Nov. 5, 2003
DAVIS, Calif. - Ryan Moore scored a game-high 27 points and the Aggies used a 13-2 run late in the second half to break the game open as UC Davis opened its exhibition season with an 86-70 victory over the Sacramento Heat in a men's basketball game Wednesday night at Recreation Hall.
The game began with UC Davis jumping out to a quick six-point lead in the first half as Moore had seven of the Aggies' first 17 points. The Heat rallied midway through the period, taking a lead at the 11-minute mark following a Damien Johnson free throw. The Heat would hold the lead for much of the half and looked as though it might take the lead heading into halftime. Up by seven after an Anthony Flood three-pointer, the Heat went cold thanks to the Aggies' pressure defense that forced three consecutive turnovers to end the half. UC Davis then found it's touch late with Gus Argenal and Phil Rasmussen hitting back-to-back three's as the Aggies ended the half on a 7-0 run, tying the game at 32-32 at halftime.
In the second half the two teams traded leads for the opening minutes before a Fowzi Abdelsamad layup with just over 12 minutes remaining gave UC Davis the lead for good. Abdelsamad would score all of his 19 points in the second half while Moore added 14 points as the duo wore down the Heat both inside and out. UC Davis' bench went 10 deep on the night as first-year head coach Gary Stewart incorporated five new faces into the lineup. That depth proved too much for the Heat as with 8:36 remaining, UC Davis went on a 13-2 run over the next 3:36 to put the game out of reach. The lead grew to 19 before Heat guard Robbie Jones connected for a three-pointer with 25 seconds remaining for the final margin of victory.
In addition to Moore's game-high 27, on 10 of 14 shooting, he added 14 rebounds, three assists and four steals while Rasmussen ended his first night as an Aggie with 11 points and six boards. Robert Ehsan poured in 14 points, 10 in the second half, to go with his five rebounds and three assists.
Johnson led the way for the Heat with 19 points while Jones added 17 on the night. Former Aggie Dominic Callori led all Heat players with 10 rebounds.
"This was much needed and certainly it was an excellent barometer of where we are as a team," said Stewart. "It identified some of the things we need to address and that's what exhibition games are for. I was really pleased with how we competed on the backboard. That was something we really have been working hard on.
"I thought we had stretches where we defended well," Stewart continued. "We still don't have everything in that we want but with a somewhat limited gameplan, I thought they did a good job of executing."
UC Davis will host its second and final exhibition game on November 13 when it faces the Olympic Club at Recreation Hall. Gametime for that contest is 7 p.m. UC Davis will open its regular season on November 24 when it travels to Bellingham, Wash. for a meeting with Western Washington.