Nov. 22, 2011
DAVIS, Calif. - Sacramento State fought back from a 17-point first-half deficit to upend UC Davis 69-61 in a nonconference men's basketball game played before 1,847 fans at The Pavilion on Tuesday night, offsetting a career-high 16 points from the Aggies' Tyler Les who had a game-high four three-pointers.
Sophomore Harrison Dupont added 15 points and Josh Ritchart had 10 for UC Davis which fell to 1-5. Forward Joe Eberhard led the Hornets with 16 points while forward Walter Jackson and Konner Veteto each had 14. The Hornets, off to their best start since the 2003-04 season, improved to 3-1.
Sacramento State owned a 42-30 rebounding advantage, turning the tide after the Aggies led 17-15 in that department at halftime when they were up 32-22. Ritchart's three-pointer late in the first half put UC Davis in front 32-15 but the Hornets closed the opening 20 minutes on a 7-0 run to trail 32-22 at the break.
"I thought the difference was the last two minutes of the half," said Aggie coach Jim Les. "We're up 17 and there's a timeout and they make a run to cut it to 10 at halftime and did it the way they made their run in the second half. I think they had four offensive rebounds the last two minutes and they found their formula for success.
"I can't fault our defense. We held them to 34-percent shooting, under 30 (percent) from three and it all came down to the backboards and going to finish our defense with rebounding," he added. "They got 19 offensive rebounds to the tune of 24 second-chance points."
Les' three-pointer with 13 minutes, 27 seconds left gave UC Davis a 43-34 lead after Sacramento State had closed to within 38-34 on Jackson's layup less than a minute earlier. The Aggies maintained at least a four-point lead over the next six minutes before a 10-0 Hornets run - keyed by three-pointers from Dylan Garrity and Jordan Estrada - put them in front 54-50 with 4:40 to go.
Les tied the game a minute later at 54-54 but John Dickson hit a trey and Jackson scored on a tip-in for a five-point Sacramento State lead that never got smaller than three-points the rest of the way. The Hornets led 27-13 on the boards in the second half, made six three-pointers and had just three turnovers.
The first half was the opposite story for UC Davis which came out and built an 11-3 in the first seven minutes with balanced scoring that saw five different players score. The lead swelled to 19-8 on a three-pointer from Les before going to a dozen points on a free throw from sophomore Alex Tiffin.
The Aggies' defense was effective on the other end of the floor, keeping the Hornets to just 25.9 percent from the field in the opening half, including just 2 of 12 (16.7%) from beyond the arc. Ritchart had four rebounds and Ryan Howley had three for the Aggies who also had eight assists on their 11 baskets.
"I thought our zone was pretty agressive (in the first half), and I thought they missed some but I thought we made them miss with our aggressiveness," said Les. "I thought the same thing in the second half. We made them miss, we just didn't come up with the loose balls and the rebounds like we needed to."
DuPont hit 5 of 9 shots from the floor to help with his 15 points while also adding a team-high five assists. Les had three assists while Howley led the team with seven boards. Eberhard was 6 of 9 from the free throw line on his way to 16 points, Jackson was 6 of 8 from the field and Veteto had nine rebounds to pair with his 14 points. Garrity had six assists.
The Aggies, who played without senior Eddie Miller and junior Ryan Sypkens who both missed with injury, will begin a stretch of six road games in their next seven. They'll open that portion of their schedule on Sunday with a 1 p.m. game against Eastern Washington.