March 9, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Sophomore Corey Hawkins scored a game-high 21 points on Saturday night but visiting UC Irvine rallied from a 19-point halftime deficit to upend UC Davis 88-85 in a Big West Conference men's basketball game at The Pavilion.
The loss ends the Aggies' regular season with a 14-16 overall record and a 9-9 mark in the Big West. UC Irvine, which was led by 19 points from Will Davis II and Michael Wilder, improved to 17-14 overall and 10-7 in the conference.
UC Davis' 14 wins ties the total earned by the 2009-10 team as both rosters now share the program record for the most Division I wins earned in a season.
Before the start of Saturday's season finale, Ryan Howley and Mancasola were honored in a Senior Day ceremony alongside family, friends and loved ones.
In addition to his 10 points, Mancasola earned two rebounds and assists; in his final appearance at The Pavilion, Howley finished with nine points, eight rebounds and two assists.
UC Davis will now focus on the Big West Tournament which begins on Thursday at Honda Center in Anaheim. The Aggies are the sixth seed and will take on third-seeded Cal Poly at approximately 2:30 p.m.
The Anteaters fought back throughout the second half, taking a 75-74 lead with 2 minutes, 36 seconds remaining on Michael Wilder's layup. They held the lead the rest of the way but were only up 86-85 after Tyler Les rattled in a corner three-pointer with 10 seconds left.
Daman Starring hit two free throws with seven ticks left to rebuild the lead to three points. UC Davis came down looking for a game-tying three-pointer, and was able to take one final shot near the Aggie bench that ultimately bounced off the rim.
The second half was in stark contrast to the first when the Aggies dominated play. An 18-4 run covering a five-minute span turned a 24-20 lead into a 42-24 lead with 2:04 remaining. Howley drained home a three-pointer with 37 seconds left, giving UC Davis its halftime advantage.
"Howley has been here for five years and I have been here for only two, time goes by really quick," said Mancasola following the game.
"This is not how we wanted this night to end. I love playing with this group of guys; to be able to compete in front of my family is an experience of a lifetime. I cherish all of these memories, both good and bad."
Added Howley, "We need to make the most of these next few days to prepare for the upcoming tournament. We will learn from our mistakes and work hard at practice to prepare for our next game."