DATE & TIME: Thursday, December 20, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) -- Logan, Utah.
Television: None. Home Record: UC Davis 1-2, SIU 3-0. Away Record: UC Davis
1-4, SIU 3-2. Neutral Record: UC Davis 0-0, SIU 0-0. Conference Record: UC
Davis 0-0, SIU 0-0. Series Record: Southern Illinois leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The World Vision Basketball Challenge gets underway in Logan, Utah
on Thursday, as the Southern Illinois Salukis challenge the UC Davis Aggies in
non-conference action at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Aggies, winners of just two games in eight attempts, are shooting for
back-to-back victories for the first time this season. Earlier this week the
team tackled Eastern Washington at home in a convincing 87-65 final, snapping
a four-game slide in the process.
As for the Salukis, they've won six of their first eight outings, with the two
setbacks coming against the likes of Saint Louis and Western Kentucky, both on
the road. The team was in action on Monday versus New Orleans and topped the
Privateers by a score of 74-61 at home, the second straight win and the third
in the last four outings for the program.
Southern Illinois leads the all-time series between the teams by a count of
2-0, thanks to a 76-74 triumph in the most recent encounter way back in 1972.
Both of these squads will be back in action on Friday and Saturday, switching
opponents with Utah State and Nicholls State for this event.
Matching their best offensive effort of the season thus far, the Aggies also
registered their largest margin of victory as well, although with just two
wins that wasn't hard to do. Tyler Les came off the bench to score a game-high
18 points, leading five players in double figures as UC Davis converted half
of its shots from the floor overall and 10-of-20 beyond the arc. Josh Ritchart
added 14 points, J.T. Adenrele 13 and 10 boards, followed by Ryan Sypkens and
Paolo Mancasola with 10 points apiece. Corey Hawkins, who finished with nine
points and eight rebounds in the last outing, still leads the team in scoring
overall with his 17.8 ppg, even though he is shooting just 27.8 percent out on
the perimeter. Sypkens (15.4 ppg) and Adenrele (12.0 ppg) bring balance to the
offense, one that is generating an average of 73.2 ppg.
It was slow going in the first half for the Salukis against New Orleans, as
the hosts shot only 33.3 percent from the floor and 1-of-9 behind the 3-point
line in the first half, but after the break SIU knocked down almost 60 percent
from the field in order to secure the double-digit win. Dantiel Daniels led
four players in double figures with his 20 points, followed by Anthony Beane
with 17, Jalen Pendleton chipped in 14 points off the bench and Jeff Early
finished with 12 points and seven boards in the triumph. Early leads the team
in scoring with his 14.6 ppg, shooting an impressive 57.0 percent from the
field as he remains close enough to the basket at both ends of the floor in
order to come up with 7.6 rpg as well. Jackson (13.6 ppg), Beane (10.5 ppg)
and Daniels (10.1 ppg) are also crucial parts of the puzzle for a team
outscoring its opponents by almost 10 ppg.
Playing away from home has not been easy on the Aggies this season and the
prospect of getting up for three games in as many days is daunting, so perhaps
mentally they'll already be looking beyond this contest.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southern Illinois 76, UC Davis 70