Hot Shooting And Strong Defense Lead Aggies Over Chico State

Junior Phil Rasmussen scored 15 points, including eight early in the second half, to lead UC Davis over Chico State on Wednesday night. (Wayne  Tilcock/The Davis Enterprise)
 
Junior Phil Rasmussen scored 15 points, including eight early in the second half, to lead UC Davis over Chico State on Wednesday night. (Wayne Tilcock/The Davis Enterprise)
 

Dec. 3, 2003

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. - Ryan Moore scored a game-high 22 points to lead three Aggies in double figures as UC Davis defeated Chico State 95-69 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball opener for both teams Wednesday night in front of 1,437 at Recreation Hall.

With the win the Aggies move to 2-1 on the season and snap a four-game losing streak against the Wildcats. Chico suffers its first defeat of the year, falling to 3-1.

Moore opened the game with a three-pointer and the Aggies led the rest of the way. Five different players scored the first five Aggie baskets as UC Davis raced to a 20-4 lead in the opening six minutes. The lead grew to 20 just past the halfway mark of the period after a Rommel Marentez jumper capped an 8-0 run, giving UC Davis a 30-10 lead.

The lead remained in double-digits the rest of the way as the Aggies' defensive pressure forced the Wildcats into 10 first-half turnovers. Chico never found its range from the field in the first half, going over four minutes without a field goal on two different occasions. The half ended with the Aggies holding a 17-point lead at 45-28.

For the half the Wildcats shot just 32 percent from the field, missing all seven three-point attempts. UC Davis connected on 55 percent of its shots in the opening half as seven different players scored, led by Moore's 14.

The second half was much of the same with UC Davis outworking Chico at both ends of the floor. The Wildcats never got it going as twice they cut the lead to 16 only to see it bounce right back to 20. The Aggies held their biggest lead of the contest at 93-65 with just under two minutes remaining.

The tempo of the game seemed to favor Chico, which entered the contest averaging 91.3 points per game. Poor shooting and an opportunistic Aggie defense, which converted 17 Wildcat turnovers into 20 points, was too much to overcome. While Chico struggled to find its range, the Aggies were hot from the start. They finished the game shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from the free throw line, both season-highs. UC Davis also held a commanding edge on the boards, outrebounding the Wildcats 41-25.

 

 

"We knew it would be a test of wills and we had to control the tempo," said Aggie head coach Gary Stewart. "They (Chico) want to go up in tempo and we didn't want to get in a situation where we would be trading baskets. We let our guys know it would be a 90-minute contest. We knew when the game started we needed to be in sprint mode."

In addition to his 22 points, Moore added five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Phil Rasmussen poured in 15 points, including eight of the Aggies' first 13 points in the second half to extend the lead to 20. Freshman Thomas Juillerat came off the bench to score 17 points on 6 of 7 shooting, to go with his four boards. The 95 points by UC Davis marks the most by an Aggie team since a double-overtime victory over UC San Diego last season.

Chico was paced by Charles Webster, who scored 18 points before fouling out after playing 21 minutes. Jason Van Eck added 13 and Ben Perak finished with 10 as the only other players in double figures for the Wildcats. Chico, a perimeter-oriented team, was held without a three-point basket after making 21 in its first three games.

These same two teams will face off again this Saturday in their final meeting of the season in Chico. Gametime is set for 7 p.m.