Nov. 28, 2012
RENO, Nev. - One of four Aggies to score 10 or more points against the host Nevada Wolf Pack, junior guard Ryan Sypkens led his team with 24 points, including a career best 8-of-11 shooting from three, and was responsible for the final points scored for UC Davis at the Lawlor Events Center Wednesday evening to give the Aggies an 83-82 lead with 16 seconds left in the game.
Unfortunately for UC Davis (1-3), Nevada's Deonte Burton recorded the final points of the night with 3.8 seconds remaining to turn a late one-point Aggie lead into an 84-83 Wolf Pack (4-2) victory.
Sypkens is the second Aggie in as many seasons to tie the program's record of eight three-point field goals made in a single game. Last season against San Jose State (12/20/11), Tyler Les also drained eight from distance.
Paolo Mancasola also set a new career high against the Wolf Pack as the senior guard was responsible for eight of the Aggies' 20 assists.
As a team, UC Davis shot 28-for-51 (54.9 pct.), 16-for-22 (72.7 pct.) from the line and a season-high 11-for-20 (55 pct.) from three.
Responsible for nine points scored in the Aggies' 11-point victory over Sacramento State last Tuesday, the UC Davis bench turned in their best collective performance of the season against last year's Western Athletic Conference champions.
In its season-opener at Oklahoma State (11/9/12), the UC Davis bench set a season-high by scoring 23 points against the Cowboys. In the first half alone Wednesday night, the Aggie bench was responsible for 21 of their team's 36 points.
Once play resumed after halftime, the Aggie bench scored another 22 throughout the second half to finish with a season-high total of 43.
At one point of the game, Nevada possessed a 12-point lead - an advantage that was erased at the 5:32 mark of the first half thanks to UC Davis' success from three. From that point on, the Aggies remained within striking distance and prevented the Wolf Pack from pulling away and creating too large a deficit whenever UC Davis did not possess the lead.
Seven tied scores took place in addition to the five occasions that each team possessed the lead throughout the second half.
Trailing by six with 5:34 left in the game, UC Davis embarked on an 11-4 scoring run to take its first lead within a nine-minute timespan at 74-73.
With both teams in the bonus, each traded baskets and free throws until Sypkens erased a two-point Wolf Pack lead by draining a three-pointer from the near corner right in front of his bench to give UC Davis an 83-82 advantage with 16 seconds left in the game.
After a Nevada timeout, Deonte Burton brought the ball into the frontcourt and exhausted as much time as possible before running his team's designed play. Unable to find an open teammate anywhere on the floor, he chose to take a slightly off-balanced jumper near the right elbow in an attempt to prevent his shot from being blocked.
Not a moment was wasted by UC Davis after Burton's basket as the Aggies quickly inbounded the ball in attempt to catch the Wolf Pack off-guard.
Once Mancasola gained possession of the ball in the Aggies' half of the court, he quickly dribbled his way around an Aggie screen to place himself within shooting range.
Mancasola never had that opportunity to take what could have been a game-winning shot as two Wolf Pack defenders split the screen; with one defender trailing the senior guard after being screened, and the other blocking his desired path to open space, all three players ultimately collided with each other as the clock hit quadruple zeros.
With Mancasola knocked to the ground as the buzzer sounded, many people inside the Lawlor Events Center paused for a moment to process the action that took place throughout the final three-plus seconds. It was not until both teams participated in the postgame handshake line when the crowd, including a contingent of UC Davis fans that made the trip to Reno, realized the game was officially over.
UC Davis will end its road trip in a 7 p.m. game on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Idaho. A radio broadcast of that game will be available on KSAC 105.5 FM and ucdavisaggies.com.