UC Davis (3-2) at Portland State (3-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 24, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stott Center (1,500) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: UCD 1-0, PSU 3-0. Away Record: UCD 0-2, PSU 0-1. Neutral Record: UCD 2-0, PSU 0-0. Conference Record: UCD 0-0, PSU 0-0. Series Record: Portland State leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: The Portland State Tournament wraps up on Sunday afternoon at the Stott Center, as the host Portland State Vikings do battle with the UC Davis Aggies.
UC Davis opened up the season with losses in two of its first three games, but it has turned things around in this tournament with back-to-back wins. The Aggies most recently downed Loyola-Chicago, 64-61, in overtime. After leading by as many as 10 in the second half, they found themselves down by three in the waning seconds of regulation before Ryan Sypkens forced the extra session with a last-second, game-tying 3-pointer. Sypkens again gave the Aggies the lead in the final minute of overtime on a long-distance bucket, which proved to be the game-winner. Sypkens finished with 15 points on 5-of-6 from 3-point range. The rest of the team combined to shoot only 1-of-15 from beyond the arc. Corey Hawkins paced the effort with 17 points, while Josh Ritchart narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Since losing its opener at UNLV (67-48), Portland State has taken advantage of some home cooking by winning three straight at the Stott Center, including both contests this weekend to open up tournament action. Much like UC Davis, the Vikings were on the positive side of a hotly-contested battle on Saturday, as they defeated SIU Edwardsville, 77-74. Trailing by 10 at the half, the Vikings thoroughly outplayed the Cougars in the second stanza, and it took the lead for good on a pair of Andre Winston free-throws with 5:49 to play. They had a stellar shooting night both from the field (.481) and the free-throw line (.818), and they only turned the ball over eight times. Tim Douglas scored 18 points on 6-of-12 from the field (including 3-of-3 from 3-point range). DaShaun Wiggins netted 17 points off the bench, while Aaron Moore finished with 12 points and six rebounds in the winning effort.
The Vikings hold a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series with the Aggies, although UC Davis won the most recent meeting during the 2007-08 season, 76-68.
Despite its winning record and its impressive field goal percentage (.475), UC Davis is still being outscored by more than three points per game likely due to its -3.6 rebounding margin and -1.8 turnover margin. Josh Ritchart has been red-hot in the early going, making greater than 66 percent of his field goal tries for 17.8 points per game while also pacing the squad on the glass (6.6 rpg). Hawkins (13.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) is also a positive asset in the frontcourt, while Sypkens (13.4 ppg) lives from beyond the arc, as he has made 19-of-37 long-range buckets.
Portland State's disappointing scoring offense (68.0 ppg) is a bit misleading considering its 48-point effort in the opener, although there's still plenty of room for its field goal percentage to improve (.425). Douglas is the primary scoring option at 15.8 points per game, and he also gets others involved with 4.0 assists per contest. Moore (11.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Wiggins (10.3 ppg) are also integral pieces to the puzzle.
With both teams playing well heading into Sunday's matchup, expect Portland State to get a small boost from the home crowd, which should be enough to help it outlast the Aggies.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland State 70, UC Davis 68
11/24 10:32:29 ET