DAVIS, Calif. - Neal Monson recorded his fourth career double-double by recording a career-high 21 points, and tied another career best by finishing with 15 rebounds, Josh Fox and Darius Graham added 20 and 18 points, respectively, and the UC Davis men's basketball team came up big down the stretch to defeat CSUN, 87-83, in three overtimes on Saturday at the Matadome in the regular-season finale for both clubs.
The Aggies, playing their first triple-overtime game since visiting San Jose State on Dec. 18, 2013, improve to 11-18 overall and 6-10 in the Big West. The Matadors end their season 10-20 and 5-11. Aaron Parks led them with 22 points.
With this thrilling result, UC Davis swept the season series for the third year in a row.
"Before tonight's game, we talked about our last two results and how we need to gut out a win in the final six or seven minutes. I didn't know that six or seven minutes would lead to three overtimes," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les.
UC Davis will now turn its attention to the Big West Tournament, which begins on Thursday at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The Aggies knew before the game they'll enter as the No. 5 seed and will face No. 4 seed UC Santa Barbara at noon on Thursday.
UC Davis enters championship week after playing tough games recently against league leaders Hawai'i and UC Irvine and then showing toughness on the road with Saturday's win at CSUN.
CSUN came back from a 56-51 deficit in the final minute of regulation to force overtime, and then led 67-63 with 23 seconds left in the first extra period. But Graham made a layup with 19 seconds to go and later made one with 11 ticks remaining that cut a CSUN lead to 68-67. The Matadors' Kendall Smith made one free throw for a two-point lead but Graham drove the length of the court again for another layup in the waning seconds that led to a second overtime.
Two free throws from Tre Hale-Edmerson with 27 seconds in the second OT tied the game, 77-77, UC Davis ran the clock down but couldn't find the winning points. A layup from Fox and a jumper from Graham gave the Aggies an 84-79 advantage with 1:47 left in the third extra period and CSUN couldn't get closer than three points the rest of the way.
CSUN led 27-21 at halftime and then opened a 43-32 lead early in the second half. UC Davis battled back, however, taking a 46-45 lead on Monson's layup with 7:18 to go in regulation.
Down by as many as 11 in the second half, Monson's layup capped a 15-3 scoring run; at one point during that seven-minute scoring surge, the Aggies scored 10 straight points.
The Aggies took a five-point lead with 46 seconds remaining but Parks was good on a three-point play and Michael Warren had a layup with 28 seconds on the clock as part of a 5-0 run that led to extra play.
Brynton Lemar had 10 points and Fox added nine rebounds for the Aggies. Siler Schneider posted a team-high six assists before fouling out.
Throughout the three extra periods, UC Davis shot a combined .550 overall (11-for-20) and .800 from the free throw line (8-10).
"Darius was dragging his tail, and he still stepped up in double overtime to make some huge plays. He carried our team, made some huge shots, and has the confidence to step up and make some big ones. I'm proud of him, proud of this team, and hope this proves to everyone how mentally tough we really are," said Les.
"These guys really deserved this result."
UC DAVIS 87, CSUN 83 (3OT)
UC DAVIS (11-18, 6-10 BWC)
Monson, Neal 7-13 7-8 21; Fox, Josh 9-18 2-4 20; Graham, Darius 7-13 2-4 18; Lemar, Brynton 3-13 2-2 10; White, Lawrence 3-6 1-3 7; Schneider, Siler 1-10 5-6 7; Goode, Garrison 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 32-76 19-27 87.
CSUN (10-20, 5-11 BWC)
Parks, Aaron 6-15 9-9 22; Warren, Micheal 5-14 4-5 16; Smith, Kendall 5-16 5-6 16; Dawson, Tavrion 4-12 1-2 9; Hale-Edmerson, Tre 3-8 2-2 8; Douglas, Zacarry 3-5 0-0 6; Richardson, Jason 3-4 0-0 6; Wilbut, Jerron 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-76 21-24 83.
UC Davis...................... 21 35 13 8 10 - 87
CSUN........................... 27 29 13 8 6 - 83
3-point goals--UC Davis 4-14 (Lemar, Brynton 2-6; Graham, Darius 2-5; White, Lawrence 0-1; Schneider, Siler 0-2), CSUN 4-21 (Warren, Micheal 2-9; Smith, Kendall 1-4; Parks, Aaron 1-3; Richardson, Jason 0-1; Wilbut, Jerron 0-2; Hale-Edmerson, Tre 0-1; Dawson, Tavrion 0-1). Fouled out--UC Davis-Schneider, Siler, CSUN-Dawson, Tavrion. Rebounds--UC Davis 46 (Monson, Neal 15), CSUN 48 (Hale-Edmerson, Tre 12). Assists--UC Davis 20 (Schneider, Siler 6), CSUN 19 (Smith, Kendall 5). Total fouls--UC Davis 18, CSUN 24. Technical fouls--UC Davis-TEAM, CSUN-None. A-769