DAVIS, Calif. - Led by Corey Hawkins who finished Saturday night's Big West Conference game against Cal State Northridge with 31 points, a 14-1 scoring run at the end of the first half and a stellar performance at the line, UC Davis earned its first-ever regular-season sweep with its 73-61 win at The Pavilion.
UC Davis will enter Wednesday's clash at Long Beach State with an 11-13 overall mark and a 7-6 Big West record. Cal State Northridge falls to 13-14 and with a conference record of 4-11.
The win in the Aggies' third in their last four games played.
"I am really pleased with the type of effort the guys are putting in, particularly defensively, and on the boards. Last game we held Hawai'i to 65 (points) and tonight we limited Northridge to 61 (points). We outrebounded both teams, that has been an area the staff has been emphasizing in practice and film sessions. This team continues to get better... if we can defend and rebound, we will continue to give ourselves a chance to win," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les.
Ryan Howley led all players with 12 rebounds to record his third consecutive double-figure total.
The lead only changed hands on two occasions; tied at 25 apiece with 6:54 left in the first half, the Aggies scored 14 of the final 15 points in the half to take a 13-point lead at the break.
UC Davis never lost its lead once the team pulled away from the Matadors with that scoring run.
Compared to a Northridge team that was 8-for-26 (30.8 pct.) from the floor throughout the first half, the Aggies were 15-for-23 (65.2 pct.) and made more than half of their shots from three (7-for-13, 53.8 pct.).
To help decrease its deficit, Northridge was forced to play a more aggressive style of defense in the early moments of the second half - a decision that allowed the Aggies to enter the double bonus with more than 10 minutes left in the game.
Ranked No. 3 in the conference with a 72 pct. success rate at the line, UC Davis connected on all but three of its 13 shots (76.9 pct.) from the line throughout the second half to keep the Matadors at bay.
Collective responsible for every Aggie free throw attempt, Hawkins, the most accurate free-throw shooter in the Big West, and Paolo Mancasola were 7-for-9 and 5-for-6 at the stripe respectively.
Up next for UC Davis this Wednesday is its first meeting of the season at Long Beach State.
"They play well at home, but we also feel like we are playing well," said Les.
"We know this is a good challenge, and we are excited about it."
Kudos to Aggies;
I'm lovin' my new home