UC Riverside (5-14) at UC Davis (7-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Pavilion (8,000) -- Davis, California. Television: None. Home Record: UCR 4-4, UCD 2-5. Away Record: UCR 1-8, UCD 3-6. Neutral Record: UCR 0-2, UCD 2-0. Conference Record: UCR 2-5, UCD 3-4. Series Record: UC Riverside leads, 29-26.
GAME NOTES: The UC Riverside Highlanders hope to conclude their road trip with success as they tangle with the UC Davis Aggies in a Big West Conference tilt at The Pavilion.
This will be the 56th encounter in history between these Golden State rivals on the hardwood. UC Riverside has won the last three matchups to build a 29-26 all-time series lead.
The Highlanders are coming off a 63-58 loss at Pacific that served as their fourth setback in five games and dropped them to 5-14 overall (2-5 Big West). UC Riverside has struggled on the road this season, going just 1-8 in true away tests. Chris Patton continued his hot streak in the loss, tallying 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor. Patton is averaging 19.7 ppg over his last three games. Chris Harriel chips in 10.4 ppg while Josh Fox makes his presence known with 9.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per tilt.
UC Riverside has the least threatening offensive attack in the Big West with an average scoring output of just 60.3 points. It is the fourth best in the league in scoring defense at 66.9 ppg, but it also has the worst field goal percentage (0.420), free throw percentage (0.569), 3-point percentage (0.276), and assist-to-turnover margin (0.8) in the conference as well. In addition to Patton's team-high versus Pacific, Taylor Johns provided a spark off the bench with 12 points in 21 minutes and Josh Fox produced eight points, nine boards, and four assists.
Corey Hawkins was named the Big West Player of the Week on Monday after pouring in a school-record 40 points to push the Aggies to a 93-82 decision over Hawaii two days earlier. The sophomore guard was not able to duplicate his record setting performance and finished with 22 points and nine rebounds in the Aggies', 95-88, setback to Pacific on Thursday. J.T. Adenrele scored 22 points as well, while Ryan Sypkens added 18 points, and Josh Ritchart made an impact with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the floor. The loss dropped the team to a 7-11 overall record and 3-4 standing in the Big West.
Despite tallying 181 points over its last two appearances, UC Davis is still just the third highest scoring team in Big West conference action at 72.1 ppg. It is giving up 74.9 ppg to its league opposition, but Hawkins is atop the conference's scoring leaderboard with 22.4 ppg. Sypkens (14.1 ppg) and Adenrele (12.1 ppg, 26 blocks) are also in double figures. Senior guard Ryan Howley leads the team with 7.9 rebounds per game, while averaging 5.6 points per tilt.
The tempo of this game will be a big time factor in the outcome. UC Riverside needs to keep possessions to a minimum or it will get run out of the gym. The Aggies could be in trouble if the contest stays at a slow pace. Hawkins will create matchup problems for the Highlanders which should give the hosts the edge.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Davis 77, UC Riverside 65
01/26 10:40:03 ET