Wildcats Rally In Second Half To Defeat UC Davis

Dec. 29, 2002

Box Score

DAVIS, Calif. - Scott Land made two free throws with :08 left and the Wildcats held UC Davis without a field over the final 2:31 as Chico State defeated UC Davis, 70-67, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association men's contest in front of 1,730 Sunday afternoon at Rec Hall.

With the loss the Aggies drop their fourth stragiht in the series and fall to 3-4 on the season, 0-2 in CCAA play while Chico improves to 5-2 on the year, 2-0 in conference action.

After trailing for the opening 28 minutes, Chico took its first lead at 49-47 following a Jason Van Eck layup. It capped an 11-0 run for the Wildcats over a 4:16 stretch as Van Eck scored eight of his team-high 15 points in that time.

There would be four more lead changes and four ties the rest of the way before Chico went ahead for good after two Narcippa Teague free throws with 5:47 left. UC Davis would keep the game close as three times they closed to within one, but could not get the go-ahead basket even though the Wildcats went the final 3:01 without a field goal.

Trailing by one with :18 remaining, Dominic Callori's running jumper as the shot clock ran down bounced off the back rim, giving Chico possession. Following two Van Eck free throws, the Aggies had another chance to even the score, but Callori was fouled and made the subsequent free throws before Land sealed the win with :08 left.

"We played hard the entire game, but just didn't shoot the ball well in the second half, " said Aggie Head Coach Brian Fogel. "We need to bounce back from this and get ready for two more conference games next week. There are a lot of games left in the season."

After holding a six-point lead at halftime, Aggie guard Justin Stearns came out blazing in the second half, scoring seven straight points as the Aggies built their lead back to 10 in the opening minutes. But the Wildcats bounced back thanks to a 15-5 run over the next 5:52 to tie the score at 51-51 with 11:04 left. Van Eck sparked the run, including a three that gave Chico its first lead of the game at 49-48.



From that point on the teams would trade leads as Ryan Moore kept the Aggies in the game, scoring 11 straight points and giving UC Davis its last lead at 58-56, with 7:05 remaining.

UC Davis led the entire way in the first half as Stearns carried the load, scoring 13 first-half points, including three three-pointers. The Aggies found success with the long ball, hitting five of 11 attempts in the period. The last trey, by Stearns at the 7:13 mark, gave UC Davis its biggest lead of the half at 27-15.

Chico cut the lead to two at 32-30 with just over a minute left in the half as Will Bonner led the charge back. In his 10 minutes of play off the bench, Bonner scored six points and grabbed seven boards, as the Wildcats did their damage in the paint, outscoring the Aggies 16-8 down low.

Stearns led the way for UC Davis as he scored a game-high 22 points, including 4-of-6 from three-point range. It marked his fourth 20-plus point effort of the season. Moore finished with 18 points and 11 boards while Callori added 12 points. Sophomore guard Fowzi Abdelsamad had his best game of the season, scoring 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

Van Eck's 15 points led four Wildcats in double figures as Brian Faulstich and Ben Perak each added 13 and Teague finished with 10. Perak and Bonner each grabbed eight boards to lead Chico, which held a 41-36 rebounding advantage on the night.

UC Davis will next be in action on Friday, January, when it travels to Rohnert Park for a CCAA matchup against Sonoma State. Gametime is set for 7:30pm.