UC Davis men’s basketball split the season series as the Aggies (8-17) fell against Cal State Fullerton, 74-64. Junior guard Corey Hawkins scored his 1,000th career point against the Titans and led the Aggies with 21 points on seven for 14 shooting; he also recorded five rebounds and four assists.
UC Davis kept pace with the Titans in the first half. The Aggies went 11-27 from the field and shot five for nine behind the arc. Senior guard Ryan Sypkens shot poorly, only scoring six points on two for six shooting, but he drained a three-pointer, assisted by junior forward Clint Bozner, which closed the Titans’ lead to one. However, the Aggies struggled defensively after that, and in the last 4:45 minutes of the first half, the Titans went on a 14-5 run to close out the half with a 10-point lead.
Junior guard Avery Johnson was able to cut down the Titans’ lead to seven after a three-pointer to start off the second half. However, a series of turnovers and missed layups allowed the Titans to stretch their lead back to 10. Turnovers have been a huge issue for UC Davis this season. The Aggies are ranked second in the conference in turnovers. The absence of junior forward J.T. Adenrele has proven costly for the Aggies as the they rank last in rebounds in the Big West as well. Adenrele averaged six rebounds per game last year.
Freshman forward Georgi Funtarov, who finished the night with eight points and three rebounds, sank a three pointer with 16:34 left in the second half. But Cal State Fullerton’s Michael Williams — who had 20 points, five rebounds and three assists — went on a five-point streak of his own to expand the lead to 51-39. There was no turning back for the Titans as they led by double digits for the rest of the game, even leading by as many as 16 points in the second half.
Hawkins became the second Aggie this season, 20th Aggie overall, to score 1,000 career points. Sypkens reached the milestone earlier this season.
“It is an honor to reach this milestone, but I must admit that I was unaware of my situation entering this game,” Hawkins said. “All credit goes to my teammates; it is their aggressive play that creates a lot of open looks for everyone on the court.”
Hawkins scored his 1,000th point seconds before the end of the first half on a free throw.
The Aggies have lost three of their last four games as they look to right the ship against Long Beach State on Feb. 20 at the ARC Pavilion. UC Davis lost to Long Beach by the score of 99-74 in their first meeting in January.
— Oscar Dueñas