Aggies grabbed almost twice as many boards on offense (17-9) compared to Hawai'i.
"They were one of the top-20 rebounding teams in the nation, and we held them to 29 (rebounds). We played with a lot of energy on defense and accomplished that with a communal effort," said J. Les.
Of UC Davis' 38 rebounds, 10 were collected by Ryan Howley who earned the ninth double-figure rebounding total of his career.
The Aggies also outscored the Rainbow Warriors in the paint (34-30), on the fast break (12-2) and possessed a bench that outscored Hawai'i's reserves 25-16.
Besides Bozner who also set a new career high with five rebounds, in addition to his six points scored, Tyler Ott set two career highs of his own by draining both of his shots from three, and finishing with two boards.
"I always say you are going to play like you practice, he came out and shot the ball with confidence," said J. Les regarding Ott's evening.
Hauns Brereton led Hawai'i with 17 points, back-to-back Big West Player of the Week recipient Christian Standhardinger was limited to season-low six points, 10 less than his scoring average prior to Thursday's game.
UC Davis will end its week with a 7 p.m. Big West home game on Saturday, Feb. 16, versus Cal State Northridge.