Nov. 24, 2013
PORTLAND – Corey Hawkins scored 10 straight points in the second half for UC Davis in its final game at the Portland State Tournament in Portland, Ore., to pull his team within nine midway through the second half. But the host Vikings traded baskets with the Aggies until extending their lead at the free throw line in the final minutes to down UC Davis 79-63 Sunday afternoon at the Peter W. Stott Center.
Portland State ends its weekend with a 4-1 record, Sunday's result evens UC Davis' record at 3-3.
"I thought our defensive intensity was not there at the start of the game," said head coach Jim Les following the game. "Portland State has a lot of athletic players on its roster who can score points in a hurry."
Down by seven in the first half after the under-four media timeout took place, Iggy Nujic and Ryan Sypkens combined to score five consecutive points on back-to-back possessions to pull UC Davis within two at 30-28, with 2:28 left until the break.
From that point on, Portland State was responsible for 10 of the final 14 points scored to enter the locker room with an eight-point lead, its largest of the half.
When action resumed, the Vikings tacked on another five points to their 40-32 halftime lead before Hawkins took over on offense to singlehandedly trim the Aggies' deficit back to single digits.
During a three-minute stretch midway through the second half, Hawkins connected on back-to-back threes and a jumper to cut the Vikings’ lead to nine. Consecutive free throws from Sypkens on the Aggies’ subsequent possession pulled UC Davis within seven with more than eight minutes remaining.
Of the game-high 23 points scored by Hawkins, 16 were earned throughout the second half.
As the game progressed, both teams traded baskets until Portland State pulled away in the final minutes once the Aggies were forced to stop the clock by fouling.
By connecting on all but three of their 15 free throw attempts throughout the final three minutes of the game, the Vikings were able to maintain their lead until the final buzzer sounded.
Led by Avery Johnson who grabbed a game-high eight rebounds to match his career high originally set in his team's home opener against Holy Names (11/11), every Aggie that earned significant playing time recorded at least one rebound.
Josh Ritchart and Darius Graham also scored double digits against Portland State and finished with 17 and 10 points respectively. Ritchart also fell one rebound shy of tying Johnson's total and finished with seven.
One of four Vikings to score 10 or more points in Sunday's contest, DaShaun Moore led his team in scoring and was responsible for 21 of Portland State's 26 bench points.
UC Davis will return to action Tuesday evening in this year’s Causeway Classic. Tipoff from The Pavilion will take place at 7 p.m. Aggie men's basketball fans will have an opportunity to witness a rare accomplishment when UC Davis faces Sacramento State as senior guard Ryan Sypkens needs to score five points to become the 19th Aggie in the program's esteemed history to record 1,000 career points.
Added Les, "It's nice to return home, especially to host our rivalry game against Sacramento State. We are all excited for Tuesday's game and will be ready to play."
Aggies open season Monday night at Northern Colorado
Gameday Central at Utah Valley
(2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT)