Teams: UC Davis at Arkansas
Records: Aggies, 1-2; Razorbacks, 1-0
Where: Bud Walton Arena – Fayetteville, Ark.
When: Today at 5:05 p.m.
Radio: KSFG 1690-AM
Who to watch: The UC Davis men’s basketball program had to wait 17 months for Notre Dame transfer Joe Harden to suit up for the first time.
The wait was worth it. The sophomore averaged 15.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in three games at the World Vision Basketball Classic in Ames, Iowa. He was named to the all-tournament team for his efforts.
Did you know? Getting out to a first-half lead hasn’t been a problem for the Aggies.
Keeping hold of their advantage, however, has been.
UC Davis has a 106-73 first-half advantage over its opponents, but has been outscored by a 124-91 margin in the second session. The team let two second-half leads slip away in Iowa.
Preview: The Aggies may enter tonight’s tip at Arkansas with a 1-2 record, but they could easily be 3-0.
No need to tell Razorbacks head coach John Pelphrey this – he already knows.
“Their style of offense is similar to the Princeton style,” he said. “Our guys may be blown away with how hard they cut and how hard they drive.“
“It’s kind of unconventional in that their frontcourt players are outstanding perimeter players. It will be a cerebral game from the defensive side and a big, big challenge.“
After dropping its first two games of the season, UC Davis closed out its stay in Iowa with a 64-55 win over Loyola Marymount.
Harden led the team in both points (16) and rebounds (eight), while junior Dominic Calegari and senior Kyle Brucculeri added 14 apiece.
“I really applaud our kids,” UC Davis head coach Gary Stewart said. “They fought back. It’s been a very adverse situation for us, and they easily could have felt sorry for themselves and do the same thing we did in the first two games.“
“But our guys hung in there. Sometimes the ground balls that you’re not fielding are the ones that are kept getting hit to you, and tonight we executed.“
Arkansas needed a second-half rally to push their season-opener against Southeastern Louisiana to overtime. Junior Michael Washington scored 18 of his 30 points after halftime to help the Razorbacks to a 91-87 win.
– Adam Loberstein