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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

From bad to worse

The UC Davis men’s basketball team turned in another listless performance on the road this weekend, losing 64-48 at Pacific.

The loss was the Aggies’ 14th in a row and drops their record to 1-17 on the season and 0-6 in the Big West Conference.

Eddie Miller was the high scorer for UC Davis with 12 points, but no other Aggie scored in double digits.

“Our defensive effort was much better,” head coach Jim Les said. “We changed up defenses and guys were all in tune with those changes and I think we disrupted what they wanted to do.”

Junior guard Ryan Howley was injured in the second minute of the game and did not return to the contest. Les said that he and the training staff considered Howley’s return, before ultimately deciding against it.

Already having lost Ryan Sypkens for the season due to injury, the Aggies could be crippled by the long-term loss of another starter. Howley is the only player to have started every game so far this season for UC Davis.

“Hopefully it’s a short term thing,” Les said of the injury.

Defensively the Aggies were strong against Pacific, holding them to just 36.7 percent shooting in the contest.

UC Davis couldn’t get stops against Pacific’s main scorers, though, allowing three players to score 13 or more.

Ross Rivera was the high scorer for Pacific with 19 points and Markus Duran made five threes and finished with 17 points.

Only six players scored for the Tigers, compared to eight for the Aggies.

The Aggies were in trouble right from the opening tip.

Starting center Alex Tiffin picked up his first foul just 12 seconds into the game, leading to one made free throw and an early 1-0 Pacific lead.

On the following Aggie possession, their first of the game, Harrison DuPont drove into the lane and gathered to shoot before being called for traveling.

The next trip down the court, Pacific made a three and just 57 seconds into the game the Tigers had a 4-0 lead.

The fouls and turnovers by UC Davis continued throughout the game.

Tiffin was called for his second personal foul within the first four minutes and ended up only playing 12 minutes in the contest due to foul trouble.

Paolo Mancasola and Tiffin both finished with four fouls for the Aggies, while nobody on the Tiger’s roster had more than three.

UC Davis forced 14 Pacific turnovers, but still lost the turnover battle as it had 15 of its own.

The Aggies are last in the Big West in turnover margin, averaging nearly two lost turnovers more per-game than any other team in the conference.

UC Davis never held a lead in the contest and was unable to cut the lead to single digits at any point during the second half.

Tyler Les continued his outstanding three-point shooting, making three of five from behind the arc. UC Davis ranks first in the Big West in three-point field goal percentage.

After a tough three-game road stretch, the Aggies return home this week, playing conference opponent UC Santa Barbara on Thursday in the Pavilion.

CAELUM SHOVE can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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