March 14, 2013
ANAHEIM, Calif. - UC Davis' defense stifled Cal Poly to just a one-point Aggie deficit at halftime, but the Mustangs used a strong second half to post a 64-41 win in the Big West Men's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals at the Honda Center on Thursday afternoon.
The loss ends UC Davis' season at 14-17 while the Mustangs advance to Friday's semifinal round with an 18-12 mark. Ryan Sypkens led the Aggies with nine points. Corey Hawkins led all Aggies with a team-high eight rebounds.
Compared to last season, this year's team ended the 2012-13 season with nine additional wins and a Division I program high 14 overall, nine Big West and six road wins.
Dylan Royer led the Mustangs with 17 points while Drake U'U with 10 points. Cal Poly, which led 20-19 after a defensive-minded first half, shot 51.6 percent from the field in the second. UC Davis was held to just 36.4 shooting in the game.
UC Davis jumped to a quick 5-0 lead before falling behind 10-5. The teams were tied three more times before Cal Poly forged its slim halftime lead. The Aggies limited the Mustangs to 28 percent from the floor over the first 20 minutes.
"I thought it was one of the better defensive halves that took place this season, all five guys on the floor were in sync," said head coach Jim Les.
Cal Poly, however, scored the first 11 points just over the first three minutes of the second half take a 31-19 halftime lead. Tyler Les hit a three-pointer with 14 minutes, 10 seconds remaining to get the Aggies within 35-26 but the Mustang with seven consecutive points to open a 16-point lead, pulling away for the win.
"The first team that was going to break out into an offensive rhythm was going to have the upper hand (in the second half), and that was Cal Poly" said Les.
Hawkins and Sypkens had three assists each for UC Davis while Hawkins also posted a pair of steals.
J.T. Adenrele, who opened the game with a thunderous dunk, finished the game with eight points and two rebounds.
In their final game as an Aggie, graduating seniors Ryan Howley and Paolo Mancasola finished with six points, five rebounds and four points, two rebounds and two assists.
Said J. Les following the game, "I am really appreciative of my guys for battling, and for everything they gave me this season."