Nov. 21, 2007
DAVIS, Calif. - Vince Oliver scored a game-high 19 points, and Ryan Silva added 16, as UC Davis defeated Nicholls State, 69-67, Wednesday night at The Pavilion. The Aggies held the Colonels to 35 percent shooting and went 22-for-28 from the line to remain perfect at home this season. The victory improved UC Davis to 3-2 while Nicholls State fell to 1-4. Michael Czepil led the Colonels with 15 points while Ryan Bathie scored 14.
It was a slow start for the Aggies, who had to wait until the 14:34 mark of the first half to convert their first field goal. In all, the Aggies started 1-for-7 from the field, but were able to make up for it at the line by making their first 18 free throws. Their second field goal came with 9:46 left in the half on a layup by Shane Hanson, who finished with 13 points. That basket cut the NSU lead to 13-12.
The Colonels led by as many as five points in the first half before taking a 33-32 lead into the locker room.
UC Davis wasted little time converting on the offensive end to start the second half. Oliver made a three-pointer in the first minute to put the Aggies up 35-33. The junior would go on to score 11 of the Aggies' first 13 points of the half with the last of those points starting a 10-0 UC Davis run. After an Oliver back-door layup, Hanson made a trey to give the Aggies a 48-46 lead.
Moments later, Silva scored on a fast-break layup to give UC Davis a four-point lead. The freshman then stole the inbounds pass and made one of his four three-pointers to extend the lead to 53-46.
Nicholls State would draw to within 54-50 before the Aggies went on an 8-3 burst and led 62-53 at the 8:18 mark. That would be the largest lead of the game.
Gil Verner sank back-to-back three pointers to quickly draw the Colonels within 62-59 at the 7:06 mark. NSU would hang close as Bathie made a jumper along the left baseline with 2:01 to play, cutting the UC Davis lead to 67-65.
A pair of Oliver free throws with 1:37 remaining made it 69-65, and the Colonels would miss their next five field goal attempts before a Czepil tip-in as time expired accounted for the final points of the game. One of the key defensive plays of the night during the closing seconds was when Jesse Lopez Low blocked a layup attempt by Verner with 27 seconds left and UC Davis still leading by four.
"I thought our competitiveness for 40 minutes was excellent," said UC Davis head coach Gary Stewart. "We had some peaks and valleys but we stayed true to working hard and were able to finally get some separation." Silva's 16 points were a season high, and he tied his personal best with four three pointers. He finished the night 5-for-7 from the field and 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. He also had three steals.
Mark Payne added eight points with a game-high nine rebounds. He also had three assists and two steals.
"Ryan Silva made some big plays down the stretch for us, and Vince (Oliver) had a huge second half," added Stewart. "The reason why we were in the game and had that opportunity was we were able to hold them to 35 percent field goal percentage, and that's a significant number for us."
The Aggies held the Colonels to just 19-of-54 from the field. Thirty-one of their attempts were from beyond the arc. UC Davis shot 46 percent. Both teams committed 18 turnovers.
UC Davis is next in action Saturday when it hosts Portland State at 7 p.m.
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