UC Davis (1-1) at Utah (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 15, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) -- Salt Lake City, Utah. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: UC Davis 1-0, Utah 1-0. Away Record: UC Davis 0-1, Utah 0-0. Neutral Record: UC Davis 0-0, Utah 0-0. Conference Record: UC Davis 0-0, Utah 0-0. Series Record: Utah leads, 1-0.
GAMES NOTES: The Utah Utes get their first taste of Division I competition on the year when they tangle with the UC Davis Aggies in a non-league bout at the Jon. M. Huntsman Center.
UC Davis is fresh of its first win of the season as it took down Division II opponent Holy Names, 80-54, on Monday. The Aggies' first win came on the heels of a difficult loss in the opener when they fell to Portland, 100-83. Ryan Sypkens stepped up in the win over Holy Names as he sank 7-of-10 shots from beyond the arc and finished with a team-high 25 points. UC Davis was 6-9 on the road. Unfortunately the Aggies are playing their next four games away from home with the next three all as part of the Portland State Tournament.
Utah is 1-0 after the season's first game but it is difficult to judge how good the Utes will be going forward based on their opener as they posted a 128-44 triumph over NAIA foe Evergreen State. The Utes scoring was certainly up in the game after they were last in the Pac-12 in points scored a year ago (64.2 ppg). Jordan Loveridge was one of three players to post a double-double in the win over Evergreen State as seven different players scored in double figures. Utah has now won 12 of its last 19 games at home, including an 11-7 mark at the Huntsman Center last year.
In the only other meeting between these programs Utah ran away with a 106-72 victory at home.
Offense hasn't been an issue for the Aggies in their two games. UC Davis has scored at least 80 points in each contest, while shooting an impressive 51.8 percent clip from the field. Defensively, the Aggies were miserable against Portland only to hold Holy Names to just 30.8 percent shooting. Sypkens came off the bench against Holy Names but the change in scenery didn't stop him from scoring at a torrid pace. Sypkens (18.0 ppg) has been the leading scorer for the Aggies this season. Josh Ritchart (17.0 ppg) is next in the scoring column, followed by Brynton Lemar (11.0 ppg).
Loveridge connected on 6-of-18 shots from the field and 11-of-12 from the free-throw line as he netted 24 points to go with 13 rebounds against Evergreen State. He was one of three players to record double-doubles, as Delon Wright (17 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists) and Ahmad Fields (11 points, 10 rebounds) also completed the feat. Loveridge averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game last year. The Utes would certainly like to see Wright play at a high level going forward as he is likely to be a full-time starter. Brandon Taylor (16 points, six assists) and Dakari Tucker (13 points) also scored in double figure for Utah, which shot at a 63.6 percent clip as a team against Evergreen State.
Utah is not going to have seven players in double figures or score 120 points on Friday, but Loveridge and company will certainly be able to earn a win on their home floor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah 69, UC Davis 62
11/15 10:33:23 ET