Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Fullerton; vs. UC Riverside
Records: Aggies 7-10 (3-3); Titans 10-8 (3-3); Highlanders 9-7 (3-2)
Where: The Pavilion — Davis, Calif.
When: Thursday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: Senior Paolo Mancasola really found his niche this past week. He has been an outstanding point guard for the Aggies this season but he has lacked production as a scorer.
During last week’s game against Cal State Northridge, Mancasola scored a career-high 18 points and he followed it up with another phenomenal performance against Hawai’i when he dished out six assists.
The Redding, Calif. native needs to continue this hot streak because it will prevent defenders from doubling the players in the paint.
Did you know? There are four teams tied for the fourth-place ranking in the Big West Conference including UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton. This week of home games could not have come at a better time for the Aggies, because two victories will go a long way towards setting them up for the conference tournament.
Preview: Sophomore Corey Hawkins continues to be on fire for the Aggies. He earned College Sports Madness’ National Mid-Major Player of the Week for his incredible 40-point performance in Hawaii.
UC Davis will need Hawkins and the rest of the team to bring their A-game this week because the Titans are coming off a two-game losing streak and they are looking to right the ship. Cal State Fullerton’s offense is spearheaded by seniors D. J. Seele and Kwame Vaughn who are both averaging about 18 points per game for the Titans.
Currently, UC Davis and Cal State Fullerton are tied for the fourth-place slot, but Fullerton has the edge over Davis based on its overall record. Thursday’s game will decide whether the Aggies can climb above the Titans in the rankings.
It will be a quick turnaround to Saturday night’s face-off against fifth-place UC Riverside. The Highlander offense lacks a truly explosive player but it’s squad consists of players who are all averaging around 9 points per game. The Davis defense will have to find a way to combat its versatile squad and effectively shut down multiple key players.
The Aggies could stand 5-3 in conference play at the end of this week which would put them in strong contention for one of the top spots in the Big West.
— Kim Carr