Nov. 11, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Behind Ryan Sypkens' near-record setting performance, suffocating defense and a 19-0 scoring run, UC Davis opened its home schedule with a victory for the sixth time as a Division I program by defeating Holy Names, 80-54, in Monday night's non-conference game at The Pavilion.
The victory evens the Aggies' record at 1-1, Holy Names falls to 0-2 with the result.
Georgi Funtarov scored early, and often for the Aggies as the freshman forward nailed two shots from three, and sank another basket to record eight of his team's first 15 points.
With defending Big West scoring champion Corey Hawkins missing Monday's matchup due to a hand injury, Funtarov, Brynton Lemar, Josh Ritchart and Sypkens stepped up to fill the scoring void created by their teammate's absence.
For the second time in as many games, Lemar finished with 11 points--all scored in the second half. Ritchart also recorded 10 of his 16 points in the second half, but it was Sypkens who helped the Aggies pull away from Holy Names to earn their first win of the season.
Buoyed by his shooting effort from three-the senior guard connected on seven of 10 attempts from distance and fell one three-point field goal shy of tying a record he shares with Tyler Les-Sypkens led all Aggies with 25 points.
In addition to UC Davis' scoring prowess, the team also turned in an impressive performance on defense to create a hefty lead.
By holding Holy Names scoreless for a 6:49, a block of time that also saw the Aggies score 19 unanswered points, UC Davis led by as many as 29 until the final moments of the game.
"Our execution and energy on the defensive end was really good; when we are able to play solid defense, we have players who are great at creating opportunities at the other end of the floor," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les
Led by Avery Johnson and Iggy Nujic and their game-high eight boards each, UC Davis finished with a decisive 40-27 rebound advantage. The Aggies outmuscled the Hawks in the paint to such a degree, all 10 players that saw action Monday night recorded at least one rebound. On one end of the court, the Aggies finished with more than twice as many defensive rebounds compared to their counterparts (35-14); on the other half, they finished two points shy of doubling Holy Names' points in the paint total (34-18).
Capping the Aggies' effort in their home opener was their bench scoring as UC Davis' reserves were responsible for 37 of the team's points.
Led by junior guard Tyler Fry who scored a game-high 27, the Hawks' starting five posted all but 16 of the team's 54 points.
Compared to the Hawks who were 20-for-65 (30.8 pct.) from the floor, the Aggies finished 28-for-46 (60.9 pct.) overall, were 10-for-21 (47.6 pct.) from three and made all but four of their 18 free throws (77.8 pct.).
"We emphasized defense at today's practice, we met for an hour earlier today, and at yesterday's practice. I felt that these were two of our better practices this season; I am a believer that what you do at practice will show how you will play on game night," added Les.
UC Davis will open its four-game road trip at Utah on Friday, Nov. 15, the first of three nationally televised contests featuring the Aggies. Jason Knapp and Dan Dickau will call the action for the Pac-12 Network, tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PT).