DAVIS, Calif. - Led by Brynton Lemar's 18 points, five UC Davis players scored double figures in Saturday's nonconference game at the Pavilion and Chima Moneke notched his league-high fifth double-double -- his second in as many games -- to help the Aggies remain undefeated at home this season and earn their third head-to-head victory in a row by defeating Utah Valley, 83-69.
With all Big West nonconference games completed, UC Davis will enter league play as the only team with a winning record, and will enter its BWC opener on Wednesday, vs. UC Santa Barbara, with an 8-7 record. Utah Valley will return to Orem with a 7-7 record.
By finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds, Moneke pulled even with J.T. Adenrele and Joe Harden for second place in the program's Div. I history by earning his fifth double-double of the season. Adenrele recorded his five throughout the 2012-13 season, Harden's total took place during '08-'09 campaign.
Harden currently holds the program's D-I record with seven, set during the '09-10 season.
"We held a really good offensive team -- [Utah Valley] averages 79 points a game -- to 69 points. If we can force teams to shoot 40 percent or below, this team is going to have some fun and accomplish good things," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les.
Compared to the Wolverines who were .385 from the floor (25-for-65) and .348 from three (8-for-23), the Aggies posted respective percentages of .484 (30-for-62) and .467 (7-for-15).
"I liked our ball movement on the offensive end; we gave up good shots for some great looks all game long," added Les.
Graham collected a game-high seven of the Aggies' 16 assists, a new season high that is one shy of his career best.
Even though he finished one point short of matching his career high, Lawrence White scored 14 points -- the most against a Division I opponent this season. Moneke and Adenrele each chipped in 12 points (a new season-high for the senior forward), and Siler Schneider completed UC Davis' list of double-figure scorers by adding another 11.
The Aggies' bench also turned in an impressive outing by scoring 22 points. In addition to Schneider's effort, Arell Hennings hit both shots from three to help his team extend its lead before halftime and Garrison Goode collected six rebounds -- a new career high against Div. I opposition.
Hennings ended his afternoon with seven points, the most against a D-I team this season that also doubles his season/career high.
UC Davis led by five points entering the final media timeout of the first half, and doubled its lead entering the locker room at halftime thanks to stellar play on both ends of the court. Unlike the Aggies, who hit five of its last six shots before the break, Utah Valley turned ice cold on offense and only connected on two of its final 12 attempts from the floor.
Once play resumed, UC Davis' lead never dipped below seven points and the Aggies held a lead that swelled to as many as 16 before the final buzzer sounded in its final Big West tuneup.
"I really like our team's approach since we returned to the court after Christmas. We talked about re-establishing our defensive principles, playing consistently over 40 minutes and developing some momentum over these two games at Seattle and here [against Utah Valley].
"Now we are able to enter the league's season feeling confident about the way we are playing and eager to continue progressing as a team. We accomplished those goals and are excited about the opportunity that lies in front of us in the Big West," added Les.
UC Davis' three-game homestand will continue on Wednesday when former Aggie head coach Bob Williams brings his Gaucho squad to the Pavilion for each team's BWC opener. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
UC DAVIS 83, UTAH VALLEY 69
UTAH VALLEY (7-7)
Poydras,Jordan 5-8 2-2 16; Randolph,Brandon 5-17 0-0 11; Ogbe,Kenneth 2-6 4-4 9; Toolson,Conner 3-10 2-3 9; Neilson,Isaac 4-6 0-0 9; Tahvanainen,Joonas 2-5 3-3 7; Nelson,Zach 3-7 0-0 6; Davenport,Telly 1-2 0-0 2; Stutzman,Jared 0-1 0-0 0; Young,Ivory 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 25-65 11-12 69.
UC DAVIS (8-7)
Lemar, Brynton 7-11 0-0 18; White, Lawrence 5-9 4-4 14; Moneke, Chima 5-10 2-4 12; Adenrele, J.T. 4-6 4-5 12; Schneider, Siler 3-5 4-5 11; Hennings, Arell 2-3 1-2 7; Graham, Darius 2-10 1-2 5; Henn, Mikey 1-6 0-0 2; Goode, Garrison 1-2 0-1 2; Mooney, Joe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-62 16-23 83.
Utah Valley................... 29 40 - 69
UC Davis....................... 39 44 - 83
3-point goals--Utah Valley 8-23 (Poydras,Jordan 4-6; Randolph,Brandon 1-5; Toolson,Conner 1-3; Neilson,Isaac 1-1; Ogbe,Kenneth 1-4; Stutzman,Jared 0-1; Young,Ivory 0-1; Tahvanainen,Joonas 0-2), UC Davis 7-15 (Lemar, Brynton 4-5; Hennings, Arell 2-2; Schneider, Siler 1-2; Graham, Darius 0-4; Henn, Mikey 0-1; White, Lawrence 0-1). Fouled out--Utah Valley-None, UC Davis-None. Rebounds--Utah Valley 37 (Nelson,Zach 9; Neilson,Isaac 9), UC Davis 37 (Moneke, Chima 12). Assists--Utah Valley 13 (Randolph,Brandon 4), UC Davis 16 (Graham, Darius 7). Total fouls--Utah Valley 17, UC Davis 15. Technical fouls--Utah Valley-None, UC Davis-None. A-787