72.2 F

Davis, California

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Men’s basketball preview

Teams: UC Davis at Cal Poly

Records: Aggies, 11-14 (6-6); Mustangs, 6-16 (3-9)

Where: Mott Gym – San Luis Obispo, Calif.

When: Today at 7 p.m.

Who to watch: Sophomore Joe Harden didn’t waste any time in threatening one of UC Davis’ longest standing individual records.

Playing in his first season with the Aggies after transferring from Notre Dame, Harden has made 132 free throws this year, one short of Mike Lien’s school record of 133 set in 1979.

Did you know? Harden has 163 free throw attempts in 25 games. At his current pace, he will finish the regular season with 202 attempts, easily surpassing Marc Jones’ total of 183 set in 1989.

Preview: UC Davis is 40 minutes away from Anaheim.

With a win today over the Mustangs, the Aggies will clinch a spot in the Big West Conference Tournament. The annual event takes place next month at the Anaheim Convention Center, and the winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament.

For senior guard Vince Oliver, that automatic bid is everything.

“I have only so many games left in my college career,” Oliver said on Saturday after scoring 32 points in the team’s 106-85 loss to Cal State Fullerton. “I came here to get to the NCAA Tournament. I don’t care about the scoring. I just want to win.”

The Aggies didn’t qualify for the Big West tourney last season and they lost to the Mustangs earlier this year, so tonight will be all about second chances.

On Jan. 24, Cal Poly outscored UC Davis 26-5 over the final nine minutes to win 77-75. Lorenzo Keeler led Cal Poly with 19 points. The junior guard currently ranks fifth in the conference with 16.9 points per contest.

The Mustangs enter play tonight coming off a 0-2 road trip last week. It lost 67-55 to Cal State Northridge on Wednesday before being edged by UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, 68-66.

Michael Gehlken


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