UC Davis Looks To Stay Unbeaten In Conference Play
2014-15 Men's Basketball Release No. 10
This Week in the Big West - January 12-18, 2015
Seeking its first 3-0 start in Big West play since joining the conference in 2007-08, UC Davis travels to UC Riverside on Thursday.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Third Straight: For the third straight season, second in a row over Hawai‘i, the Mustangs started out Big West play with a win. Cal Poly earned a 61-57 overtime victory over UH despite shooting just 51.9 (14-of-27) percent from the foul line and committing 18 turnovers – double its nation’s best 9.0 allowed per game.
The Bennett Factor: Junior forward Brian Bennett notched his second career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the Hawai‘i win. The 10 boards represented a season-high. Bennett is No. 5 in the Big West in rebounds per game (6.4).
Anomaly: Cal Poly’s 50-45 loss to Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara on Saturday marked the first time this season in which the Mustangs held an opponent to 60 points or less, and did not win. Cal Poly had been 7-0 in those games.
Defense A Hallmark: Having led the Big West in scoring defense for four years in a row, Cal Poly is up to its old ways, allowing a league-low 59.6 points per game.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Streak Broken: Cal State Fullerton’s five-game winning streak came to an end at the expense of UC Riverside, as the Highlanders eked out an 84-78 win in overtime on Thursday. The 84 points allowed was the second-highest by a Titan opponent this season.
Johnson Erupts: Junior guard Lanerryl Johnson came off the bench to score 29 points in only 29 minutes at UCR. He had three points in the first half, 16 in the second half and 10 of Fullerton’s 11 points in the overtime period.
Harris Hits 1,000: Senior Alex Harris became the 23rd Titan to score 1,000 career points with a late first-half jumper at UC Riverside. He finished the game with 25 points for a 3-season career total of 1,012 to rank No. 22 (he passed Joe Small at 1,011). He is one of eight active Big West players to have reached the milestone.
Valuing The Ball: CSF is averaging just 8.3 turnovers over the last three games.
Tough Start: CSUN started out Big West play 0-2 after dropping a pair of road games against UC Davis and Hawai‘i last week. The Matadors have now lost 11 of their last 13 contests. They play their third straight conference road game against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday.
Uphill Battle: CSUN committed a season-high 28 turnovers that led to 35 UH points, and the Matadors lost by 14 in a game that was actually closer than the score indicated. CSUN had posted a season-low five turnovers on Jan. 2 against Morgan State.
Maxwell’s House: Senior Stephen Maxwell’s 20 points against UH marked the fourth time in the last six games he scored 20 or more, and the sixth time this season.
Drew Dishes The Rock: Junior Landon Drew handed out a career-high 10 assists in the UH game. The effort also pushed his career assist total to 294, and he could reach the 300 milestone against UCSB in the next game.
LONG BEACH STATE
Just Missed: Long Beach State knocked off the preseason league favorite, UC Irvine, in the Big West opener, and then came within an overtime period of going 2-0 before succumbing to UC Davis, 73-67, on Saturday. LBSU improved to 5-3 in league openers under head coach Dan Monson with the UCI win.
ESPN3 Monopoly: Long Beach State’s next three games will appear on ESPN3 – at home against Cal Poly (Jan. 15) and UC Santa Barbara (Jan. 17), and on the road versus CSUN (Jan. 24).
Caffey Joins Exclusive Club: With five assists against UC Davis, senior guard Mike Caffey ran his career total to 402. In so doing, he became just the fifth player in school history with 1,000 career points and 400 assists. The other four players to reach those two milestones were Casper Ware, Ed Ratleff, Craig Hodges and Morlon Wiley – all NBA alums.
Moving On Up: Caffey hit eight three-pointers in the two Big West games last week to increase his career total to 157, which moved him into sixth place in LBSU history. He is 10 shy of the No. 5 slot.
Rolling: UC Davis dispatched CSUN and Long Beach State during the opening weekend of Big West play to improve to 12-3 overall, the program’s best Division I start through 15 games, and the best overall start since the 1999-2000 team opened up 13-2. The Aggies also are 2-0 in Big West play for the first time since since the 2009-10 season.
Another Big West Note: The Aggies seek to start Big West play 3-0 for the first time since joining the conference for the 2007-08 season. UC Davis can do just that with a win at UC Riverside on Thursday.
Three-Point Terrorization: UC Davis leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.431). That figure is more 5.5 percent better than the next highest ranked team in the Big West. With 12 treys in the Big West opener against CSUN, it marked the third straight game that the Aggies knocked down a dozen from distance.
Hawk Spreads His Wings: Senior Corey Hawkins recorded his 29th career 20-point game with his 28-point effort against Long Beach State.
Telltale Sign: In defeating UC Riverside by a 69-55 score on Saturday, UC Irvine extended its streak to 38-0 when limiting the opposition to 60 points or less. It is a streak that dates back to Dec. 13, 2011 when UCI lost 58-48 at Wyoming. UCI is 5-0 this season when keeping its foes under 60.
Martin Steps Up: Sophomore Jaron Martin tallied a career-high 16 points and hit a career-high tying four three-pointers to help the Anteaters to victory over UCR. The guard has scored in double figures in five of the last eight games.
Shooting Stars: UC Irvine shot 54.9 (28-of-51) percent from the field against UCR, the fourth straight game that the team has shot better than 50 percent. The Anteaters have shot a combined 56.5 (121-of-214) percent from the floor over the last four contests.
Davis II Joins 700 Club: Senior Will Davis II became the sixth player in UCI history to amass 700 career rebounds when he pulled down eight against UCR. The 6-8 forward now has 704. He needs 65 more to slide into the No. 5 spot in the record book.
Winner, Winner: UC Riverside ended a three-game losing streak in Big West openers with a thrilling 84-78 overtime triumph on Thursday against Cal State Fullerton. The Highlanders turned the ball over just seven times, their second-lowest total of the season.
Johns Makes Another Splash: Junior Taylor Johns poured in 29 points to secure his sixth 20-point effort of the season in the win over CSF. He made 10-of-17 floor shots, including all three of his three-point attempts. The forward came into the game having made just two treys in his entire career.
Johns Closing In On 500: With 11 rebounds over two games last week, Johns moved to within eight of reaching the 500th of his career.
Home Cooking: UC Riverside is 7-1 inside the friendly confines of the SRC Arena entering this week’s home games against UC Davis and Hawai‘i. The latter game will be televised on ESPNU.
DYK?: The Highlanders are 1-1 in overtime games this year.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Hunkering Down: UC Santa Barbara held Cal Poly to 23.4 (15-for-64) percent shooting, including just 4-for-22 from three-point land, and left San Luis Obispo with a 50-45 victory on Saturday. The Gauchos used a game-ending 20-5 run to win their Big West opener for just the second time in the last seven years, and also avenged last year’s 31-point loss to Cal Poly in the Big West Tournament quarterfinals.
De-fense, De-fense: The 45 points allowed by UCSB in the Cal Poly game marked the fifth time this season that the Gauchos held an opponent under 50 points. Not surprisingly, UCSB is 5-0 in those games. Over the last three games, UCSB’s defense has held opponents to a 50.1 scoring average.
The Ball Belongs To Big Al: Senior Alan Williams corralled 15 rebounds versus Cal Poly for his fifth straight game with double-digit boards, and Big West-leading 11th of the year.
Protect That Dome: UCSB hosts CSUN this Thursday in its Big West home opener. The Gauchos have lost at home to the Matadors in three of the last four seasons.
That’s A Steal: Hawai‘i tied a school single-game record with 20 steals in an 83-68 victory over CSUN on Saturday. The 20 team steals was a first since 1988 against Tennessee Tech. Junior Roderick Bobbitt had eight steals, second only to the 10 he racked up against Hawai‘i-Hilo on Nov. 19.
Sharing Is Caring: The Rainbow Warriors also tallied a season-high tying 21 assists in the win over CSUN. Bobbitt tied his season-best with 10 helpers. UH has had 20 or more assists in four games this season, all resulting in victories.
Valdes Pours It On: Sophomore Aaron Valdes notched a career-high 34 points in the win over CSUN, helped along by 13-of-18 shooting from the floor, including three triples. It was the sixth 20-point game for Valdes this season and the second time he eclipsed 30.
Bobbitt No. 2 In The Country: Bobbitt’s 50 steals on the season ranks No. 2 nationally, while his 2.78 steals per game is good for eighth.
DYK?: UH has not lost back-to-back games this season.