Aggie Defense Rises In Second Half To Lift UC Davis Over Lewis & Clark, 55-48

Nov. 29, 2003

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. - Ryan Moore scored a game-high 19 points and the Aggie defense held the Pioneers to just five points over the first 10 minutes of the second half as UC Davis defeated Lewis & Clark College, 55-48, in a men's basketball non-conference game Saturday night in front of 706 at Recreation Hall.

With the win the Aggies even their record at 1-1 on the season while Lewis & Clark falls to 2-2.

UC Davis entered the second half trailing by three at 28-25 and the deficit grew to five following a John Mietus jumper at the 19 minute mark. That would be the last Pioneer field goal for the next seven minutes as the Aggie defense came alive, forcing the Pioneers into five turnovers and seven missed shots over their next 11 possessions.

While the Pioneers were struggling to score the Aggies took advantage. After a Thomas Juillerat layup tied the score at 31-31 with 14:05 remaining, UC Davis took the lead for good when Fowzi Abdelsamad made one of two free throws for the 32-31 advantage. Moore then hit a layup and three-pointer sandwiched around a Pioneer layup as the Aggies increased the lead to four at the 10:39 mark.

The lead reached seven after two Robert Ehsan free throws before Lewis & Clark mounted a comeback. Back-to-back field goals from Thomas Magnuson and two more free throws from Winnie cut the lead back to one with 4:48 left, but Moore took over, hitting two consecutive jumpers and the lead never dipped below three the rest of the way.

The game began with UC Davis taking its biggest lead of the night midway through the first half when Phil Rasmussen's three-pointer gave the Aggies a 17-9 lead. The Pioneers fought back, outscoring UC Davis 19-8 over the next 10 minutes to take a three-point lead into halftime. John Mietus scored eight of his team-high 15 points in that opening half to lead the Pioneers.



"The game never really got into a rhythm offensively and we couldn't get on one page as a team," said UC Davis head coach Gary Stewart, who picked up his first win leading the Aggies. "Late in the game we decided to go inside, either off the pass or the dribble, and it got us going. We started to get opportunities on the low block and off the glass.

"In elite basketball you have to be able to execute in the half-court offense," Stewart continued. "This game was good for us. Offensive we will get going but we are implementing a new system with new people and it's going to take time."

When asked about his thoughts on his first win as an Aggie head coach, Stewart deflected the attention to his players.

"It's not about me it's about the guys. I want them to experience success and I'm happy they got this win. They deserve it."

Moore's 19 points, along with five rebounds, led three Aggies in double figures. Rasmussen finished with his first double-double as an Aggie, pouring in 13 points and 11 boards, while Ehsan added 12 points and five boards. Gus Argenal led all players with six assists.

Mietus was the only Pioneer in double figures with 15 and a team-best 11 boards. Magnuson added nine points and nine boards while Danny Winchester contributed nine points and five assists.

UC Davis will next be in action on Wednesday when it opens California Collegiate Athletic Association play by hosting Chico State at Recreation Hall. Gametime is set for 7 p.m.