Two games and two late-game scoring sprees add up to two losses for the Aggies. UC Davis traveled to Reno, Nev. and Moscow, Idaho this weekend with hopes of improving to 3-1 on the season. Instead, they came home 1-4, largely due to deficits that forced them to play catch-up in the second half.
It started in Reno, when the Aggies squared off against the Wolf Pack but fell 84-83. There were several standout statistics from that night, including those from the four players who scored more than 10 points.
Junior Ryan Sypkens led the team in scoring. His 24 points came solely from three-pointers, a total of eight that tied fellow junior Tyler Les’ record for most threes in a game.
Sophomore Corey Hawkins continues to be an offensive staple for UC Davis. Hawkins shot .500 in the field and went 5-6 from the free throw line. He also managed four assists on the night.
Junior Josh Ritchart had a big night for the Aggies. He scored 13 points and tallied three more three-point baskets. Ritchart also pitched in on the defensive side of the paint, grabbing five rebounds and earning a total of six on the night.
The final Aggie to break the double-digit barrier did so shooting a perfect 5-5 from the field. Sophomore forward J.T. Adenrele added two free throws to bring his total to 12 points during the game.
Senior Ryan Howley pulled in another nine rebounds to extend his lead as the Big West Conference’s leading rebounder. He also put in seven points against the Wolf Pack.
All of these points still added up to a late-game deficit that the Aggies nearly erased by going on an 11-4 scoring run. UC Davis even possessed the lead in the final 16 seconds of the game after Sypkens landed another three to give the Aggies the 83-82 advantage.
Unfortunately, the Wolf Pack got another chance and the Aggies were unable to force the turnover or block the shot as Deonte Butron made a basket from the field, giving Nevada a one-point advantage.
Senior Paolo Mansacola grabbed the final inbound for the Aggies and ran the ball down the court trying to get a shot off, but was blocked by two Wolf Pack defenders.
It was a heartbreaking loss in Nevada and UC Davis failed to buck the trend in Idaho.
Hawkins regained his spot as the Aggies’ leading scorer, landing 20 points during the evening. Sypkens was the only other Davis player to break the double-digit barrier, going 4-11 from the three-point zone to end the game with 14 points.
The Aggies trailed by three at the end of the first half and they managed to pull ahead by five points shortly after the break. However, the Aggies’ defense failed to shut down the Vandals, allowing Idaho to go on a 19-5 run of their own, giving Idaho a 13-point advantage.
The Aggie offense responded, pulling within six points of the Vandals. The game finished with Sypkens’ three-pointer pulling UC Davis within two of the lead. However, the Aggies were forced to foul Idaho multiple times late in the game in attempts to preserve the clock and the Vandals took full advantage, going 5-5 on their late-game free throws. In the end, Idaho finished on top by a score of 73-66.
Defensive meltdowns are forcing the Aggies to play catch-up late in the game. UC Davis will have a home-crowd advantage during their next game against the San Jose Spartans. The Aggies hope to return to the win column at the Pavilion on Wednesday.
KIM CARR can be reached at email@example.com.