Dec. 28, 2004
MORAGA, Calif. - Darnell Hopkins scored a game-high 16 points and the Racers turned 19 Aggie turnovers into 23 points as Murray State posted a 66-43 victory over UC Davis in the first game of the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic at McKeon Pavilion on the Saint Mary's campus.
With the loss the Aggies fall to 4-7 while the Racers improve to 5-3.
UC Davis struggled through an opening first half that saw them shoot 22 percent from the field with only Fowzi Abdelsamad connecting for a field goal. In fact both teams shot poorly as the Racers hit just 32 percent of their attempts, but they capitalized on six Aggie turnovers which were converted into nine Murray State points.
With the Racers holding a 9-5 lead midway through the first, the Aggies went over 10 minutes without a field goal as Murray State extended its lead to 24-8 before Abdelsamad hit one of his three three-pointers in the half to break the drought. UC Davis hit three of seven three-point attempts and just one of 11 from inside the arc in the opening 20 minutes. Abdelsamad scored 15 of the Aggies 16 points in the half, with Robert Ehsan's free throw accounting for the only other point.
In the second half it was more of the same as it took almost four minutes for UC Davis to hit a shot, a Justin Stearns jumper, that cut the lead to 36-20. UC Davis hit just one more field goal over the next eight minutes as the Racers pushed the lead to 57-26 midway through the period.
Turnovers hurt UC Davis in the second half as it committed seven over a 10-possession stretch that allowed Murray State to put the game away. In all the Aggies committed 11 miscues in the second half resulting in 14 Racer points.
Trailing by 34 with just over five minutes remaining, UC Davis continued to play hard and the shots began to fall. UC Davis scored 15 of the game's final 19 points as Stearns had seven points in the run while JaQay Carlyle scored the final five points of the contest, including a three in the closing seconds.
"We lost to a better team tonight," said Aggie head coach Gary Stewart. "They are one of the better teams in the country and the best defensive team we have faced this year. We weren't able to sustain the type of offensive onslaught needed to keep us in the game. We struggled to score and that is a tribute to Murray State. We competed hard all night, but didn't take care of the ball in the second half."
For the game Abdelsamad led the Aggies with 15 points, all in the first half, while Stearns finished with a season-high 11. The Aggies' second-leading scorer, Ryan Moore, was held scoreless after entering the game averaging 14.9 points on the season. UC Davis finished its night shooting 35.1 percent from the field but did hold a 33-29 advantage on the boards.
Two areas that hurt the Aggies all night were points off turnovers and points in the paint, where the Racers held a 23-4 advantage on the former and a 20-2 margin in the latter.
Hopkins was the only Racer in double figures, adding four rebounds and a game-high-tying four assists, while Shane Dansby added eight points. Murray State shot 40 percent on the night, including 53 percent from long range.
UC Davis will now face either host Saint Mary's or Radford in the consolation game of the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic on Wednesday night. Gametime is set for 5 p.m.
UC DAVIS (4-7)
Fowzi Abdelsamad 4-9 3-5 4-4 15, Phil Rasmussen 0-5 0-0 0, JaQay Carlyle 2-3 0-0 5, Robert Ehsan 0-1 5-8 5, Ryan Moore 0-4 0-0 0, Justin Stearns 4-5 2-2 11, Thomas Juillerat 0-0 0-0 0, Ryan Schwarz 0-1 1-2 1, Ari Warmerdam 0-1 0-0 0, Madison Butts 3-8 0-0 6. Totals 13-37 12-16 43.
MURRAY STATE (5-3)
Keith Jenifer 1-6 3-3 5, Darnell Hopkins 6-14 1-2 16, Shawn Witherspoon 1-3 0-0 3, Justin Orr 1-2 3-5 5, Pearson Griffith 1-6 2-2 4, Jamie Lee Holder 1-1 0-0 3, Shane Dansby 3-7 0-0 8, T.T. Wolf 2-2 1-2 6, A.J. Adams 0-1 0-0 0, Issian Redding 1-5 2-2 5, Reggie Jackson 2-4 0-0 4, Charles Johnson 3-4 1-1 7. Totals 22-55 13-17 66.
Halftime -MSU 27-16. Three-Point Field Goals: UC Davis 5-13 (Abdelsamad 3-5, Stearns 1-1, Carlyle 1-2, Ehsan 0-1, Moore 0-1, Rasmussen 0-3), MSU 9-17 (Hopkins 3-5, Dansby 2-3, Holder 1-1, Wolf 1-1, Redding 1-2, Witherspoon 1-2, Orr 0-1, Jenifer 0-2). Rebounds: UC Davis 33 (Rasmussen 6), MSU 29 (Jackson 6). Assists: UC Davis 5 (Rasmussen/Warmerdam 2), MSU 10 (Jenifer/Hopkins 4). Turnovers: UC Davis 19, MSU 7. Fouls: UC Davis 22, MSU 19. Fouled Out: None. Att.: Not available.