SEATTLE - Throughout a majority of Sunday’s non-conference game at Washington, the home crowd had little reason to cheer because of the way UC Davis competed on both ends of the floor throughout the first-ever head-to-head meeting. In a matchup that featured eight tied scores and 10 lead changes, it was late free throws from the Huskies that helped them record a 77-70 victory and escape UC Davis’ upset bid in a game televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
Senior communication major Chima Moneke recorded the 11th 20-point game of his career, and third of the season, by finishing with a game-high 23 points on 9 of 12 shooting. Junior communication major Siler Schneider nailed three of his five baskets from three to end with 15 points, and junior economics major Garrison Goode impacted this game with his hustle plays on defense, eight points and seven rebounds on offense — both season highs.
Of his seven boards, four were on offense; combined with Moneke’s five offensive rebounds, the pair earned all but one of the team’s 10 rebounds on its half of the floor.
Senior American Studies major Arell Hennings, who grew up in Seattle and competed in front of a group of family and friends that took up three rows of seats behind the Aggies’ bench, posted there points, one rebound and one assist.
UC Davis will end its season-opening five-game road swing and enter Wednesday’s 7 p.m home opener, vs. Northern Colorado, with a 3-2 record. Washington will continue its season with a 4-2 record.
Both teams finished with 25 field goals; UW hit one more three (6) than UC Davis, but it was the Huskies’ late free throws — the home team hit 21 vs. UC Davis’ 15 Sunday afternoon — that allowed them to pull away from the Aggies and survive a scare that lasted a majority of the afternoon.
Said head coach Jim Les, “I told everyone in the locker room (after the game), ‘we can play with anyone when we play like this.’”
By forcing 10 turnovers in the first half, and turning those extra possessions into 13 points, UC Davis led Washington 37-34 at halftime.
The Huskies responded with a 10-1 run once play resumed; after the Aggies withstood that scoring push, they responded with a 9-0 run of their own midway through the second half, capped by Hennings’ three, that tied the game at 54 with 9:24 remaining.
With UC Davis trailing, 67-63 and less than two minutes on the clock, senior communication major Michael Onyebalu drew two Huskies and made an easy dump pass to Goode, whose layup pulled the Aggies within one possession.
A floater from Jaylen Nowell on the ensuing possession doubled UW’s lead, which increased to the game’s final margin throughout the final 30 seconds when Washington hit its shots at the stripe.
Junior human development major TJ Shorts II chipped in nine points and led all Aggies with four assists; by hitting all four shots at the stripe and another from three, junior psychology major AJ John added another seven points.
Nowell led UW with 21 points, Noah Dickerson finished with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds. David Crisp and Matisse Thybulle also scored double digits, finishing with 13 and 11 respectively.
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