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Friday, July 19, 2024

UC Davis men’s basketball cruises past Cal Maritime in home opener

The fresh Aggies’ squad starts the season 2-0

By GABRIEL CARABALLO — sports@theaggie.org


The UC Davis men’s basketball team made history on Nov. 7, beating UC Berkeley for the first time in program history 75-65. The team has previously had a 0-33 record against the Bears. The historic win was made possible by fourth-year forward Christian Anigwe who led the game with 21 points and newly-acquired transfer student, second-year guard Ty Johnson, who contributed 17 points. 

“[It was a] big time win against a PAC-12 school, but honestly, we felt confident going into that game, thinking we could beat them,” Johnson said “We go into every game like that.”

UC Davis head coach Jim Les also reacted to the historic upset.

“I was really proud of the guys and how they played in that [Cal Berkeley] game, and we were riding that high into this game,” Les said.

The momentum Les described carried over to the Aggies’ second game of the season against the Cal Maritime Keelhaulers. The game began with Ty Johnson expeditiously scoring a mid-range shot and three-point shot off of a Keelhauler turnover to give the Aggies an early 5-0 lead. 

With solid defense and consistent outside scoring from fourth-year guard Braxton Adderly, the Keelhaulers stayed within striking distance for most of the first half. Adderly kept Maritime going offensively with 12 first-half points making ⅔  from behind the three-point line. 

“We’re pleased to see Braxton knock down a couple shots. He really helps our team stretch the floor,” Cal Maritime Head Coach Tim Bross said in regards to Adderly’s shooting night.

Adderly’s second three-pointer of the first half gave the Keelhaulers a 24-23 lead with six and a half minutes left in the second quarter, but, in those remaining minutes, UC Davis would go on an incredible 15-point run. 

The score was 38-26 in favor of the Aggies with only a minute left in the half. With the clock winding down, UC Davis’ second-year guard Leo DeBruhl made a long three pointer with 20 seconds left on the clock; DeBruhl patiently waited until the two-second tick to release the final shot of the half. A statement shot put the Aggies up 43-26 along with a 20-2 point run. A fourth of those points came from Ty Johnson, who ended the half with 16 total points. 

The second half started and the Keelhaulers were looking to gain some momentum with an exciting play. Fourth-year forward Miles Pennington drove to the basket to deliver an emphatic slam dunk but his attempt was blocked by Aggie forward Anigwe. After the block, UC Davis would go on a seven-point run to start the second half, setting the tone for the rest of the game. 

First-year forward Jac Mani, along with third-year guard Kane Milling and third-year forward Sam Manu, took over in the second half for the Aggies, totaling 27 points. In his first game at the collegiate level, Mani played with confidence, banking a three-pointer and a few hook shots inside the key. Typically, first-year players don’t get a lot of minutes on the floor, and if they do, they don’t produce much, as it takes time to get used to playing Division One basketball at the college level. However, Mani seemed to play like a veteran, scoring with ease.

The Aggies defeated the Keelhaulers 90-67. Cal Maritime shot 39% from the field and 56.3% from three-point range. Adderly gave a notable performance, leading the team in points with 16 and five rebounds.

“We came here to win a basketball game, it didn’t work out that way, but I feel really strongly that we grew tonight, and there were some bright spots,” Bross said. 

UC Davis shot 49.3% from the field and 33.3% from the three-point range in the game. The Aggies had notable performances from Anigwe and Milling, who each had 13 points. First-year forward Mani put up 11 points in 17 minutes and second-year guard Robby Beasly led the game in rebounds with nine. Overall, UC Davis had an impressive number of contributors to the win. 

The Aggies are now 2-1 after a loss to Loyola Marymount University on the road on Nov. 12. The Aggies will host Arkansas State on Nov. 18. 


Written by: Gabriel Caraballo — sports@theaggie.org