Nov. 13, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Jamaal Franklin scored 20 of his game-high 31 points in the first half, tournament MVP Chase Tapley added 23 and San Diego State beat the UC Davis men's basketball team 89-74 at the Basketball Traveler's Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Viejas Center.
The Aggies, who were led by 19 points from guard Ryan Sypkens, finished the season-opening event hosted by the Aztecs with an 0-3 record. The Aztecs swept all three of their games and are 3-0.
Ryan Sypkens had five three-pointers and scored 19 points for the Aggies, Ryan Howley scored a career-high 15 and all-tournament member Josh Ritchart had 13 points for UC Davis which trailed by as many as 24 points in the second half before rallying to within 12 points down the stretch. The Aggies shot 62.1 percent (18 of 29) from the field after halftime.
"What I've asked the guys to do is get better everyday," said first-year coach Jim Les. "We're better today than we were on Friday and I saw some good things."
UC Davis was close with San Diego State over the first 12 minutes of the contest, holding the Aztecs without a point for more than three minutes to start the game. Tyrell Corbin, Howley and Ritchart each had layups in the early minutes, helping stake the Aggies to a 6-4 lead.
But Franklin powered the Aztecs for the opening 20 minutes. scoring 12 of their first 14 points including a three-pointer that put them in front 14-9 with 12 minutes, 45 seconds left in the half.
UC Davis continued to stay close getting layups from Corbin and Alex Tiffin to twice cut five-point deficits to just three, the latter coming at 19-16 midway through the half. But San Diego outscored the Aggies 29-13 the rest of the half, taking a 48-29 lead into the break.
UC Davis made nine three-pointers in the second half, converting 52.9 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc as it tried to bite into the Aztecs' lead. Sypkens had two of them in the first six minutes while Ritchart and Howley each had one as the Aggies closed to within 57-45 with 14:21 to go.
An 18-6 run over the next 4-1/2 minutes, though, staked San Diego State's lead to 75-51, its largest of the game. Still down by 19 with 5:21 to go, the Aggies refused to leave quietly, scoring seven straight to get back within 80-68 with 3:34 remaining.
UC Davis got back to within a dozen points with just over a minute to but that would be as close as it would get. The Aggies outscored San Diego State, an NCAA Sweet 16 team last season, 45-41 in the second half.
"This group is going to get better and (Aztecs coach) Steve Fisher, who I really respect and does a great job and has a lot of wisdom in coaching, said before the game... 'I know you've got some young guys and they're going through a little bit of a learning curve in your new system, but before it's said and done, one, their playing their tail off and, two, you're going to be a tough out before this year is done.' And I believe that."
Sypkens tied a career-high with his five three-pointers while Howley's points eclipsed the 11 he had three previous times, including twice in this weekend's tournament. Both Howley and Ritchart had a trio of three-pointers.
Franklin and Tapley each made four treys for San Diego State which shot 50 percent from the floor for the game. The Aztecs finished with 10 three-pointers and held only a slight 33-31 rebounding advantage. Ritchart and Sypkens each had six boards to lead UC Davis.
The Aggies return home to begin a three-game homestand that begins on Tuesday night against UC Santa Cruz. They'll then host a highly anticipated matchup with Stanford on Friday before entertaining rival Sacramento State on Nov. 22.
Tipoff for Tuesday's game against the Banana Slugs is 7 p.m.