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Davis, California

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Men’s Basketball Preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Boise State

Records: Aggies (10-15, 6-6); Broncos (11-14, 2-10)

Where: Taco Bell Arena – Boise, Idaho

When: Saturday at 6:05 p.m.

Who to watch: With starting guard and leading scorer Mark Payne still out indefinitely due to illness, other Aggies have had to step up and fill the void.

Todd Lowenthal has been effective starting in Payne’s place.

The Poway, Calif. native is shooting 53.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. He is also the team’s fourth leading rebounder after a 13-rebound performance against Seattle.

He also manages to make a difference on defense, as he averages 1.6 steals per game.

Did you know? No opposing player has fouled out against UC Davis this season. The Aggies lead their opponents in overall personal fouls committed (519 to 490) and have 19 foul outs.

Preview: The Aggies will head to Idaho to take on the Boise State Broncos on Saturday as part of the national Bracketbusters event. UC Davis is coming off an 81-56 loss to Seattle on Tuesday night, their second loss to the Redhawks this season.

A major factor in Tuesday’s loss was the Aggies’ inability to take care of the ball, said coach Gary Stewart.

“Offensively, when you look at the amount of assists we had, six, and then the turnovers, 23, it’s not indicative of how we play,” Stewart said. “We struggled to make the extra pass tonight. We’re going to have to be a little more judicious in distributing the ball [against Boise State].”

The Broncos enter the game with an 11-14 record overall and a 2-10 record in the Western Athletic Conference. Despite having a similar overall record to the Aggies and a disappointing mark in conference play, Stewart expects the Broncos to be a serious challenge.

“Their record is very deceiving,” he said. “They’ve been in virtually every game they’ve played.”

Boise State started the season 10-4 before hitting a seven-game losing streak. Three of the games during the skid were decided by three points or less. The Broncos have lost five games this season by a double-digit margin.

The Broncos have a balanced offensive attack, with four players averaging at least 10.2 points per game.

Their leading scorer, Ike Okoye, is averaging 13.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest and spends most of his time in the low post.

Stewart has named rebounding a priority for the last several games of the season, and the contest against the Broncos is no different.

“When we don’t rebound and box out, that really puts pressure on our defense,” he said.

– Richard Procter


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