GREELEY, Colo. - Trailing 35-32 at halftime of Monday's 2017-18 season opener at the Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley, Colorado, UC Davis dominated Northern Colorado in every facet of the game throughout the final 20 minutes to secure a 74-59 victory.
With this result, UC Davis has won the last six in a row vs. NC and will enter its next game, which will take place on Wednesday at Pacific (7:30 p.m. tip), with a 1-0 record. The Bears will continue their season with a 0-2 record.
In addition to UC Davis' game-ending 35-10 run, senior communication major Chima Moneke notched his ninth-career 20-point game by finishing with a career-high 28 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Sophomore economics major Joe Mooney also set a new career high by scoring 14 points on a perfect shooting night.
Mooney nailed all five shots from the floor, connected on two attempts from three and hit both of his free throws.
By nailing both of his threes throughout his team's jaw-dropping scoring run, junior communication major Siler Schneider rounded out a quartet of Aggie double-digit scorers by finishing with 10.
In his Aggie debut, junior human development major TJ Shorts II posted 15 points of his own, and was singlehandedly responsible for four of his team's nine steals.
Michael Onyebalu was the final Aggie who enjoyed a career-best performance by collecting six boards.
"This was a tough, tough win. The best part is that we earned this win with eight new guys. Everyone contributed to this result against a tough team. This was truly a team win," said Moneke.
"I am really proud of these guys and the way they played tonight. They made the necessary adjustments -- preventing [Northern Colorado] from making threes and limiting their offensive rebounds -- and battled back after trailing in the second half," said head coach Jim Les.
"Everyone bought in to what we needed to do: We contested shots and came up with big rebounds in traffic."
UC Davis is known for its suffocating defense, and everyone associated with Northern Colorado experienced this firsthand once the second half commenced. Not only did the Bears miss all 11 attempts from three -- by comparison, they made 6 of 12 from distance in the first half -- they only collected one if their eight offensive rebounds after the break.
In addition to ending the evening playing lights-out basketball, the Aggies also held the Bears scoreless for three minutes early in the second half, and forced another four-minute scoring drought moments thereafter.
The Aggies also forced 16 Northern Colorado turnovers, which led to 14 points.
"Coach is always telling us that if we make stops, that will lead to success on offense. We came up with stops on defense when we needed to, that's what we work on every day in practice," Moneke added.
UC Davis shot 28-for-55 overall (.509), 5-for-10 from three (.500) and 13-for-16 at the free throw line (.813). By comparison, the Bears shot 21-for-49 overall, which included an abysmal 6-for-23 from three.
After the Aggies visit Stockton on Wednesday, they will head to Utah Valley for a 2 p.m. non-conference game before returning to the Golden 1 Center for this year's rivalry game against Sacramento State on Nov. 21. Following that Causeway matchup, UC Davis will visit Washington before hosting Northern Colorado in its Nov. 29 home opener, which will conclude this season's home-and-home series.
UC DAVIS 74, NORTHERN COLORADO 59
UC DAVIS (1-0)
Moneke, Chima 10-21 7-9 28; Shorts II, TJ 6-13 3-3 15; Mooney, Joe 5-5 2-2 14; Schneider, Siler 4-7 0-0 10; Goode, Garrison 3-5 1-2 7; Jackson, Delveion 0-0 0-0 0; John, AJ 0-1 0-0 0; Onyebalu, Michael 0-0 0-0 0; Printup, Rogers 0-3 0-0 0; Hennings, Arell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-55 13-16 74.
NORTHERN COLORADO (0-2)
SPIGHT, Andre 7-11 3-3 20; SANDERS, Jalen 6-8 2-3 15; GLOTTA, Chaz 3-9 0-0 8; DAVIS, Jordan 3-7 1-3 7; RADEBAUGH, Jonah 1-5 2-2 4; MORGAN, Tanner 0-1 3-4 3; JOHNSON, Anthony 1-7 0-0 2; REYES, Johnatan 0-0 0-0 0; EDWARDS, Kai 0-0 0-2 0; DRGON, Matej 0-0 0-0 0; VERCELLINO, Roberto 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-49 11-17 59.
UC Davis............................ 32 42 - 74
Northern Colorado............. 35 24 - 59
3-point goals--UC Davis 5-10 (Schneider, Siler 2-2; Mooney, Joe 2-2; Moneke, Chima 1-2; John, AJ 0-1; Printup, Rogers 0-2; Shorts II, TJ 0-1), Northern Colorado 6-23 (SPIGHT, Andre 3-5; GLOTTA, Chaz 2-8; SANDERS, Jalen 1-2; JOHNSON, Anthony 0-5; VERCELLINO, Roberto 0-1; RADEBAUGH, Jonah 0-1; DAVIS, Jordan 0-1). Fouled out--UC Davis-None, Northern Colorado-None. Rebounds--UC Davis 28 (Moneke, Chima 8), Northern Colorado 32 (DAVIS, Jordan 7). Assists--UC Davis 5 (Shorts II, TJ 3), Northern Colorado 7 (DAVIS, Jordan 3). Total fouls--UC Davis 18, Northern Colorado 16. Technical fouls--UC Davis-None, Northern Colorado-None. A-895
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