Nov. 12, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -
Corey Maynard scored a team-high 19 points and Bryant University held UC Davis scoreless for almost five minutes down the stretch as the Bulldogs broke a late tie to beat the Aggies 70-63, off-setting 21 points from the Aggies' Josh Ritchart in the second round of the Basketball Traveler's Classic at San Diego State.
UC Davis lost its second close game in as many days and is 0-2 to start the season. The Aggies, who canned 14 three-pointers, also picked up 12 points from Ryan Sypkens and 11 from Ryan Howley. Alex Francis posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds for Bryant which evened its early season record at 1-1.
The game was closely contested most of the way, featuring five ties and 13 lead changes but the final five minutes belonged to Bryant which outscored UC Davis 7-0 during that time. Alex Tiffin's layup for UC Davis created that final tie with 4 minutes, 58 seconds left but Maynard's layup shortly after broke it and the Bulldogs held the Aggies to 0-for-8 shooting the rest of the way.
UC Davis trailed just 65-63 inside the final two minutes but Francis put in a layup, the Aggies weren't able to score on their next two possessions and were forced to foul down the stretch, sending Bryant to the line.
UC Davis' cold shooting in the final minutes was in stark contrast to the rest of the game when it was torrid from beyond the arc. Ritchart was 3 for 3 from three-point in the first half while Howley made all three of his tries as the Aggies made 9 of 13 overall in the first 20 minutes.
Bryant had an early five-point lead but back-to-back treys from Ritchart gave the lead back to UC Davis, 11-10, with 13:39 to go in the first half. The Aggies fought back from three more five-point deficits, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-7 in the latter part of the first half to take a 35-34 lead into the break.
UC Davis shot 48 percent from the field before halftime, outrebounded the Bulldogs 17-12 and had 10 assists.
Ritchart hit two three-pointers to open the second half as the Aggies took their biggest lead at 41-36. They held the advantage until Raphael Jordan hit a three-pointer - Bryant had 13 overall - to put the Bulldogs up 49-48 with 11:44 to go. The teams were tied three more times over the next seven minutes and were eventually knotted 63-63 before Bryant was able to get control in the last minutes.
UC Davis had 19 turnovers in the game, resulting in 25 points for Bryant. The Bulldogs eventually outrebounded the Aggies 37-33 as well. But despite the loss, first-year UC Davis coach Jim Les was pleased with how his squad - playing without returning starter Eddie Miller and key newcomer Harrison Dupont for the second straight night - responded early on after losing a heartbreaking 76-75 game to Southern Utah on Friday.
"I really liked the way they came out," he said. "They didn't play well last night and they knew they didn't play well and I thought they got off to a good start. I think we (gave up) zero second-chance points in the first half which is a great attention to details from last night. We were getting to the boards and guys were putting bodies on guys going for the ball."
Ritchart's points were just two off his career-high of 23 he had against UCLA last year. Howley and Sypkens each had four assists. Frankie Dobbs added 12 points for Bryant while Claybrin McMath had 10. Maynard added six assists.
The Aggies will finish the tournament on Sunday afternoon when they face the host Aztecs who are coming off a 2010-11 season in which they finished 34-3 and made it to the NCAA Sweet 16. Tipoff is 3 p.m.