Dec. 21, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Led by junior guard Ryan Sypkens, three players scored 10 or more points for UC Davis against Utah State in Friday night’s all-Aggies clash at the World Vision Challenge, Sponsored by Gossner Foods in Logan, Utah.
A 15-0 UC Davis scoring run in the first half helped the team take a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime but the second-half three-point shooting exploits of Utah State helped the tournament host pull away late to defeat UC Davis 73-61.
Clint Bozner set numerous career highs at Utah State, the sophomore forward connected on all four of his field goal attempts and made three of five free throws to finish with a career-high 11 points. Bozner also recorded three blocks and altered numerous Utah State shots, one of which took place on an attempted dunk attempt that sparked UC Davis’ 15-point run.
“He (Bozner) is giving us some good production, that is a credit to him. I do not know where we would have been tonight if we did not have him,” said UC Davis head coach Jim Les.
Sophomore guard Corey Hawkins ended his evening with 11 points to complete the list of UC Davis (3-7) double-digit scorers.
Tying his career high Thursday night vs. Nicholls State with 15 rebounds, senior guard Ryan Howley led the way for UC Davis once again with 12 rebounds, and was responsible for five of UC Davis’ six offensive rebounds.
“I thought we did some good things in the first half, we battled and rebounded well,” said Les.
Five of Bozners’ points were scored during that streak, Howley also earned five of his seven points during a 3:34 stretch that started with a jumper from Sypkens, and was capped by a three from junior guard Tyler Les.
“Coach (Les) emphasizes defense and rebounding, that was my main focus throughout the game. As long as I can do that, the points will eventually come,” said Bozner.
Junior guard Preston Medlin led Utah State (8-1) with 24 points, and was one of two Utah State players that finished with four three-point baskets. Utah State shot 66.7 pct. from three throughout the second half, with nearly half of its total field goals (12 of 25) scored from three.
“We just weren’t as sharp with the second-chance balls and 50/50 balls in the second half. They scored a lot of threes off second-chance points and kick-outs.
“We can all feel how close this team is to turning the corner, the players believe and they feel it too. I thought our guys came ready to play, they were into it, energetic and enthusiastic,” said Les.
UC Davis will end its weekend in Logan, Utah, Saturday afternoon in a 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) game against Nicholls State (1-7). The final game for the Aggies at the World Vision Challenge, Sponsored by Gossner Foods will air on KSAC (105.5 FM) and ucdavisaggies.com.