UC Davis (5-10) at Cal State Northridge (9-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 17, 10:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Matadome (1,600) -- Northridge, California. Television: BigWest TV. Home Record: UCD 2-4, CSUN 4-2. Away Record: UCD 1-6, CSUN 2-6. Neutral Record: UCD 2-0, CSUN 3-0. Conference Record: UCD 1-3, CSUN 0-5. Series Record: Cal State Northridge leads, 17-9.
GAME NOTES: The Cal State Northridge Matadors continue to search for their first Big West Conference victory of the season as they host the UC Davis Aggies at The Matadome on Thursday.
UC Davis is seeking its third win in its last four games against the Matadors. These Big West rivals have split their season series in each of the past three seasons, but Northridge still owns a 17-9 all-time advantage.
The Aggies have not fared too well in recent weeks. UC Davis dropped to 1-3 in conference play on Saturday as it was dealt a 66-59 setback by UC Santa Barbara at home. Coach Jim Les has been unable to rally his troops away from home too successfully, as UC Davis is only 1-6 on the road as part of its 5-10 overall record. Despite the team's struggles, sophomore guard Corey Hawkins is having a tremendous campaign. The son of the former NBA All Star Hersey Hawkins is fourth in the conference in scoring with 18 points per game. Ryan Sypkens and J.T. Adenrele are joining him in double figures with 14.3 and 11.3 points per contest, respectively. Ryan Howley is leading the Aggies on the boards with 8.9 rebounds per tilt.
Hawkins posted 23 points and four assists in UCD's loss to the Gauchos on Saturday, but the team went just 18-of-49 from the field (31.8 percent), while UCSB sank 41.1 percent of its field goal attempts. The Aggies did a decent job of controlling the ball and committed just seven turnovers to 10 assists, but they were beat on the boards, 37-30, and in the paint, 28-12. UC Davis was held way under its scoring offense average due to the poor shooting display.
The Aggies are unlikely to repeat their poor offensive showing as the Matadors have the worst scoring defense in the Big West with 75.5 points allowed per contest. However, they are also ranked second in the conference in scoring with 78.5 points per tilt. Northridge's ferocious offensive attack has been idle since it entered league action, which has led to five consecutive losses. The Matadors are now just one game above the .500 mark. Sophomore swingman Stephan Hicks is pacing the team with 17.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per outing, although he was held to five points on 1-of-14 shooting from the floor in the team's 79-69 loss at UC Irvine on Saturday.
The Matadors' poor defensive tendencies were all present in that contest, as the Anteaters knocked down 63.8 percent of their field goal attempts, including 11-of-18 from 3-point range to bury Northridge, which even forced 22 turnovers. Stephen Maxwell led the team in the losing effort with 20 points and seven boards, while Josh Greene chipped in 15 points off the bench.
A return home may be just what the doctor ordered for Northridge, which is 4-2 at The Matadome on the season. The Matadors hold the upperhand in this one against a team that has struggled all season long as opposed to just recently.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Northridge 78, UC Davis 66
01/17 10:34:46 ET