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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mott Gym (3,032) -- San Luis Obispo, California. Television: None. Home Record: UC Davis 3-5. Cal Poly 8-1. Away Record: UC Davis 4-7, Cal Poly 2-10. Neutral Record: UC Davis 2-0, Cal Poly 0-0. Conference Record: UC Davis 4-5, Cal Poly 6-5. Series Record: Cal Poly leads, 31-14.
GAMES NOTES: The Cal Poly Mustangs will continue a three-game homestand on Saturday night when they host the UC Davis Aggies in a Big West Conference battle at Mott Gym.
Though they have not exactly been streaking of late, the Aggies have been enjoying a rather successful stretch by their standards with wins in four of their last six outings. The most recent win was a 64-56 win over UC Santa Barbara on Thursday. With the victory UC Davis is now 9-12 overall and just a game under .500 in league play at 4-5. The win over the Gauchos was the third in the last four road tests for UC Davis, which returns home to host Hawaii next.
Cal Poly stopped a two-game slide in the first part of this three-game homestand with a 67-62 win over Pacific on Thursday. With the win the Mustangs are now 10-11 overall on the campaign, while moving back above .500 in league action at 6-5. That league mark has the Mustangs tied with UC Irvine for fourth in the Big West standings. Cal Poly is an impressive 8-1 on its home floor this season where it will be yet against next Saturday against UC Santa Barbara.
When these teams met earlier this season UC Davis came away with a tough 69-67 win. The Mustangs had won four straight in the series previously and still hold a commanding 31-14 lead all-time series.
Its play in the first half against UC Santa Barbara allowed UC Davis to coast to the finish line on Thursday. The Aggies shot 52 percent in the first half, including a 5-of-10 effort from beyond the arc, to take a 34-22 lead at the break and by shooting 45.5 percent in the final 20 minutes held on for the win.
The 56 points that the Aggies allowed in the game was the fewest they had allowed all season against a Big West opponent. On average the Aggies have been rather weak on the defensive end as they let up 73.7 points per game. The porous defense has wiped away any benefits the Aggies may have from the offensive side where they are the second best shooting team in the Big West (.474), while netting 72.3 points per game. Corey Hawkins (19.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.5 apg) has been the unquestioned leader for UC Davis as the conference's top scorer. Hawkins isn't one-dimensional though as he is also among the top 15 players in the conference in assists, rebounds and steals. Jordan Sypkens (14.3 ppg) and J.T. Adenrele (12.4 ppg) provide additional scoring depth.
Cal Poly rallied from a seven-point deficit in the second half against Pacific by pulling off a 15-8 run midway through the period to finally take a 46-45 lead. The Mustangs never trailed the rest of the way by making four of their final five field goal attempts and 8-of-12 from the free-throw line.
On the offensive side of the ball, Cal Poly has not had the same level of success as the Aggies. The Mustangs are scoring just 65.8 points per game on 41.8 percent shooting. Chris Eversley (16.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg) provides the Mustangs' counterpoint to Hawkins. The 6-foot-7 forward is one of just two double-figure scorers for the Mustangs, fitting among the top 10 players in the Big West in scoring and rebounding. Brian Bennett (10.0 ppg) shoots 54.7 percent from the field as the only other double-figure scoring threat, while Jamal Johnson (4.3 ppg, 4.0 apg) is a top-10 distributor in the Big West.
Eversley and Hawkins will likely be able to match offensive production, which will leave it to the supporting casts to make the difference. Though not a particularly strong scoring team, the Mustangs' defensive ability should be amplified at home en route to a victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal Poly 68, UC Davis 63
02/09 10:33:29 ET