Nov. 20, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In front of a standing-room only crowd at The Nest Tuesday evening, UC Davis scored 63 points in the second half to defeat Sacramento State 87-76 in the 111th Causeway Classic.
The Aggies connected on 22 of 34 shots (64.7 percent) throughout the final 20 minutes of action, and built a lead as large as 14 before ending on its final 11-point margin.
Down by seven when play resumed after the break, UC Davis scored 14 unanswered points within a 3:57 timespan to take a 50-38 lead midway though the final half - an advantage that UC Davis (1-2) possessed for the rest of the game.
"I thought this environment was great," said head coach Jim Les about the packed house that witnessed another Aggie victory on its rival's court. "This is a great rivalry for both Sacramento State (3-1) and us, and a big win for this young team."
Corey Hawkins made nine of his 15 shots, and was a perfect 9-for-9 at the free throw line to finish with a game-high 29 points. The Big West's leading scorer ended one point shy of tying his season-high effort set against Northern Arizona last Sunday, a game that saw the sophomore guard score 30 in his home debut.
As a team, the Aggies were a perfect 13-for-13 from the line.
J.T. Adenrele was nine of 16 against the Hornets, and connected on his only trip to the free throw line to finish with a career-high 19 points. This was a three-point improvement over his previous best set last March at UC Santa Barbara.
Adenrele's nine field goals is also a new career high.
Junior guard Ryan Sypkens added another 15 points to his team's cause, a total solely based on his shooting from behind the arc.
Of the 10 three-point field goals recorded by UC Davis, Sypkens was responsible for half of those baskets. Junior guard Tyler Les was 3-for-6 from three and finished with nine points, with Hawkins responsible for the Aggies' other two three-point field goals.
Ryan Howley entered Tuesday's game with a conference-high 11.0 rpg average, and will most likely remain as the Big West's top rebounder entering next week's slate of games after recording a game-high 15 rebounds.
"As our leading rebounder, Howley helps other players take easy shots. I cannot say enough about what he means to this team," said Hawkins.
UC Davis won the battle of the boards from start-to-finish and outrebounded the Hornets by a 45-31 margin.
"We stepped up in the second half, made plays and were the more physical team throughout the second half. Our team can put points on the board, but our scoring runs were ignited by our defense.
"The coaches challenged our players to play solid defense, and they stepped up in a big way," said Les.
The road team has now won the last three Causeway Classics.
"This was a fun game to play in, and a good backyard battle. Games like this are what this (the rivalry) is all about," said Adenrele.
UC Davis will continue its three-game road swing on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Nevada.