UC Davis victorious in clash with Titans

DANIEL TAK / AGGIE

Men’s basketball defeats Cal State Fullerton 74-65

The UC Davis men’s basketball team played the Cal State Fullerton Titans at the Pavilion on Wednesday night. The Aggies surged in the second half to a 74-65 victory, keeping their undefeated home record intact and securing their 15th overall win of the season.

Senior guard Brynton Lemar led the way with offensive play, scoring a career-high 29 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. Lemar also shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, hitting four three pointers and scoring 13 points from the free-throw line. He also led the team with three steals and seven rebounds.

A back-and-forth first half left the two teams in a deadlock until sophomore guard Siler Schneider nailed a smooth pull-up jumper with the clock winding down to give the Aggies a two-point edge going into the locker room.

DANIEL TAK / AGGIE

“I thought we got off to a slow start,” Schneider said. “I like to be a spark off the bench, kind of bring some more energy. I just wanted to be aggressive offensively.”

Schneider was indeed the spark off the bench that the Aggies needed. In 29 minutes, he recorded 17 points and two steals, and he led the team with four assists.

After a few impressive “and-one” finishes from junior forward Chima Moneke to open the second half, Schneider rattled in a step-back corner three with the play clock winding down, electrifying the crowd. In the next sequence, a Schneider steal on the defensive end turned into a long pass upcourt to senior forward J.T. Adenrele, who finished the sequence with an emphatic slam.

The Aggies held the lead throughout the final 20 minutes, propelling themselves to a comfortable victory behind another stout defensive effort. The team forced 10 turnovers and held the Titans to 34.3 percent shooting in the second half. Moneke made his presence on the defensive end known with several decisive plays down the stretch, including two bone-rattling blocks. He would finish with three blocks, in addition to his 14 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Lawrence White’s powerful breakaway dunk gave the Aggies a 10-point lead with just under a minute to play, sealing the UC Davis win.

DANIEL TAK / AGGIE

The Aggies now have an impressive eight wins and three losses while holding their opponents under 70 points — six of those wins coming at home.

“We talked for two days about holding [Fullerton] under 70 and holding them under 40 percent shooting,” said head coach Jim Les. “This crew, if you can give them a mission like that and let them focus on something, they really lock in. They held them to 39.7 [percent shooting] for the game, and really locked down in the second half.”

Next up for the Aggies: UC Riverside — a team that held UC Davis to its lowest scoring total of the year back in January. Les’ team will have revenge on its mind, and tip-off is set for Saturday at 5 p.m.

Written by: Dominic Faria — sports@theaggie.org

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