March 7, 2003
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Fowzi Abdelsamad scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half and the Aggies defense held the Golden Eagles to 54 points, 15 below their average, as UC Davis defeated Cal State L.A., 69-54, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association men's game in front of 862 Friday evening at the Eagle Nest.
With the victory the Aggies win back-to-back games for the first time in over a month and improve to 11-15, 8-13 in conference action. CSLA falls to 9-17, 5-16 in CCAA play.
The two teams went back-and-forth over the first five minutes as there were seven lead changes and three ties in the opening eight minutes. Robert Ehsan's jumper gave UC Davis a lead it didn't surrender over the final 32 minutes of the contest. UC Davis had three players in early foul trouble and senior Dominic Callori took over the scoring load in the first half. He poured in 13 first-half points as the Aggies built a 12-point lead at halftime, 34-22.
Another key to the big lead in the half was the job Danny Workman did in containing Ronald Johnson, the CCAAs leading scorer. Johnson was held to six points in the opening half on 3-of-9 shooting as Workman also induced two offensive fouls from the Golden Eagle senior.
In the second half the Aggie lead never dipped under double-digits as Abdelsamad, who played only seven minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls, came to life. The sophomore took over the scoring load from Callori and poured in 18 points, nine from the foul line.
UC Davis held its biggest lead at 62-46 late in the contest following an Abdelsamad three before finishing with the 15-point victory margin.
In addition to Abdelsamad and Callori, the Aggies received solid play from reserves Eric Wagner, Madison Butts and the entire bench. Wagner came in early and hit a big three while Butts made his presence know with five points and four rebounds in just 10 minutes.
"That was the best we have played in over a month," said Aggie Head Coach Brian Fogel. "From top to bottom, everyone on the team contributed and our execution was the best we have had in a long time. It feels really good to come out and play the way we did tonight."
In addition to Abdelsamad, Callori finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. Robert Ehsan added seven points for the Aggies, who committed a season-low seven turnovers.
For Cal State L.A., Johnson finished with a game-high 23 points but was responsible for nine of the Golden Eagles 17 turnovers before fouling out late in the contest. LeMar Ruffin added nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
UC Davis will conclude its 2002-03 season on Saturday when it visits Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson. Gametime is set for 7:30pm.
UC DAVIS (11-15, 8-13 CCAA)
Fowzi Abdelsamad 5-10 9-11 21, Danny Workman 3-6 0-0 6, Dominic Callori 5-15 8-10 19, Gus Argenal 0-1 0-0 0, Justin Stearns 2-7 2-2 6, Jesse Pruitt 0-0 0-0 0, Robert Ehsan 3-6 0-0 7, Jake Reid 0-0 2-2 2, Madison Butts 2-3 1-2 5, Eric Wagner 1-1 0-0 3. TOTALS 21-49 22-27 69.
CAL STATE L.A. (9-17, 5-16 CCAA)
Ronald Johnson 9-18 3-4 23, LeMar Ruffin 4-8 1-2 9, Nic Vavakin 1-4 0-0 2, Kenjiro Hongo 2-8 0-1 6, Donnie Walker 2-5 0-0 6, Brandon Dalton 3-11 2-2 8, D'Angelo Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Joey Youman 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 21-54 6-9 54.
Halftime: UCD 34-22. Three-Point Field Goals: UC Davis 5-13 (Abdelsamad 2-4, Wagner 1-1, Ehsan 1-2, Callori 1-4, Argenal 0-1, Stearns 0-1), CSLA 6-22 (Walker 2-4, Johnson 2-6, Hongo 2-7, Vavakin 0-1, Dalton 0-4). Rebounds: UC Davis 28 (Callori 9), CSLA 37 (Ruffin 12). Assists: UC Davis 6 (Stearns 3), CSLA 9 (Johnson 3). Turnovers: UC Davis 7, CSLA 17. Fouls: UC Davis 12, CSLA 21. Fouled Out: CSLA Johnson. ATT: 862.