Feb. 5, 2014
Cal State Northridge Matadors (11-12, 3-5 BWC)
UC Davis Aggies (7-15, 2-5 BWC)
Thursday, Feb. 6 - 7 p.m. PT
The Pavilion (5,670) - Davis, Calif.
Radio: KSAC (105.5 FM) - Scott Marsh (PBP)
In-game Twitter Updates
UC Irvine Anteaters (14-9, 5-2 BWC)
UC Davis Aggies
Saturday, Feb. 8 - 7 p.m. PT
The Pavilion (5,670) - Davis, Calif.
Radio: KSAC (105.5 FM) - Scott Marsh (PBP)
In-game Twitter Updates
DAVIS, Calif. - With distinct groups of teams beginning to emerge within the Big West standings as the league nears the midway point, Thursday's Cal State Northridge at UC Davis matchup is a vital one for both participants. As teams jockey for the best possible seeding for the conference's year-end tournament, this season's series finale will help the winner catch Hawai'i and Cal Poly, the Big West's fourth and fifth place teams, entering Saturday's round of games.
LISTEN LIVE TO UC DAVIS MEN'S BASKETBALL
For the third year, every UC Davis men's basketball game will air on KSAC (105.5 FM). Scott Marsh (@ScottMarsh1140) will call the action and begin his broadcast 30 minutes before tip-off with his pregame show. Fans can also listen to Marsh online for every men's basketball game at ucdavisaggies.com.
CRUNCH NUMBERS HERE
Find out what is happening during every UC Davis men's basketball game through live stats. Links for every men's basketball game are available by clicking "Gametracker" (home games) or "Live Stats" (road games) on the team's schedule page at ucdavisaggies.com.
THAT'S THE TICKET!
Season tickets, mini-plans and single-game tickets can be purchased through the "Tickets" link at ucdavisaggies.com, in person at the UC Davis Ticket Office, or by phone at (530) 752-AGS1.
IT'S OK TO BE A FOLLOWER
UC Davis men's basketball fans can follow their favorite team, and all other Aggie intercollegiate athletics programs on Twitter at the handle @UCDavisAggies. In-game updates are also available on the department's secondary Twitter handle, @UCDavisInGame.
WATCH THE AGGIES COMPETE FROM YOUR FAVORITE SEAT
By accessing the link entitled "Live Stream Provided by BigWest.TV" on the sidebar of the men's basketball homepage on ucdavisaggies.com, fans can access a free video stream of every Big West Conference involving UC Davis this season. Nationally televised appearances, or games broadcasted by ESPN3, are the only exceptions. Links for all video streams, regardless of network affiliation, are available on the weekly calendar of events at ucdavisaggies.com and men's basketball"schedule" webpage.
SCOUTING CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Able to squeak past UC Davis in what was the inaugural league contest for both teams, the Aggies pulled within five with three minutes left in the game before Cal State Northridge iced the result at the free throw line, the Matadors will look to capture a season sweep when they arrive to The Pavilion Thursday evening. For UC Davis, a victory will help the team secure a split, negate the one-game lead in the standings that CSUN possesses due to that conference-opening triumph and pull the Aggies even with the Matadors in the Big West standings entering Saturday's action.
Aiding the Aggies' cause is the amount of success earned on Hamilton Court; of the seven victories earned this season, four took place at home. Conversely, Cal State Northridge has won only one of its 11 road games played in 2013-14.
As has been the case in all but one game, first-year CSUN head coach Reggie Theus has employed the same starting lineup-one that is comprised by Josh Greene, Stephan Hicks, Stephen Maxwell, Tre-Hale Edmerson and Landon Drew. Of that five, Greene, Hicks and Maxwell are the biggest contributors to the Matadors' success this season.
In addition to holding three of the league's top 10 scoring spots, Maxwell is No. 5 averaging 17.0 points per game, Hicks is No. 6 at 16.3 ppg and Greene is No. 9 with his 15.1 ppg figure, CSUN's trio is responsible for 1,113 of the Matadors' 1,702 points scored-.653 percent of the team's offense.
UC Davis will strengthen its cause if the Aggies are able to keep CSUN off the free throw line since the Matadors are ranked No. 6 in the nation with their .769 free throw percentage. On pace to set a new school record from the charity stripe, Cal State Northridge hit 22 of 23 free throws in their first matchup against the Aggies.
That evening also saw UC Davis finish 15-for-16 at the line and set a season high with its .938 free throw percentage.
Prior to its loss in Northridge, UC Davis won the previous three straight head-to-head matchups.
Series Record: CSUN leads 18-11
Last UC Davis Win: 73-61 (2/16/13) in Davis
Last CSUN Win: 89-77 (1/9/14) in Northridge
Current Streak: CSUN +1
SCOUTING UC IRVINE
The Big West's preseason favorite will square off against UC Davis for the first time Saturday night, giving those in attendance at The Pavilion their first opportunity to witness Mamadou Ndiaye, the NCAA's tallest men's basketball player, in action. The 7-6 freshman center enters the week ranked No. 8 in that nation in total blocks (70) and No. 12 in blocked shots per game (3.18).
Earlier this season, Ndiaye made 25 consecutive field goals before missing his first shot taken at UC Santa Barbara (1/30), falling one shot shy of tying the NCAA Division I record for consecutive field goals set by Bowling Green's Torian Oglesby, who set the mark of 26 straight throughout a seven-game timespan from Dec. 4, 2011, to Jan. 1, 2012.
Series Record: UC Irvine leads 18-12
Last UC Davis Win: 108-107 (2OT) (1/29/11) in Davis
Last UC Irvine Win: 88-85 (3/9/13) in Davis
Current Streak: UC Irvine +5
BOZNER SETS NEW BESTS
In UC Davis' Big West opener at Cal State Northridge (1/9) Clint Bozner played one of his best games ever as an Aggie. Besides setting a new career-high with 12 points, the junior forward also tied another career mark by finishing with six rebounds.
That total lasted only six games as Bozner led all Aggies with eight rebounds, nearly one-third of his team's total, at UC Santa Barbara (2/1).
HAWKINS ENTERS THE HOMESTRETCH
Responsible for 994 points throughout his illustrious career, junior guard Corey Hawkins is just a few minutes of game time away from scoring his 1,000th career point. As a freshman at Arizona State, Hawkins recorded 49 points before transferring to UC Davis; in his first season as an Aggie, he set a new school record by scoring 569 points-the most ever recorded by a UC Davis sophomore-and enters Thursday's game with 376 to his credit this year.
HOW DID HE SCORE 1,000 AGAIN?
If successful in recording his 1,000th career point, little time will pass before junior guard Corey Hawkins scores his 1,000th point as an Aggie. Midway through his second season, Hawkins has already amassed 945 points at UC Davis.
If successful, Hawkins will become the second Aggie to cross the 1,000-point threshold as member of UC Davis men's basketball this season, joining senior guard Ryan Sypkens who reached this milestone in last November's Causeway Cup battle.
RITCHART'S SEASON ENDS EARLY
A fixture in the team's starting lineup throughout his nine appearances, senior guard/forward Josh Ritchart will miss the rest of the 2013-14 season due to injury.
Before he was forced to the sideline, Ritchart was UC Davis' top scorer (17.3 ppg), leading rebounder (6.6 rpg) and shot blocker (1.3 blocks per game).
In addition to shooting 50 percent or higher from the field in every game played-an impressive feat considering that one-third of his attempts were taken from behind the arc-Ritchart led all Big West Conference players with a .563 percentage from three and was No. 2 with a .632 field goal percentage.
BIG SHOES TO FILL
Josh Ritchart, UC Davis' second key contributor to miss a significant portion of the season, will join junior forward J.T. Adenrele on the sidelines after he suffered a season-ending knee injury while performing a non-contact drill during a preseason practice.
Throughout the first nine games of the season, Ritchart set numerous career highs, averaged 17.3 ppg and 6.6 rpg. Adenrele ended the 2012-13 season, his second as an Aggie, with All-Big West Conference Honorable Mention accolades after posting 12.6 ppg and 5.9 rpg.
Ryan Sypkens entered last Thursday's game at Cal Poly (1/30) with 400 career field goals to his credit, the fifth-highest total earned by a UC Davis player solely against Division I competition. Led by Vince Oliver and his 540 field goals, only five Aggies have recorded 400 or more baskets since the program began competing at the Div. I level in 2004.
Of Sypkens' 400 career field goals, .712 percent (285) were made from three.
WHAT ABOUT NOW?
Sypkens enters Thursday's game against Cal State Northridge with 411 career field goals, 294 of which were made from three.
RYAN SNIPE-KENS STRIKES AGAIN
Last season, Ryan Sypkens ended the year with NCAA rankings of No. 2 in three-point field goal percentage (.461) and No. 4 in three-point field goals per game (3.66). Buoyed by his recent record-setting performance, Sypkens is currently No. 12 in three-point field goals per game (3.36) and No. 33 in three-point percentage (.428).
By finishing with 15 points against Cal State Fullerton (1/18), Ryan Sypkens climbed another position and is now No. 14th all-time in scoring in the program's 100-plus year history. Fowzi Abdelsamad (2000-05) and his career total of 1,235 points is the next Aggie within Sypkens' sights as the senior guard enters the Aggies' next game, versus Cal State Northridge, with 1,196 career points.
CLIMBING THE LEAGUE'S THREE-POINT LADDER
Including his three treys-against Cal State Fullerton, senior Ryan Sypkens continued his ascent up the Big West career chart. Now ranked No. 4 with 294 career treys, the senior guard needs 13 buckets from distance to jump past Cal State Fullerton's Bobby Brown (307 3FGM; 2003-07) into the No. 3 spot.
SHARING MEANS CARING
Redshirt freshman guard Darius Graham and junior guard Corey Hawkins have not been shy in sharing the ball this season as the two lead the team in assists. Graham, who has 78, and Hawkins, with 60, have earned just under half of their team's assists this season (.491 percent).
If other Big West players are not aware of junior guard Corey Hawkins and junior forward Avery Johnson's quick hands, they certainly will be after facing the Aggies since the pair lead the team with 33 and 26 steals. Hawkins and Johnson's combined total is one steal more than the collective totals of their other 10 teammates.
UC DAVIS SNAPS SLIDE IN SAN LUIS OBISPO
UC Davis' four-point victory at Cal Poly (1/30) was the team's first triumph in San Luis Obispo since Feb. 18, 2009. The win was the also the Aggies' first against a Joe Callero-coached Mustang squad inside the Mott Athletics Center.
A NEW STREAK STARTS THANKS TO UC DAVIS
Cal Poly entered the 2013-14 season as one of the toughest teams to face on its home floor as indicative of the Mustangs' 16-game win streak against Big West opponents in San Luis Obispo. That streaked ended Jan. 18 against Long Beach State; thanks to the Aggies, Cal Poly possesses a new streak against league foes after dropping consecutive home games.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
Of the final 14 points scored by the Aggies in their four-point win at Cal Poly, Corey Hawkins and Ryan Sypkens collectively scored 13. Iggy Nujic was responsible for the lone point not posted by UC Davis' dynamic duo-his free throw effectively iced the result for his team by extending its advantage to a two-possession margin with less than eight seconds left in the game.
CATCH US IF YOU CAN
For the third time this season, UC Davis was responsible for every fast break point scored when the Aggies visited Cal Poly. Against the Mustangs, all four fast break points were earned by UC Davis. Earlier this season when the Aggies hosted Air Force (12/21) and Idaho (11/30) all 15 and eight fast break points respectively were tallied by the home team.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Avery Johnson scored all 11 points, one shy of his career high, in the second half at Cal Poly. Thanks to Johnson's efforts, UC Davis erased its seven-point halftime deficit and outscored the host Mustangs by 11 to earn a come-from-behind victory.
HOW YOU START IS JUST AS IMPORTANT
Georgi Funtarov singlehandedly kept UC Davis within striking distance of Cal Poly throughout the first 20 minutes of action with his stellar play. Besides scoring 10 of his team's 21 first-half points, Funtarov grabbed all of his team-high six rebounds before the break.
AGGIES' "D" LEADS TO A "W"
UC Davis' defense held Cal Poly to 58 points, the lowest total posted by a Division I school this season. In their home opener vs. Holy Names, the Aggies allowed a season-low 54 points.
SEEING 20/20 (TIMES THREE) THIS SEASON
Last season, Corey Hawkins led the Big West with 15 games of 20 points or more; the junior forward recorded his sixth 20-plus point effort of the season when he dropped 21 points (on 7 of 12 shooting) against Hawai'i (1/23).
SECOND-HALF SCORING SPLURGE
Behind its stellar second-half shooting, UC Davis erased its six-point halftime en route to an eight-point win against Cal State Fullerton (1/18). Throughout the final 20 minutes of action, the Aggies were 14 of 23 and posted a .609 shooting percentage. That is the highest field-goal percentage recorded in a single half by UC Davis against a Division I squad this year. In their home opener against Holy Names, the Aggies shot a season-high .696 (16 of 23) in the second half.
A FAMILIAR FACE RETURNS HOME
UC Davis men's basketball alum Dedrique Taylor entered The Pavilion for the first time as Cal State Fullerton's head coach when the Titans battled the Aggies on Jan. 18. Taylor competed for UC Davis men's basketball from 1995-97, helped the Aggies compile a 43-16 overall record and earn two trips to the NCAA Regional Tournament's second round during his two years on campus. Three years after graduating, Taylor returned to serve as an assistant coach during the 2000-01 season.
YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR FIRST
Named to the starting lineup by head coach Jim Les for the first time in his career when UC Davis hosted Cal State Fullerton, sophomore forward Justin Dueck took full advantage of that opportunity and more than held his own against the Titans' bigs. Throughout his 22 minutes, Dueck recorded a career-high five rebounds and earned one assist.
OPB LED UCD TO VICTORY
Also earning his first start of the season (and second of his career), Olivier-Paul Betu also made an impact against Cal State Fullerton by single-handedly forcing four of the Titans' 17 turnovers. In addition to finishing with a career-high four steals (of the team's seven steals earned that evening), Betu was responsible for half of the Aggies' six assists.
THANK YOU FOR THE MISCUES
By forcing Cal State Fullerton to commit 17 turnovers, the highest total by an Aggie opponent in a regulation game, UC Davis scored a season-high 29 points off those Titan errors.
Against San Jose State, the Aggies forced their opponent to turn the ball over on s season-high 22 occasions throughout that triple-overtime contest.
UC DAVIS MEN'S BASKETBALL HELPS "KNOCKOUT" SLAVERY
The UC Davis men's basketball team, in addition to several campus ministries, hundreds of students and community members, helped raise money to fight human trafficking through a sponsored event that featured the childhood game of "Knockout" on Jan. 24.
By securing their spot at this event with a $10 donation, all proceeds received benefitted the International Justice Mission (IJM). An organization that investigates human trafficking, IJM conducts raids to free slaves, rehabilitates victims and corrects local justice systems to prevent recurrence of the problem.
There are more than 27 million slaves in the world, mostly women and children according to recently released studies and reports; visit www.catalystdavis.com/knockoutslavery for additional information about IJM and its cause.
JOHNSON FOLLOWS THE RULE OF THREE
Against UC Riverside (1/16), junior guard Avery Johnson set three new career highs in his inaugural Big West home game. In addition to scoring 12 points on four field goals, three of his baskets were from three. His appearance against the Highlanders also marked the third time in his UC Davis career that head coach Jim Les named Johnson a starter.
WE LOVE FREEBIES!
Also taking place against the Matadors was the Aggies' most successful shooting performance from the free throw line this season as the team was 15 of 16 and finished with a season-high .938 percentage.
Even though the Aggies set a new Division I standard Thursday night against the Matadors, their percentage just missed the all-time school record of .958 set on March 6, 2004, at Cal State Stanislaus. That evening, the Aggies were 23 of 24 at the stripe.
HE LOVES FREE STUFF TOO
Corey Hawkins is a big reason why UC Davis was as successful from the line when his team visited CSUN as he led all players with his 11-for-12 effort, falling one free throw shy of tying his career high for the third time.
REWRITING HISTORY (AGAIN)
Responsible for the most three-point field goals made in a single season and career, senior guard Ryan Sypkens now holds a hat trick of records thanks to his stellar shooting against Simpson (1/2). That evening, Sypkens canned 10 of 14 shots from distance to set a new program mark for the most three made in a single game.
The previous mark of eight was held by six Aggies, a list that includes Sypkens and teammates Tyler Les and Corey Hawkins. Kyle Brucculeri, J.P. Bergez and Kevin Vasquez also made eight threes each when the men's basketball team was a Division II program.
Timely threes, suffocating 'D' leads to blowout victory
MBB at Cal State Fullerton
(7:30 p.m., FOX Prime Ticket)