UC Davis Tests Undefeated Home Record
2014-15 Men's Basketball Release No. 14
At 10-0 in The Pavilion this season, UC Davis continues its quest for an undefeated home slate when Cal State Fullerton visits on Thursday.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Streak At Three: The Mustangs are mired in their second three-game conference losing streak after falling, 59-56, to Hawai‘i at the Mott Athletics Center on Thursday. Cal Poly’s six league defeats have been by a combined total of 30 points, with four of those losses coming by five points or less.
Threes And Twos: In the loss to Hawai‘i, Cal Poly shot 47.8 percent from three-point range, while registering their second-highest season total for makes (11) and attempts (23). However, the Mustangs were only able to muster 13.3 percent shooting on two-point field goal attempts, the team shooting a collective 4-for-30.
Ramping It Up: Junior Joel Awich recorded his second double-double in the last four games with 10 points and 10 rebounds against UH. After scoring in double figures just twice in the first 13 games, he has reeled off eight straight games with 10 or more points.
Bench Boost: Junior Reese Morgan is averaging 15.7 points over his last three appearances.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Streak Broken: Cal State Fullerton wiped away a six-game losing streak last Thursday with a convincing 69-53 win against CSUN, led by Josh Gentry’s career-high 19 points. It was the Titans’ largest margin of victory over a Division I foe this season.
Overtime Blues: The Titans went for two straight wins on Saturday in a Homecoming showdown against Cal State Fullerton, but lost in overtime for the second time this season against the Highlanders. The Titans have lost a total of three overtime contests in conference play, which makes their 1-7 Big West record a bit misleading.
McBoarder: Senior Steve McClellan tied his season high with 14 rebounds in the win over CSUN, pitching in 15 points to secure his fifth double-double. The 6-7 forward has nine games of 10 or more rebounds, the third-best total in the Big West.
Season High: CSF notched a season-best 13 steals against the Highlanders. It was just the second time this season that the Titans recorded double-digit steals.
They’re All Big Now: CSUN seeks to snap a six-game losing streak in Thursday’s tilt at Cal Poly. The Mustangs are a game and a half ahead of the Matadors in the standings at the midway point of the Big West schedule.
On The Horizon: Senior Stephen Maxwell cemented his place in Big West history, becoming just the eighth player to top 900 career rebounds. He accomplished the feat with seven boards against UC Davis, giving him 904 for the season and tying him for No. 7 all-time with UC Santa Barbara’s Eric McArthur (1986-90).
Sniffing A Sweep: CSUN hosts UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, looking to sweep the season series against the Gauchos for the first time since 2010-11. The Matadors knocked off UCSB in Santa Barbara, 74-63, on Jan. 15.
Consistent Lineup: Four players have started all 25 games for CSUN this season – seniors Stephan Hicks and Stephen Maxwell, along with juniors Landon Drew and Tre Hale-Edmerson.
LONG BEACH STATE
Streak Halted: Long Beach State’s six-game winning streak came to an end in a heartbreaking 56-55 loss to Black and Blue rival UC Irvine on Saturday. The 49ers have lost four of the last five regular season meetings to the Anteaters by three points or less.
Caffey Now Fourth In Assists: Back-to-back five-assist performances last week gave Mike Caffey 430 assists, moving him from sixth to fourth on the LBSU career list. Caffey surpassed Kevin Houston (423, 2003-07) and Morlon Wiley (425, 1984-88). The 6-0 point guard is now sneaking up on Craig Hodges for the No. 3 spot. Hodges is at 437.
Streaky Samuels: With 17 points and 12 rebounds in Thursday’s win against UC Riverside, senior David Samuels notched his fourth double-double of the season, and third in the last six games. He has developed into one of the Big West’s most potent rebounders, with nine or more caroms in eight straight games.
McKay’s Land: The three-point line is McKay LaSalle’s territory. LBSU’s perimeter specialist hit on 6-for-10 from distance in last week’s games against UCR and UCI.
On Verge Of History: The Aggies have won nine of their last 10 games and are now 18-4 overall and 8-1 in the Big West. The Aggies are closing in on becoming just the third Big West program to go from single-digit wins one season to 20 the next. Utah State was the last to do so – 4-23 in 1981-82 to 20-9 in 1982-83. The Aggies were 9-22 last season.
Unbeaten At Home: UC Davis takes a 10-0 home record into Thursday’s contest against Cal State Fullerton. The Aggies are bidding for the Big West’s first undefeated home record since Long Beach State (12-0) in 2011-12.
No Hawkins, No Problem: The Big West’s leading scorer Corey Hawkins sat out last week’s games against UC Irvine and CSUN with a lower leg injury, but one of the nation’s top shooting squads didn’t blink. The Aggies shot 56.3 percent (18-of-32) from three-point territory in the two wins.
Shooting Stat: Over 22 games, the Aggies have shot 50 percent or better 14 times, and 48 percent or better 18 times. Davis has shot no worse than 44 percent all season long.
Two Sides To A Story: The Anteaters scored exactly 56 points in both of their games last week – one a loss to UC Davis, the other a win against Long Beach State. UCI allowed its second-highest point total this season (75) to the Aggies, while limiting the 49ers to 55 points in a big road win.
The Benchmark For Success: UCI’s defensive effort against LBSU improved the squad to 10-0 when keeping the opponent to 60 points or fewer. In fact, the Anteaters have won 43 straight games dating back to the 2011-12 season when limiting a foe to 60 or less.
Kryptonite: UCI plays just one game this week, but the opponent has proven to give the Anteaters fits at home. UC Riverside has won four of the last five meetings against UCI at the SRC Arena, including three of the four during the Russell Turner era.
Davis II One Away From 200 Blocks: Senior Will Davis II needs one more blocked shot to become just the third player in Big West history with 200 in a career. UCI’s all-time leader in blocks, Davis II has at least one in 14 of the last 18 games.
Much Improved: After finishing 5-11 last season in games decided by five points or less, the Highlanders are decidedly better in those same types of close games in 2014-15. Last Saturday’s 71-66 win in overtime versus Cal State Fullerton raised UCR’s record to 5-5 in close affairs.
Accuracy Found: UC Riverside turned in its best offensive display in conference in terms of overall field goal percentage, shooting 52 percent (26-of-50) in the Fullerton win. The Highlanders had gone 14 straight contests without shooting 50 percent. Their previous best effort was a 64.8% onslaught versus Portland State on Dec. 6.
Johns Huge Ahead: Junior forward Taylor Johns collected his fifth double-double, a gargantuan 18-point, 15-rebound effort, to help UCR defeat CSF. With his first rebound in the second half, he moved into UCR’s career top-10 list, finishing the night in a tie for eighth place with Lee McDougal (1971-73) at 542.
Bland Spicy From Three: Junior Jaylen Bland is UCR’s Division I single-season record holder with 74 made threes.
UC SANTA BARBARA
For The Ages: Playing its fifth straight game without reigning Big West Player of the Year Alan Williams, UC Santa Barbara got a crucial victory to improve to 4-4 in conference play, using a spirited comeback to pull out a 75-74 triumph over Hawai‘i. The Gauchos outscored the Rainbow Warriors 15-4 over the final 5:09 for the win.
Bryson Steps Up: Junior Michael Bryson’s three with 1:32 remaining gave the Gauchos their first lead of the entire game, 73-70, as UCSB completed the comeback against UH. Bryson finished with 21 points, his fifth 20-point outing this season, and is averaging 17 points in the five games Williams has been absent.
Creative Dish: UCSB totalled 20 assists on 28 made baskets in the UH victory. It marked the seventh time this season that the Gauchos had 20 or more helpers. Not surprisingly, UCSB is 7-0 in such games.
Fans Unite: A season-high home crowd of 4,383 showed up for UCSB’s win over UH. Next up at home is a Thursday televised showdown on Prime Ticket versus Long Beach State.
Down The Middle: Hawai‘i has adhered to a pattern of a win followed by a loss through the last 10 games played, dating back to the Dec. 30 win against Prairie View A&M. The Rainbow Warriors then lost their Big West opener to Cal Poly on Jan. 7. Since then, UH has split each set of two conference games.
Steal Watch: Entering Monday’s games, UH ranks No. 2 nationally in total steals (261) and No. 3 in steals per game (10.4). The team’s 15 steals at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday represented the eighth time in the last 11 games with double-digits.
Bobbitt Breaks Into Top 10: Junior Roderick Bobbitt is averaging 4.9 steals over the last eight games and now leads the nation in total steals with 81. With six steals in the UCSB game, Bobbitt broke into the Big West single-season top 10 at 81. He’s on pace to break the conference record of 106 owned by UNLV’s Greg Anthony (1989-90).
Tough Losses: UH has lost three league games – Cal Poly, UC Riverside and UCSB – by a combined total of nine points.