DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis opened Saturday's game against Utah Valley with a 7-0 scoring run, then scored another nine unanswered points shortly thereafter to build a comfortable cushion that was never threatened to collect a 64-43, wire-to-wire win inside the Pavilion against the Wolverines.
The win bumps UC Davis' record to 5-0 for the first time since 1952 - the same year that Jonas Salk developed the first experimentally safe polio vaccine. When the Aggies last opened their season by winning their first five games, the Dodgers still played their games in Brooklyn and a first class stamp cost three cents.
Utah Valley falls to 3-2 with the loss and will travel to cross-Causeway rival Sacramento State for its next game.
"The starters set the tone tonight with the way they came out and played defensively. Guys coming off the bench were challenged to maintain that intensity and work hard," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les regarding his team's early scoring runs.
Corey Hawkins led all players with 18 points and was one of three Aggies to score double figures. Three days after he posted career-high numbers vs. Utah State, Josh Fox added 12 points on an efficient 5 of 7 shooting. J.T. Adenrele also dropped double digits for the second time in as many games by finishing with 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds (for the fourth straight game).
By posting a .536 field goal percentage in the first half and a .500 mark in the second, the Aggies shot .519 for the evening from the field against a Wolverines roster that finished with a .294 clip.
With Fox and Adenrele leading the way, UC Davis scored more than half of its points down low as the Aggies outscored UVU in the paint by a 36-16 margin. Also aiding the Aggies' total were Josh Ritchart and Neal Monson who recorded seven and four points respectively. The former also finished with five boards, the latter collected four.
As evident by its overall field goal percentage, the Wolverines encountered all sorts of problems throughout the entire evening on offense; UC Davis forced UVU to commit 16 turnovers which led to another 18 Aggie points.
"This past summer, we were able to spend a limited number of hours on the court. We focused most of our time and energy on defense, everyone on the team wanted this to be our calling card.
"We have a balanced roster and talented players that will allow us to do all sorts of things on offense, just showing up and outscoring opponents is not the way we will experience the type of success we want. By working hard on defense we can create opportunities on the other end, that's the type of game we want to play and did so tonight," added Les.
UC Davis also held a slight edge in bench scoring from start to finish and topped UVU's reserves, 22-17.
By finishing with three of UC Davis' nine steals, Hawkins also reached the 100 career steal mark.
"Before we took the floor, I told my team that there are only 39 teams that are undefeated. As the weekend progresses, that number is going to drop. These guys have worked hard and take pride on remaining undefeated," said Les.
UC Davis will end its three-game homestand Wednesday evening when San José State visits the Pavilion for a 7 p.m. contest.
UC DAVIS 64, UTAH VALLEY 43
UTAH VALLEY (3-2)
Davis,Marcel 2-4 2-4 7; Evans,Brenden 2-5 2-3 6; Robison,Eli 2-8 1-2 6; Williams,Donte 1-3 4-4 6; Nelson,Zach 2-4 0-0 5; Jackson,Jaden 2-8 0-0 4; Carr,Alex 1-5 0-0 3; Hamilton,Darrious 1-6 0-0 2; Bruneel,Mitch 1-6 0-0 2; Gubler,Boston 1-1 0-0 2; Ross,Chad 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-51 9-13 43.
UC DAVIS (5-0)
Hawkins, Corey 7-12 0-0 18; Fox, Josh 5-7 2-4 12; Adenrele, J.T. 5-6 1-2 11; Ritchart, Josh 3-6 0-2 7; Monson, Neal 2-3 0-0 4; Graham, Darius 2-5 0-0 4; Funtarov, Georgi 1-3 0-0 3; Les, Tyler 1-2 0-0 3; Johnson, Avery 1-4 0-0 2; Dueck, Justin 0-0 0-0 0; Onyebalu, Michael 0-0 0-0 0; Lemar,
Brynton 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 27-52 3-8 64.
Utah Valley................... 19 24 - 43
UC Davis...................... 33 31 - 64
3-point goals--Utah Valley 4-19 (Nelson,Zach 1-2; Carr,Alex 1-4; Davis,Marcel 1-3; Robison,Eli 1-3; Bruneel,Mitch 0-1; Jackson,Jaden 0-5; Williams,Donte 0-1), UC Davis 7-20 (Hawkins, Corey 4-9; Funtarov, Georgi 1-2; Ritchart, Josh 1-4; Les, Tyler 1-2; Graham, Darius 0-2; Johnson, Avery 0-1).
Fouled out--Utah Valley-None, UC Davis-None. Rebounds--Utah Valley 32 (Davis,Marcel 5), UC Davis 33 (Adenrele, J.T. 8). Assists--Utah Valley 10 (Bruneel,Mitch 5), UC Davis 10 (Hawkins, Corey 3). Total fouls--Utah Valley 9, UC Davis 15. Technical fouls--Utah Valley-None, UC Davis-None. A-1240