Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal Poly, UCSB
Records: Aggies, 8-12 (4-4); Mustangs, 8-12 (5-3); Gauchos, 11-8 (6-3)
Where: The Pavilion
When: Today at 7 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: Sometimes it takes a few games to get into the swing of things.
It can take even longer if you get injured.
Todd Lowenthal hurt his wrist against Winston-Salem State in November, causing him to miss 11 games. If last week’s game against UC Riverside is any indication, he seems to be working his way back. Lowenthal had a career-high seven rebounds, five assists and four steals against the Highlanders. He also had a layup in a decisive run down the stretch.
If those aspects of his game are back, coach Gary Stewart thinks his shooting will be next.
“I think he’s just right around the corner from shooting the ball better,” Stewart said. “He’s an excellent perimeter shooter so it’s just a matter of time before that happens. There’s the physical part of the injury and then the mental part, the psychological part. He’s close to getting over that final hurdle.”
Did you know? Dominic Calegari is the only Aggie to start all 20 games this season and one of only five Aggies to play in every game.
Calegari entered the starting lineup on Feb. 3 of the 2007-08 season against Pacific and has not missed a start since. Tonight will be his 64th straight start.
Preview: The Aggies’ reward for finishing a three-game road trip? Consecutive games against Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara and Pacific – the top three teams in the Big West Conference.
UC Davis has lost to all three teams on the road so far this season. Two of the games (against UCSB and Pacific) were televised on ESPN and drew large crowds. While the Aggies are happy to be back at the Pavilion for three games, they aren’t relaxing.
“There’s nothing easy about this,” Stewart said. “Just because you come home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have success. But [the Pavilion] is a place we haven’t lost at so far this year in conference play. That’s not lost on us. It’s very important for us to play well here.”
The Aggies are 3-0 at the Pavilion in conference play, winning games by an average of six points.
Tonight the Aggies will be looking to avenge a 72-69 loss to the Mustangs in January. To win, they’ll have to watch out for Lorenzo Keeler, who’s averaging 14.8 points per game.
“We have to pay him special attention,” Stewart said. “He’s an excellent three-point shooter and he can get to the heart of your defense and get to the line.”
Cal Poly will be without the services of Will Donahue, their primary post threat, because of academic issues.
– Richard Procter