Dec. 5, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - A 7-0 UC Davis scoring run pulled the Aggies within two points of the San Jose State Spartans with nearly six minutes remaining in Wednesday's game at The Pavilion. Trailing by that same margin with 4:13 still left to play, the Spartans (4-3) pulled away late by recording nine of the final 11 points scored to defeat UC Davis 73-64.
Led by junior guard Ryan Sypkens with 18, four Aggies posted double-digit scoring totals for the second time this season. In addition to Sypkens, sophomore guard Corey Hawkins posted 16 points, with junior guard/forward Josh Ritchart and sophomore forward J.T. Adenrele ending with 11 and 10 points respectively.
The same four Aggies also dropped double-digit point totals last Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Nevada.
Ritchart also led all Aggies (1-5) with three offensive and seven total rebounds.
Competing in only his second home game as an Aggie, junior center Spencer Clayton pulled four rebounds and scored four points, both season-high totals, throughout his 13 minutes of playing time.
"I thought he did a nice job and got us some key rebounds. He scored around the basket and was solid defensively. He's gaining more confidence, and we are gaining more confidence in him," said head coach Jim Les.
Entering the game leading all players in the nation with his 5.0 made three-point field goals per game, Sypkens matched his average by connecting on 5 of 10 shots from distance.
In addition to sparking the Aggies' 7-0 run by scoring consecutive baskets on a thunderous dunk and a jump-shot from the middle of the key, Adenrele was also responsible for three of UC Davis' season-high eight blocked shots.
Ritchart (2), Hawkins, Ryan Howley and Sypkens (1) were collectively responsible for the other five blocks.
Adenrele entered Wednesday's game with a .645 field goal percentage, the highest mark in the Big West, and will most likely remain the conference's leader for another week after connecting on all three of his shots.
UC Davis finished 22-for-57 (38.6 pct.) from the floor, 8-for-24 (33.3 pct.) from three and were 12-for-16 (75 pct.) from the line compared to a San Jose State squad that shot 26-for-61 (42.6 pct.), 6-for-17 (35.3 pct.) from behind the arc and 15-for-26 (57.7 pct.) from the stripe.
"We are doing some good things, and players are making contributions," said Les. "We just need this young group to become use to making plays down the stretch — taking charges, winning 50/50 balls and coming up with big rebounds because that is what ends up deciding the game."
Amongst those in attendance included students and their family members from Birch Lane Elementary, Marguerite Montgomery Elementary, Robert E. Willett Elementary (Davis), Dixon Montessori Charter (Dixon) and Markham Elementary (Vacaville) as participants of the inaugural UC Davis Men's Basketball Reading Program. More than 18,000 elementary students in metro Sacramento and Davis area elementary schools will collaborate with the men's basketball program throughout the 2012-13 academic year.
Due to its upcoming week of finals, UC Davis will not return to action until Dec. 15, when the team travels to Palo Alto to face the Stanford Cardinal in a 2 p.m. matinee matchup.