Nov. 15, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - UC Davis pulled within five in the final minutes of the first half in Friday's non-conference game from the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, but Utah scored the final 11 points before entering the break with a 16-point lead en route to its 94-60 victory over the Aggies.
UC Davis will enter next week's Portland State Tournament with a 1-2 overall record, Utah improves to 2-0 with the result.
Even though Utah entered the first media timeout of the game leading 15-2, UC Davis quickly settled down to generate a scoring run of its own. Within a 1:11 timespan, a jumper from Corey Hawkins, layup from Darius Graham and three-point shot from Ryan Sypkens chopped what was once a 13-point lead to only six.
After Utah snapped the Aggies' scoring streak with a layup, Hawkins and Georgi Funtarov scored consecutive baskets to pull their team within four of the Utes.
What started with seven unanswered points turned into an 11-2, UC Davis scoring that silenced the crown, created momentum and pulled the team within striking distance.
Aiding the Aggies on offense was their performance on defense; prior to Utah's run before the break, UC Davis forced eight Utah turnovers, which led to 11 points. In addition to forcing miscues on one end of the court, UC Davis was phenomenal with its ball protection on the other half as the team only committed two turnovers prior to the final media timeout of the opening half.
Of the eight Utah turnovers forced by UC Davis at that point of the game, three were earned in a similar manner within 1:29 of one another.
After Graham stood his ground to draw two charges in front of the Aggies' hoop, Ritchart forced another Ute turnover by cutting off the baseline and standing tall to force the referees to call another charge.
But it was an 11-0, Utah scoring run during the final 3:57 of the first half that helped the Utes enter the locker room at halftime with an advantage that UC Davis was unable to decrease as the evening progressed.
Scoring all but one of his team-high 14 points in the second half was Brynton Lemar; the freshman guard was also responsible for half of his team's eight steals-another team-high total.
Utah guard Brandon Taylor led all players with 21 points, forward Renan Lenz also added a career-high 20 points for the Utes.
The Aggies will return to action on Friday, Nov. 22, and face SIUE in their first of three games at the Portland State Tournament. Tipoff for all games involving the Aggies at that event will take place at 3 p.m.
Central Coast road trip kicks-off at Cal Poly
vs. UC Riverside (5 p.m.)