LONG BEACH, Calif. - An early 21-5 run and 26 points from Corey Hawkins provided the fuel for the UC Davis men's basketball team on Thursday night as the Aggies beat Big West rival Long Beach State, 65-58, at Walter Pyramid, securing their first 20-win season as an NCAA Div. I program.
"It's special to win 20 games, especially (in Long Beach) where it is a tough place to play," said Hawkins
The Aggies, who led by as many as 18 points, improved to 20-4 overall and 10-1 in the Big West, maintaining a two-game lead over UC Irvine. J.T. Adenrele added nine points while Josh Fox and Tyler Les each had eight points for UC Davis which shot 51.1 percent (23-for-45) from the field.
UC Davis' 10 league wins is also a new D-I program high, topping the previous mark of nine that was originally set during the 2012-13 season.
Mike Caffey and David Samuels each scored 15 points for the 49ers who fell to 13-15 overall and 7-5 in league play. The Aggies' win also gave them a season sweep over the 49ers.
The teams were tied 4-4 in the early going but UC Davis scored 21 of the game's next 26 points to opening a 25-9 lead with 4:27 left until halftime after a Fox layup. The Aggies went on to lead 27-16 at halftime.
UC Davis' defense frustrated Long Beach State throughout the entire game, especially in the first half when the 49ers only made 7 of 29 shots (24.1 percent) and hit only 1 of 10 shots from three (10 percent).
"Defense travels, and these guys played with intensity tonight," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les. "Whichever five guys we had on the floor, they were in sync with one another. If you can do that and hold opponents to those kind of percentages, you are going to give yourself a chance to win.
"If you add the way we played offensively, and how we shot the ball, we are going to be a tough out no matter where we play."
Hawkins' jumper early in the second half propelled UC Davis to a 36-18 lead and the Aggies led by double-digits until Samuels' layup with 14:10 to play brought Long Beach State to within 39-30. The 49ers didn't get closer than seven points until the final minute when Caffey hit a three-pointer to make it 62-56 with 48 seconds left but the Aggies were able to hold them off.
Hawkins entered the game leading Div. I in three-point percentage at 52.6 points and didn't do anything to change that after making 6 of 8 from long range on Thursday. He was 9 of 13 from the field overall.
UC Davis started the game ranked third nationally in overall field goal percentage (50.0 percent) and first in three-point (46.1 percent). It shot 51.1 and 55.6 percent, respectively, to solidify those numbers.
The Aggies will return home for a 7 p.m. matchup on Saturday against Hawai'i at the Pavilion.
UC DAVIS 65, LONG BEACH STATE 58
UC DAVIS (20-4, 10-1 BWC)
Hawkins, Corey 9-13 2-2 26; Adenrele, J.T. 4-4 1-3 9; Fox, Josh 3-6 2-4 8; Les, Tyler 2-4 2-2 8; Johnson, Avery 2-5 1-2 6; Ritchart, Josh 2-9 0-1 4; Graham, Darius 1-2 1-2 3; Lemar, Brynton 0-1 1-2 1; Monson, Neal 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-45 10-18 65.
LONG BEACH STATE (13-15, 7-5 BWC)
Caffey, Mike 5-18 3-6 15; Samuels, David 6-11 3-5 15; Jones, Branford 3-6 1-3 7; North, Deontae 2-4 0-0 5; LaSalle, McKay 2-9 0-0 5; Hammonds, Travis 2-5 0-0 4; Williams, Jack 1-5 0-0 3; Yussuf, Temidayo 1-2 0-0 2; Lamb, Tyler 0-1 2-4 2; Bibbins, Justin 0-1 0-0 0; McKnight, Eric 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-63 9-18 58.
UC Davis........................... 27 38 - 65
Long Beach State.............. 16 42 - 58
3-point goals--UC Davis 9-19 (Hawkins, Corey 6-8; Les, Tyler 2-4; Johnson, Avery 1-2; Ritchart, Josh 0-4; Lemar, Brynton 0-1), Long Beach State 5-25 (Caffey, Mike 2-7; Williams, Jack 1-2; North, Deontae 1-3; LaSalle, McKay 1-8; Hammonds, Travis 0-2; Jones, Branford 0-2; Samuels, David 0-1). Fouled out--UC Davis-None, Long Beach State-None. Rebounds--UC Davis 36 (Johnson, Avery 7), Long Beach State 39 (Lamb, Tyler 8). Assists--UC Davis 13 (Hawkins, Corey 3; Graham, Darius 3), Long Beach State 6 (Caffey, Mike 2; Jones, Branford 2). Total fouls--UC Davis 20, Long Beach State 18. Technical fouls--UC Davis-None, Long Beach State-None. A-3426
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