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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Men’s Basketball Preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Long Beach State; at Pacific

Records: Aggies, 8-14 (3-7); 49ers, 13-10 (8-2); Tigers, 13-10, (5-5)

Where: The Pavilion; Alex G. Spanos Center – Stockton, Calif.

When: Today at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 7 p.m.

Who to watch: After an injury that cost Todd Lowenthal nine games, he returned to action for the Aggies on Jan. 22 against Pacific.

The senior guard out of Poway, Calif. has grabbed an average of 6.5 boards in the past four games. He is also third on the team in minutes per game, averaging 29.7 per. The Aggies are most pleased to have him back because he facilitates the Aggies’ new playing style.

“Having Lowenthal back is so critical to what we do on both ends of the floor,” said coach Gary Stewart. “He’s our best perimeter defender and he’s great at the point of attack. He allows Mark [Payne] to play off the ball some and that’s critical because we can extend [Todd’s] minutes.”

Did you know? With last weekend’s 93-86 loss to UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis moved to 1-1 in overtime games this season. The loss was the Aggies’ second overtime game in their last three contests.

Preview: The Aggies may be experiencing déjà vu.

The last time UC Davis faced Long Beach State and Pacific back-to-back, it was coming off two straight losses to UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly.

Things are looking awfully familiar.

The Aggies lost to both UCSB and Cal Poly last week, but Stewart has never been worried about his team bouncing back.

“We’re a resilient bunch,” Stewart said. “We’ve got some guys that have some toughness and some fight about them.”

After last week’s performance, the Aggies will look to turn things around once again, starting at the Pavilion today. UC Davis will host the first-place 49ers today and travel to Stockton to take on the third-place Tigers on Saturday.

At the top of the conference, Long Beach State leads Big West teams by a scoring margin of 6.3.

49er junior Casper Ware is second in the league with 17.5 points per game. He is also tied for second in three-point field goals per game with a 2.4 average.

Ware gave the Aggies a play to remember at the end of their Jan. 12 contest as he intentionally fouled Ryan Sypkens.

If the Aggies want to end the current losing streak, they will need the help of senior Joe Harden. Harden broke his nose in the loss to UCSB on Saturday. Stewart was unable to be reached for comment on Harden’s status.

Harden leads the team in points and rebounds per game.

– Grace Sprague


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