Aggies at Gauchos Airs on Prime Ticket Saturday

Joe Harden recorded his third double double of the season at Cal Poly
Joe Harden recorded his third double double of the season at Cal Poly

Feb. 4, 2011

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UC Davis (8-13, 3-6)
UC Santa Barbara (11-9, 5-4)

Saturday, February 5, 2011
7:30 p.m. (PST) - Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Thunderdome (6,000)
KFSG (1690 AM)
Prime Ticket
- UC Davis snapped a two game win streak after a 65-56 loss at Cal Poly on Thursday. 
- The Aggies shot 82 percent (22-27) from the line against the Mustangs, but 36 percent (16-45) from the floor and 14 percent (2-14) from three, while committing 19 turnovers.
- UC Davis is 0-5 this season when scoring under 60 points and 2-10 when trailing at halftime.
- Joe Harden had his third double double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds at Cal Poly. Harden also tied a career high with 12 free throws made, shooting 12 of 14 at the line. 
- Mark Payne played a game high 37 minutes at Cal Poly and collected 14 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Payne was the only other player in double figures against the Mustangs.  
- UC Santa Barbara comes into Saturday’s contest with a 11-9 overall record and a 5-4 mark in conference play
- Bob Williams is in search of his 400th career win as a head coach.
- The Gauchos recently dropped a 74-68 contest against Pacific at home, in a nationally televised game airing on ESPNU.
- UC Santa Barbara is on a two game losing streak, dropping both games at home. The Gauchos have also lost three out of their last four games.
- Saturday’s game will be the final of four televised games for UC Davis, airing on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.

ALL-TIME SERIES           
Saturday’s game will mark the 23rd meeting between UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis, with the Gauchos holding an 18-4 advantage in the all-time series.  In the first matchup of the season, UC Santa Barbara took a 77-65 win on the Aggies’ home court. 

Gary Stewart is in his 18th year as a head coach and his 8th season with the Aggies.  He currently owns a 228-260 overall record and a 86-141 mark on the sidelines with UC Davis.  Stewart was with the Aggies during all four years of the transition to Division I and is set to lead the program into their fourth year as a D1 member.

Bob Williams holds a 210-165 record in 12 plus seasons with UC Santa Barbara and a 399-265 overall record in over 22 seasons as a head coach.  Prior to his arrival at UCSB, Williams spent eight years at UC Davis and in those eight years, his teams recorded 20 or more wins five times and a 158-76 record. In Williams’ final season, the Aggies went 31-2, won the NCAA Division II National Championship and he was named NABC Division II Coach of the Year. Williams also spent two seasons as the head coach at Menlo College.

The Gauchos enter Saturday’s contest with a 11-9 overall record and a 5-4 mark in conference play, having recently dropped a 74-68 contest against Pacific at home. UC Santa Barbara has lost two straight home games, heading into their third straight contest at The Thunderdome. The Gauchos are set to play their second consecutive televised game, with the Pacific game airing on ESPNU and Saturday’s contest airing regionally on Fox Sports Prime Ticket. Orlando Johnson is pouring in 19.8 points per game to lead the Big West in scoring. James Nunnally is the second leading scorer in the conference with 17.0 points per game.

MEDIA COVERAGE                           
Saturday’s contest will air on KFSG (1690 AM) with Scott Marsh on play-by-play.  The broadcast will be simulcast on through Game Central by Stretch Internet.  The game will be streamed live and available to watch at  Live stat are available via Saturday will be the final televised game of the season for the Aggies, airing on Fox Sports Prime Ticket, with Paul Sunderland (play-by-play), Michael Cage (analyst) and Crystina Poncher (sideline) on the call.

LAST TIME OUT                                   
UC Davis snapped a two game win streak after a 65-56 loss at Cal Poly on Thursday, as the Aggies weren’t able to overcome 19 turnovers on the road. In a physical game with a combined 48 fouls, Cal Poly shot just 19 of 40 from the free throw line, while UC Davis stayed in the game shooting 22 of 27 at the charity stripe.  The Mustangs defended well the half court set however, holding the Aggies to 36 percent shooting from the field and 14 percent shooting from behind the arc. Shawn Lewis poured had a game high 23 points for Cal Poly, to go along with eight rebounds. Will Donahue added 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting, while Maliik Love chipped in with 11 points on 3 of 5 shooting. Joe Harden tallied a double double for UC Davis with 16 points and 10 rebounds, his third double double of the season.  Mark Payne was the only other Aggie to reach double figures, posting 14 points, to go along with eight rebounds and four assists.

SAME STORY AT CAL POLY                               
The Aggies had a tough shooting night in the second matchup against Cal Poly, shooting 36 percent from the floor and 14 percent from behind the arc.  The Mustangs came into the game ranked third in the nation in three point field goal defense. Despite the struggles from the field, UC Davis was able to keep the game close thanks to an 82 percent (22-27) effort from the foul line. Cal Poly shot just 47 percent (19-40) from the line and failed to take control until late in the contest. The Aggies did manage to outrebound the Mustangs, holding a 36-33 advantage on the boards. It was just the third time on the season that UC Davis has outrebounded their opponent, but the first time they lost after winning the rebounding battle.

OVERTIME STAT STUFFER                               
Saturday’s OT win over UC Irvine was the first double overtime game for UC Davis since a 92-88 win over Cal State Northridge in 2007.  It was also the first time the Aggies have scored 100 points, since a 105-100 double overtime win at UC San Diego in 2003. The last time UC Davis scored 100 points on their home court was a 102-71 win over Chico State in 1998. The extra 10 minutes of play in this season’s double overtime game led to an overload of statistical highs for the Aggies. In combination between all players, UC Davis had 10 career highs and 17 season highs set in the win against UC Irvine. Notable career highs included Todd Lowenthal in assists (7), Mark Payne in points (32) and FGs made (10), Ryan Howley in 3-pt. FGs made (2), Ryan Sypkens in FGs made (6) and Eddie Miller in points (25), rebounds (8), assists (5), 3-pt. FGs made (4) and FTs made (5).

The UC Davis men’s basketball team will host future Big West Conference rival Hawai’i at 2 p.m. on Feb. 19 at The Pavilion as part of the ESPNU BracketBusters, a three-day event featuring 114 teams, 57 games and 14 conferences, it was announced by the network on Monday afternoon. The BracketBusters matchup will be the first between the programs who will also play next season in Honolulu as part of their agreement in the event. This is the fourth straight season the Aggies are playing in the ESPNU BracketBusters after playing at Loyola (Md.) in 2008 and at Boise State last season on the road, and hosting Fresno State in 2009. UC Davis is 1-2 in their previous games, winning at Boise State 82-74. All nine Big West teams are participating in the event which features 11 televised games on the family of ESPN networks. Long Beach State, currently leading the Big West, will host Big Sky frontrunner Montana on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. on Feb. 19 for the only televised game involving a Big West team. Other games involving Big West teams include Boise State at UC Santa Barbara, Northern Arizona at Cal Poly, Pacific at Oral Roberts, UC Riverside at Fresno State, UC Irvine at Nevada, Cal State Fullerton at Idaho State and Cal State Northridge at Eastern Washington.

BOUNCING BACK IN A BIG WAY                           
UC Davis had a 63 point turnaround in the span of two games. The Aggies lost 87-54 to Pacific and followed the performance with a 82-52 rout of UC Irvine. The games marked the greatest margin of defeat and victory for UC Davis on the season. They were also the only two games of the season to be decided by 30 points or more. The Aggies played well in their only home televised game of the season, with the Jan. 27 contest airing on Comcast Sports Net California.

MID-SEASON SLUMP                               
After starting the conference season with a win at Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis dropped five consecutive conference games. The losing streak was capped off by the worst loss of the season, a 33-point defeat at home to Pacific.  While the stats don’t tell the whole story, there have been statistical trends in the past few losses.  In three consecutive losses, the Aggies scored under 60 points.  UC Davis is 0-4 this season when scoring less than 60 points.  The Aggies were also outrebounded in the five straight losses.  In fact, in all 12 losses this season, UC Davis has been outrebounded by its opponent.  The Aggies have been starting off slow in recent games.  In all five of the most recent losses, UC Davis has not led at halftime.  The Aggies are 2-9 this season when trailing at halftime. UC Davis has also been struggling with injuries this season, with a combined 18 games missed by all players. 

LATE GAME SITUATIONS AT LONG BEACH                        
The second half of the nationally televised game at Long Beach State turned out to be a roller-coaster, with UC Davis cutting a 15-point deficit down to just two late in the game.  In a controversial finish, the Aggies had a chance to tie the game in the final possession, after an intentional foul was called on Long Beach State’s Casper Ware.  UC Davis managed just one of two free throws and their three point attempt fell short, as the 49ers managed to hang on for the win.

SHOOTING WOES VS. THE MUSTANGS                           
UC Davis had their worst shooting night of the season in a loss vs. Cal Poly, posting season lows in points (43), shooting percentage (31.4%), field goals made (16) and three point field goals made (3).  Only three players registered multiple field goals in the game; Eddie Miller, Joe Harden and Ryan Howley. The rest of the team shot a combined 2-22 for the game. The Mustangs didn’t shoot the ball much better, posting at a 32.7 percent clip for the game.  However, Cal Poly had the advantage in rebounds (42-36), assists (10-6), steals (8-4) and turnovers (12-16).  The Mustangs also managed to score 18 points off turnovers and 12 second chance points.

CONFERENCE LEADERS                               
Despite the offensive struggles in the five game losing streak, UC Davis still led the Big West in three point FGs made per game with 7.47 per contest.  Prior to the Long Beach game, the Aggies also led the conference in field goal percentage and assists. UC Davis has also spent time on the leaderboard as second in free throw percentage third in three point FG percentage. At the time, Ryan Sypkens led the conference in three point FG percentage (.448), with the next closest player shooting 41 percent. Eddie Miller also ranked ninth in overall field goal percentage, shooting 47 percent.

THREE POINT THREATS                               
UC Davis has proved that they can consistently knock down the long ball this season.  They currently lead the Big West in three point FGs made per game, connecting on 7.87 per contest as a team.   In a stretch of seven games from Dec. 4 - Jan 6, the Aggies hit eight or more threes in each game.  UC Davis reached double figures in three point FGs made for the second time this season, when they poured in 13 triples in a win at Cal State Fullerton.   The Aggies have six players that have recorded multiple threes in at least two games this season.  Even more impressive is that the list of six players (Eddie Miller, Ryan Sypkens, Josh Ritchart, Ryan Howley, Ryan Silva, Tyler Les) does not include the top two scoring threats for UC Davis (Joe Harden and Mark Payne).

BACK-TO-BACK FOR SYPKENS                               
Ryan Sypkens responded well to being placed back in the starting lineup for conference play, posting career highs in back-to-back games.  Sypkens shot 6 of 12 for a career high 17 points in a win over Cal State Fullerton, while adding five assists and three rebounds. He followed that performance with a new career high 19 points vs. Cal State Northridge, shooting 6 of 10 from the field and 5 of 7 from behind the arc. The five three point FGs made also set a new career high, while five rebounds in the game tied a career best.

UC Davis set multiple team and individual season highs in a win at Cal State Fullerton.  The Aggies poured in a season high 88 points, while connecting on 13 threes.  It was the second time this season that UC Davis had 10 or more threes in a game, after hitting on 15 triples against Notre Dame de Namur. The Aggies also had a season high with 30 field goals made as a team, shooting 50 percent for the game.  Eddie Miller matched a career best for the third time on the season with 20 points.  Josh Ritchart also reached 20 points for the second time on the season. Ryan Sypkens tallied a career high 17 points, to go along with 5 assists.

MILLER MATCHES A CAREER BEST                           
In his first season with the Aggies, junior transfer Eddie Miller has registered 20 points in multiple games this season.  His first 20-point performance came in a win vs. Seattle back on Nov. 27.  Miller also led UC Davis to a win over Southern Utah with 20 more points, after shooting 9 of 14 from the floor.

SYPKENS’ HOT SHOOTING FROM THREE                       
Sophomore guard Ryan Sypkens came off the bench to net 16 points vs. Southern Utah, shooting an efficient 6 of 7 from the floor and 4 of 4 from behind the arc.  The game marked the second time this season that Sypkens has tallied 16 points off the bench, while connecting on four threes.  He also poured in 16 points in a win at Sacramento State, shooting 6 of 8 from the floor and 4 of 6 from long range. Sypkens leads the team in three point field goals made on the season.

BATTLING WITH THE BISON                           
For the past two seasons, UC Davis has had some memorable matchups vs. the North Dakota State Bison, in the only two meetings in school history.  While the Bison have come away with both wins, the combined margin of victory was six over the two games.  In the first ever meeting, NDSU took a 63-62 win on the Aggies’ home court, back on Nov. 29, 2009.  This season, UC Davis came up just short again, taking the game down to the wire before a 76-71 defeat.

TESTING THE PAC-10                                
Despite two losses vs. Pac-10 teams this season, UC Davis had potential for upsets against Cal and UCLA earlier this season.  The Aggies dropped a 74-62 decision at Cal and lost 72-67 at UCLA. In the second half vs. the Golden Bears, UC Davis had just a six point deficit and trailed by only four late in the game vs. the Bruins.  The Aggies have also had some strong individual performances in both games.  Joe Harden had a career high 27 points against Cal, while Josh Ritchart poured in career high 23 points at UCLA.

RITCHART RISING                               
Josh Ritchart had one of the more impressive performances of the season for UC Davis, when he scored 23 points off the bench at UCLA on Dec. 13. After going a perfect 3 for 3 in the first half, 16 of Ritchart’s 23 points came in the second half, including four threes.  He had a stretch late in the game where he hit three consecutive threes, to pull the Aggies within six, the smallest deficit of the second half. 

ON TOP OF ASSISTS                               
UC Davis had a season high 20 assists in their win vs. Notre Dame de Namur, while also recording a season low 10 turnovers.  In the Week 5 Big West Conference Report, the Aggies climbed to the top of the leaderboard in team assists, with 15.1 per game.  The next closest league foe is Long Beach State, with 14.1 game.  Senior Mark Payne is a big reason why UC Davis is finding ways to effectively share the ball.  Payne moved into sole possession of second place for career assists at UC Davis after the win vs. the Argonauts, with a total of 383 assists. 

LES IS MORE                                   
Freshman Tyler Les sparked an onslaught of threes vs. Notre Dame de Namur, coming off the bench to hit a team best four triples, while UC Davis hit 15 from long range for the game.  The 15 three point field goals set a new program record for threes made in regulation, surpassing the previous mark of 14.   Eddie Miller and Ryan Sypkens also had three threes apiece, while the Aggies shot 15-30 as a team. 

HARDEN’S SCORING HEIGHTS                            
Senior Joe Harden has lived up to his preseason All-Conference selection, leading the Aggies in scoring and rebounding this season.  Harden scored his 1000th career point vs. Seattle, followed by a career high 27 points in the next game vs. California.  Even more impressive is that he has reached the 1000 point milestone in just three seasons with UC Davis, after transferring from Notre Dame.  Harden is one of just five Aggies in history to reach 1000 career points in three seasons.  He is currently on pace to be the all-time leading scorer among three year players.  John Frost (1965-68) leads the group with 1,346 career points.

SHOTS FROM THE HEART                               
Head coach Gary Stewart and assistant coach Kevin Nosek are participating in’s “Shots From the Heart.” The objective of Shots From the Heart is to help create more awareness for the growing problem of Heart Disease and to raise money to benefit the American Heart Association during the 2010-11 season. The event will also play tribute to the late Skip Prosser who passed away on July 26, 2007 of a heart attack. To do this, college basketball coaches have been competing against one another in a free throw shooting tournament.  The tournaments started in November with separate brackets for head and assistant coaches and the winners advancing to the next round.

Both coaches for the Aggies advanced in the first round.  Coach Stewart downed John Beilein from Michigan in the first round, 27-25, while coach Nosek took a win over Kurtis Townsend of Kansas, 29-24.  In the second round matchup coach Stewart got past Mike Londergan of Vermont, 26-21, while coach Nosek was eliminated by Alvin Brooks III of Sam Houston State on a tie breaker, after a 29-29 score. Coach Stewart will face Buzz Peterson of UNC Wilmington in the sweet sixteen.

CHECK THAT... (PART II)                               
Another stat correction this season ended up providing another noteworthy accomplishment.  In the Nov. 27 game vs. Seattle, freshman Mike Kurtz was originally credited with four blocks. It was later revealed that Kurtz should have had five blocks.  The five blocks for Kurtz ties a single game UC Davis record. Kurts now shares the record with Jason Cox (vs. St. Rose (N.Y.), 3/19/98) and Randy DeBortoli (vs. Cal State Hayward, 2/6/88).

LOWENTHAL IN THE NCAA RANKS                           
With the first NCAA statistical rankings posted on Monday, Nov. 29th, Todd Lowenthal was the only player for the Aggies that received an individual ranking in the top 100.  At the time, Lowenthal led the team in assists and steals and was among the nation’s best with 2.3 steals per game (57th) and a 2.36 assist to turnover ratio (85th).  The next highest ranking for UC Davis was Mark Payne, who was shooting 82.2 percent from the free-throw line (182nd). As a team, the Aggies were ranked 93rd in free-throw percentage, shooting 71.1 percent.

Q&A WITH STEWART AND PAYNE                           
In the Nov. 29, 2010 issue of ESPN the Magazine, there is an article on page 64 about “hybrid players.” Senior guard Mark Payne (6-8, 215 lbs.) was originally interviewed to be included in the article, with head coach Gary Stewart also commenting on Payne’s status as a hybrid player.  The Payne section was eventually left out of the final article, but the Q&A session with Payne and Stewart is available online to read.  Visit and check out the “around the web” section to access a link to the conversations.

UC Davis has picked up a televised game this season at home vs. UC Riverside on January 27th, with a tip time set for 7 p.m. The recently added game will air on Comcast California.  The Aggies play in four televised games this season, but the Jan. 27th tilt will be the only home contest televised for UC Davis. 

CAUSEWAY CUP CONTINUES                               
UC Davis jumped ahead in the Causeway Cup standings after a dramatic 17-16 win in the football Causeway Classic on Saturday, Nov. 20. The Causeway Cup awards points to either UC Davis or Sacramento State. Each of the schools’ 18 common teams usually compete against each other at least once during the year. The winner is given the pre-determined amount of points of either five or 10. If the two schools meet just once in a season, then all the points will go to the winning team. But if the teams play each other two times or more, the points are divided by how many meetings occur. A men’s basketball win just three days after football gave the Aggies a commanding 37.5 - 15.0 lead in the 2010-11 Causeway Cup standings.  The winner of the cup must score more than 50 points out of a possible 100.  Last year, UC Davis took a 55.83 - 44.17 victory over Sacramento State.

CHECK THAT...                                   
After checking the stats from previous games, an interesting correction has been made to the first game of the season vs. Florida Atlantic. In that game, Mark Payne was originally credited with 13 free throws on 13 attempts.  After the error was revealed, Payne was 14 of 14 at the line vs. FAU.  Not only did the correction give Payne a 20-10 game, but the 14 free throws made ties a career high for the senior guard.

AGGIES INK JT ADENRELE                               
The UC Davis men’s basketball team announced Wednesday, Nov. 17 that JT Adenrele from Oakmont High School in Roseville, has signed a National Letter of Intent and will join the Aggies next fall. Adenrele, a 6-foot-6 220-pound forward, helped lead Oakmont to an impressive 25-8 overall record during the 2009-10 season.  They also finished second place in their division with a 9-3 record and advanced to the section semifinals under head coach Rick Campbell. Adenrele averaged 11.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game at Oakmont as a junior.  For his play in the 2009-10 season, he was awarded SFL League Honorable Mention.  Adenrele also played AAU during the off season from spring through summer, under coach Ernest Taubodo with the E-Times Hoops Academy.

DOUBLE TROUBLE                                   
Joe Harden and Mark Payne have both put together double-doubles this season.  Throughout the season, all double-doubles by the Aggies will be monitored on a game-by-game basis. 

Joe Harden                                                 Mark Payne
UC Santa Cruz 11-17 - 16 pts./11 rebs.        Florida Atlantic 11-12 - 20 pts./11 rebs.
Wisc.-Milwaukee 11-14 - 21 pts./11 rebs.
Cal Poly 2-3 - 16 pts./10 rebs.

1000 POINT WATCH                               
Seniors Joe Harden and Mark Payne entered the season just shy of the 1000-point plateau, with each player starting the year with over 900 points.  Payne reached the career milestone on Nov. 14 vs. Wisc.-Milwaukee, scoring 17 points in the game and becoming the 17th member of the UC Davis 1000-point club.  Harden Scored his 1000th on Nov. 27 vs. Seattle, scoring 16 points in the game.  The progress of the overall career standings for both players will be monitored on a game-by-game basis.

10. Dominic Calegari, 2006-10 - 1,271 career points
11. Fowzi Abdelsamad, 2000-05 - 1,235 career points
12.  Joe Harden, 2008-present - 1,232 career points
13. Mark Payne, 2007-present - 1,216 career points
14. Mark Ford, 1974-77 - 1,137 career points
15. Jason Robedeaux, 1983-85, ‘86-88 - 1,112 career points
16. Alan Steed, 1967-70 - 1,107 career points

NO PAYNE NO GAIN                               
Despite missing eight games due to injury last season, senior guard Mark Payne was the Big West active career leader in three separate categories entering the 2010-11 season, including points (964), assists (352) and steals (149). 

In the UC Davis record books, Payne is also in the top ten in career assists and steals and climbing the leader board.  His progress will be monitored on a game-by-game basis.

CAREER ASSISTS                                         CAREER STEALS
1. Angelo Rivers, 1982-86            467           1. Dante Ross, 1996-99                        186
2. Mark Payne, 2007-Present        413           2. Angelo Rivers, 1983-86                     180
3. Dante Ross, 1996-99                380           3. Chris Familetti, 1988-89, ‘90-92        172
                                                                  4. Mark Payne, 2007-Present                 165

HARDEN’S PRESEASON PLAUDIT                           
Senior guard Joe Harden was named to the Big West Preseason All-Conference Team, voted on by a panel of media members.  Harden has been selected to the Big West All-Conference Second Team the past two seasons.  Last season, he was also named to the 2010 Big West All Tournament Team and he was named the 2009-10 Best Hustle Player in the Big West.  Entering the 2010-11 season, Harden was third in active career leaders in points (908) and rebounds (445).