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DAVIS, Calif. - Eleven tied scores and 10 lead changes took place throughout Saturday’s Big West home game vs. Cal State Fullerton, but the Aggies’ last-second attempt to push the game into overtime bounced off the rim and hit the floor as the final buzzer sounded in a game that ended in the Titans’ favor by a 68-66 score.
UC Davis will enter next week’s Central California road trip with a 16-9 overall and 7-4 Big West record; Cal State Fullerton is now 14-9 and 7-4.
For the second time in the last three games, junior economics major Garrison Goode finished with a career-high point total. Originally set at Long Beach State when he posted 14 points, he finished with that same amount by hitting five shots from the floor and another four at the line.
Junior communication major TJ Shorts II led all Aggies with 21 points while junior communication major Siler Schneider added another 15.
Shorts II, the league’s leader in steals with his 1.8 per game average added another three to his overall total; with 47 now to his credit, he needs another 11 to set a new Division I single-season program record, which is currently held by Mark Payne (2007-08).
Trailing by as many as 11 points early in the second half, a 16-5 UC Davis run that spanned 5:57 and capped by a free throw from senior communication major Michael Onyebalu, knotted the score at 46 with 10:23 left on the clock.
From that point until the game ended, neither team led by more than two possessions.
Tied at 57 apiece with 4:53 remaining in the game, the lead swung from one team to another on three occasions, and another three tied scores took place before the Aggies had a chance to pull even and send Saturday’s game into overtime.
After Shorts inbounded the ball to sophomore communication major Rogers Printup from the near baseline, just a handful of feet away from his team’s bench, he ran inbounds to receive a handoff from his teammate. The junior guard immediately drove towards the basket, and with three Titan big men surrounding him, created enough of a shooting lane to give himself a good look at the basket.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, the ball bounced around the rim before hitting the court in a nailbiter that ended in Cal State Fullerton’s favor.
Saturday’s game was a true anomaly as this marked the first time this season that the Aggies fell short when an opponent scored fewer than 70 points. Entering the Pavilion that afternoon, UC Davis was 9-0 when holding opponents under 60, and 5-0 when allowing between 60-69 points.
UC Davis’ defense forced 19 CSF turnovers, three shy of a season high, and capitalized on those opportunities by scoring 26 points. After earning only three trips to the free throw line in the first half, the Aggies stepped up throughout the second half and knocked down 16 of 19 shots.
The Aggies’ next two games will take place on the road in Thursday’s 7 p.m. matchup at Cal Poly and Saturday’s 2 p.m. contest at UC Santa Barbara.
CAL STATE FULLERTON 68, UC DAVIS 66
CAL STATE FULLERTON (14-9, 7-4 BWC)
Ahmad, Khalil 11-15 5-6 31; Allman, Kyle 7-12 6-7 21; Awosika, Austen 3-5 1-2 8; Rowe, Jackson 1-4 2-3 4; Smith, Jamal 1-2 0-0 3; Heinzl, Dominik 0-0 1-2 1; Venzant, Daniel 0-0 0-0 0; Robertson, Arkim 0-0 0-0 0; Clare, Davon 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-41 15-20 68.
UC DAVIS (16-9, 7-4 BWC)
Shorts II, TJ 6-13 9-10 21; Schneider, Siler 7-18 0-0 15; Goode, Garrison 5-9 4-5 14; Printup, Rogers 1-3 2-2 5; Onyebalu, Michael 2-3 1-2 5; Jackson, Delveion 1-2 0-0 2; Mooney, Joe 1-4 0-0 2; John, AJ 1-5 0-0 2; Russell, Colin 0-0 0-0 0; Hennings, Arell 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-59 16-19 66.
Cal State Fullerton........... 33 35 - 68
UC Davis.......................... 26 40 - 66
3-point goals--Cal State Fullerton 7-16 (Ahmad, Khalil 4-7; Allman, Kyle 1-3; Awosika, Austen 1-2; Smith, Jamal 1-2; Clare, Davon 0-1; Rowe, Jackson 0-1), UC Davis 2-16 (Printup, Rogers 1-3; Schneider, Siler 1-6; Onyebalu, Michael 0-1; Jackson, Delveion 0-1; Mooney, Joe 0-1; John, AJ 0-3; Shorts II, TJ 0-1). Fouled out--Cal State Fullerton-None, UC Davis-Onyebalu, Michael. Rebounds--Cal State Fullerton 31 (Allman, Kyle 8; Rowe, Jackson 8), UC Davis 24 (Shorts II, TJ 4; Schneider, Siler 4; Goode, Garrison 4). Assists--Cal State Fullerton 8 (Ahmad, Khalil 2; Rowe, Jackson 2; Awosika, Austen 2), UC Davis 9 (John, AJ 2; Shorts II, TJ 2; Mooney, Joe 2). Total fouls--Cal State Fullerton 18, UC Davis 16. Technical fouls--Cal State Fullerton-None, UC Davis-None. A-3031
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