DAVIS, Calif. - Five lead changes took place in Thursday night’s Big West Conference game at the Pavilion until Brynton Lemar hit back-to-back threes, in as many possessions to give UC Davis the lead for good with 7:30 remaining. With those baskets, the Aggies turned a one-point deficit into a five-point lead and extended that advantage to a game-high 12 with 40 seconds remaining, ultimately sweeping the season series versus Hawai’i, and posting their second undefeated home record in the last three years with a 68-59 win.
UC Davis will enter Saturday’s 3 p.m. winner-take-all showdown at UC Irvine with a 19-11 overall and 11-4 Big West record. With the Aggies and Anteaters each entering their season finale in first place with matching league marks, the winner of this weekend’s game, televised on FOX Prime Ticket, will win the regular season title, enter next week’s Big West Tournament as its No. 1 seed and earn the conference’s automatic bid to the National Invitation Tournament.
Hawai’i will enter its season finale, at Long Beach State, with records of 14-14 and 8-7.
Lemar led all players with 19 points, nailing four of his six field goals from three; Lawrence White and Chima Moneke each finished with 14 points; Darius Graham added another 10 points, including a three that took place right in front of his bench, that pushed his team’s lead to nine, and sucked the energy from the five Hawai’i players on the floor, and the entire bench, with two minutes remaining.
Graham was one of five UC Davis seniors that earned a win in their final home game as an Aggie; also honored in the program’s pregame Senior Night ceremony were J.T. Adenrele, Georgi Funtarov, Lemar and White.
"This group of seniors has led this team all season long. For them to get a win tonight and help this team record the second undefeated home record in the last three seasons, and compete for another Big West title this Saturday is special," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les.
"We didn't play our best basketball in the first half, but they banded together, stepped up and made some huge plays when they absolutely had to, and that is what won the game for us," Les added.
Starting with the first of Lemar’s baskets from three, UC Davis pulled away from Hawai’i thanks to a 19-9 run to lead by 12 before Noah Allen’s late three cut his team’s deficit to single digits in the final seconds.
Allen was one of three Rainbow Warriors that finished in double figures; Jack Purchase led UH with 15 points and Gibson Johnson chipped in another 12.
A live stream of Saturday’s game at the Bren Events Center is available on FOXSportsGo.com and the FOXSportsGo app. In addition to a radio broadcast available on KSAC 105.5 FM, an internet audio stream is also available at UCDavisAggies.com.
UC DAVIS 68, HAWAI'I 59
HAWAI'I (14-14, 8-7 BWC)
Purchase, Jack 5-11 0-0 15; Allen, Noah 6-14 0-0 13; Johnson, Gibson 6-10 0-1 12; Green, Leland 4-7 0-0 9; Drammeh, Sheriff 2-7 0-0 4; Stepteau, Brocke 1-7 0-0 2; Raimo, Zigmars 1-1 0-0 2; Flaisher, Ido 1-2 0-0 2; Lewis Jr., Larry 0-0 0-0 0; Buscher, Zach 0-0 0-0 0; Owies, Matthew 0-0 0-0 0; Matthews, Darryl 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-59 0-1 59.
UC DAVIS (19-11, 11-4 BWC)
Lemar, Brynton 6-17 3-6 19; White, Lawrence 6-7 0-2 14; Moneke, Chima 6-11 2-4 14; Graham, Darius 4-8 1-2 10; Schneider, Siler 3-8 2-3 8; Henn, Mikey 1-2 0-0 3; Goode, Garrison 0-3 0-0 0; Onyebalu, Michael 0-0 0-0 0; Adenrele, J.T. 0-1 0-0 0; Funtarov, Georgi 0-0 0-0 0; Hennings, Arell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-57 8-17 68.
Hawai'i........................ 27 32 - 59
UC Davis...................... 30 38 - 68
3-point goals--Hawai'i 7-27 (Purchase, Jack 5-11; Allen, Noah 1-5; Green, Leland 1-3; Stepteau, Brocke 0-4; Drammeh, Sheriff 0-4), UC Davis 8-23 (Lemar, Brynton 4-12; White, Lawrence 2-3; Graham, Darius 1-4; Henn, Mikey 1-1; Schneider, Siler 0-3). Fouled out--Hawai'i-Drammeh, Sheriff, UC
Davis-None. Rebounds--Hawai'i 34 (Purchase, Jack 9), UC Davis 36 (Moneke, Chima 9). Assists--Hawai'i 16 (Drammeh, Sheriff 4), UC Davis 13 (Graham, Darius 4). Total fouls--Hawai'i 20, UC Davis 14. Technical fouls--Hawai'i-None, UC Davis-None. A-2023
Aggies open season Monday night at Northern Colorado
Gameday Central at Utah Valley
(2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT)