Dec. 29, 2012
IRVINE, Calif. - Trailing by as many as six points in the second half, sophomore guard Corey Hawkins scored two of his game-high 21 points to give UC Davis a two-point lead with 11 seconds remaining in Saturday night's Big West opener against the UC Irvine Anteaters at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.
A jumper from Irvine's Daman Starring with three seconds left in regulation tied the game and forced another five minutes of action. In overtime, the host Anteaters pulled away during the final moments of the game to defeat UC Davis 69-58.
One of two Aggies to score 10 or more in the team's conference opener, Hawkins has now finished with double-digit scoring totals in 11 of the Aggies' 12 games this season. The other player to finish in double-digits was junior swingman Josh Ritchart as he posted a new season high with his 15-point effort against the Anteaters.
Ritchart and sophomore forward J.T. Adenrele finished with a team-high seven rebounds apiece, Paolo Mancasola led all Aggies by recording five of his team's 11 assists.
In contrast to a UC Irvine (7-7, 1-0 BWC) team that recorded 26 free-throw attempts, the Aggies (4-8, 0-1 BWC) took only four shots from the stripe throughout the evening to record a new season-low. Saturday's total was nearly one-third the amount of free-throw attempts compared to the team's previous low of 11 originally set at Idaho (12/1/12).
It was not until the 10:37 mark of the second half when Mancasola took the first shots of the evening at the line for UC Davis, he connected on both attempts to trim the Anteaters' lead to four points.
The senior guard stepped up to make another crucial play for the Aggies by drawing a charge less than a minute later. In addition to wiping away a potential Anteater layup, that play sparked a scoring run that saw the Aggies reel off an additional six unanswered to take a two-point lead with 7:22 remaining.
From that point on, no team was able to hold a lead larger than two as the score was tied on six occasions throughout the remaining minutes of the second half.
"I told my guys that I was really proud of the way they faced adversity... we were just a couple of plays away," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les.
Of the last four UC Davis overtime games, three have taken place against UC Irvine. Two overtime periods were needed to declare a victor when these teams faced each another inside The Pavilion on Jan. 29, 2011, only one five-minute period was needed in that season's series finale on Feb. 24.
"It's a 24-hour window; we can be disappointed about this result for 24 hours, then it is time to get back to work," said Les.
UC Davis will return to action on Jan. 5, 2013, against Pacific, in the first of a three-game homestand.