Nov. 13, 2016
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Northern Arizona's lone highlight during Sunday's non-conference game at the Leavey Center took place shortly after tipoff when the it scored the first six points of the game. From that point on, it was all UC Davis since it erased that early deficit with an 8-0 run of its own, and scored another 18 unanswered before halftime to lead the game for good.
With their 89-76 victory, the Aggies end the Cable Car Classic with a 2-1 record, and will enjoy a brief break before Holy Names visits the Pavilion Thursday night in the team's home opener.
"I though we were a little slow to start by falling down six points at the start ... but our seniors took over. They know what it takes to succeed at the Division I level; they were not happy with our start, and changed the way this team played, starting on defense," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les.
"We were able to string three or four stops in a row on one end, rebounded and moved the ball well on the other to jump out to a big lead."
Led by Darius Graham and Siler Schneider with 16 points apiece, five Aggies scored double figures to drop the Lumberjacks to 0-3 this season. Chima Moneke and Mikey Henn each scored 11 points with Brynton Lemar chipping in another 10.
Regarding Henn's play against NAU, Les added that, "he has absorbed our system and enjoys being coached. He has a high basketball IQ and adjusted quickly to the physicality of the [Division I] game, which is important for his position. He did a great job taking shots around the perimeter with confidence and blocking out down low."
Even though Garrison Goode fell one point short of joining the Aggies' list of double-digit scorers, he set a new career high by making all three shots from the field, and connected on another three from the stripe to finish with nine points.
"With Garrison, Mikey, J.T. and Chima, we can give teams different looks and wear teams down with that rotation," said Les.
Lawrence White led all players with eight boards to help the Aggies finish with a 36-30 rebound advantage.
Even more impressive than UC Davis' ability to limit the Lumberjacks' bench to only three points was the success of its bench all afternoon long, especially during both key scoring runs. Schneider recorded his point total on six field goals, Moneke shot 4 of 7 overall and Henn finished 5-for-8 from the floor. Combined with Joe Mooney's five points -- as part of the Aggies' 18-0 scoring burst, he nailed a shot from three, forced a NAU turnover and converted on a fast-break layup -- the Aggies' reserves were responsible for 45 points.
UC Davis shot a blistering .542 overall (32-for-59) and shot .520 from three (13-for-25) compared to Northern Arizona's respective .409 (27-for-66) and .250 (8-for-32) shooting clips.
The Aggies' hot shooting from three carried over from the first half to the second since nearly half of their baskets in the second half were made from distance. Of UC Davis' 13 field goals, six were made from three.
Northern Arizona is the first of four Big Sky schools on the Aggies' non-conference schedule. In addition to facing Sacramento State at the Golden 1 Center next Monday, and Weber State on Thanksgiving night at the Great Alaska Shootout, UC Davis will face Idaho in early December.