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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Men’s basketball preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Portland

Records: Aggies, 1-3; Pilots, 1-1

Where: The Pavilion

When: Sunday at 2 p.m.

Radio: KHTK 1140 AM

Who to watch: Mark Payne doesn’t have the look of a sophomore slump.

Last year’s Big West Conference Freshman of the Year, Payne averaged a team-best 5.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game, and was second on the team with 7.0 rebounds per contest at last weekend’s season-opening World Vision Classic.

Against Arkansas last night, the 6-foot-7 point guard had 11 points, six rebounds and nine assists.

Did you know? UC Davis and Portland have faced each other only once before when the Pilots defended their home court for a 76-72 win in 2003.

Preview: After beginning the year with four games away from The Pavilion, UC Davis finally returns to Davis on Saturday for its home opener.

“You mean we actually get to play at home?” joked head coach Gary Stewart. “I was beginning to think we were road warriors here, but it’ll be great to be back home. We really need that advantage.”

The Aggies’ road trip came to a close last night at Arkansas with a 68-59 loss to the Razorbacks. UC Davis trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half but closed the deficit to four at one point in the second.

Joe Harden led the team with 16 points and seven rebounds. He is averaging 15.5 points and 9.7 boards per contest.

Saturday’s nonconference home game will be a rarity for the Aggies. The next time they play at The Pavilion will be Dec. 6 against Cal State Bakersfield, as nine of their first 11 games this season are on the road.

The Pilots can’t relate. Six of their first seven games this season come in Portland with Saturday’s game being the one exception.

Portland plays Yale today at 7 p.m. before traveling to Davis. Its lone win of the year came in its season opener against Washington.

Michael Gehlken


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