GAME NOTES: The UC Davis Aggies aim for the season sweep of the UC Riverside Highlanders as the two clash in a Big West Conference tilt at the Student Recreation Center.
The Aggies took down UC Riverside, 79-72, on Jan. 26 in the first matchup of the 2012-13 campaign between these schools as J.T. Adenrele scored 20 points to lead five UC Davis players in double figures. UC Davis knocked down 56.8 percent of its field goal tries and limited the Highlanders to 50.9 percent shooting from the floor in the contest. Josh Fox provided 22 points for UC Riverside in the loss. After the Jan. 26 affair, UC Riverside is 29-27 versus UC Davis all-time.
UC Davis improved to 12-14 on the season on Saturday with a hard-fought, 79-78 win over Northern Colorado in the BracketBuster event. The victory was the third in four games and lifted the team to one game above the .500 mark at home, but it is just 4-9 in true road tests so far. Corey Hawkins poured in 34 points versus the Bears to raise his team and conference-leading scoring average to 20.5 ppg.
Although Hawkins did the most damage, Paolo Mancasola provided the heroic play as he drained an 18-foot jumper with 1.8 seconds left to propel the Aggies to the victory over the Bears. Adenrele chipped in 18 points and nine rebounds as UC Davis poured in 58.8 percent of its field-goal tries and converted 12-of-14 at the charity stripe. The Aggies are netting 72.2 ppg as a unit this season, which is the fourth highest scoring offense mark in the Big West. They are also the third-worst scoring defense at 72.7 points allowed per tilt.
UC Riverside is coming off of a 66-58 setback at Portland State that served as its eighth loss in nine games and dropped it to a 6-21 overall record. The Highlanders are still stuck at the bottom of the Big West Conference standings with a 3-11 mark in league action. Chris Patton is pacing the team with 13.0 points per game on 54.7 percent shooting from the field and Chris Harriel chips in 10.6 ppg. Fox is another solid forward for the Highlanders with averages of 9.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per outing.
The Highlanders went a combined 28-of-103 (27.2 percent) from the field in their two games prior to squaring off with the UC Santa Barbara last Wednesday. They turned it around against UCSB to connect on 41.6 percent of their field-goal tries before connecting on 44.4 percent of their shots from the floor versus the Vikings. Patton netted 22 points to lead the team in the loss to PSU, while Fox got into the mix with 10 points. Although the team has played well in recent action, it has been held to 40 or fewer points on four occasions this season.
UC Riverside is showing improvement offensively, but it is still going to have a lot of trouble matching the Aggies' scoring output. Hawkins has been sensational and he will be able to help UC Davis get the brooms out and build a little more momentum with the postseason tournament just around the corner.
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