Pacific (6-7) at UC Davis (4-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Pavilion (8,000) -- Davis, California. Television: None. Home Record: Pacific 4-2, UC Davis 1-2. Away Record: Pacific 0-4, UC Davis 1-6. Neutral Record: Pacific 2-1, UC Davis 2-0. Conference Record: Pacific 0-1, UC Davis 0-1. Series Record: Pacific leads, 80-12.
GAMES NOTES: After each took a loss in their first league matchup, the Pacific Tigers and UC Davis Aggies will try to get a win in Big West Conference action when they meet up at the Pavilion Saturday night.
Pacific fell just short against Long Beach State, 67-63, in the conference opener last Saturday. The loss was the third in the last four games for Pacific and pushed the Tigers below .500 to 6-7 overall on the campaign. The Tigers struggles on the road have been well documented with an 0-4 mark in away contests. Pacific plays two games at home next beginning against UC Santa Barbara.
A tight loss was also handed to UC Davis in its league opener as the Aggies were taken down 69-58 in overtime against UC Irvine. UC Davis had won three of its previous four matchups before the setback and is now 4-8 overall. The Aggies are kicking off a three-game homestand in this contest which continues against Cal Poly on Thursday.
There hasn't been a great deal of parity between these conference foes with Pacific winning 80-of-92 previous matchups including 25 of the last 27. However last season the Aggies managed to split the season series with the home team victorious each time.
A 9-0 run midway through the second half gave Long Beach State enough separation to hold on to defeat Pacific. The Tigers shot just 39.3 percent from the field in the contest and were outscored 22-11 from the free-throw line.
Lorenzo McCloud extended his streak of double figure scoring outputs to four games in the last contest by netting 13 points. The senior guard is the only player on the roster averaging in double figures (12.4 ppg) and he has done so by improving his efficiency. Last season McCloud shot just 38.6 percent from the field and 22.9 percent from 3-point range. Those numbers have climbed to 45.5 and 37.9 percent this season. Lacking any other prolific scorers the Tigers have still managed to score at a modest pace (67.7 ppg) while shooting the second best percentage in the Big West (.469).On the defensive end the Tigers are letting up 66.0 points per game on 42.2 percent shooting, while ranking eighth in the conference in rebounds (32.9 pg).
UC Davis took a 58-56 lead with 11 seconds left on a Corey Hawkins' jump shot but UC Irvine answered with a jumper from Daman Starring with three seconds left to force overtime. The Aggies went 0-of-8 from the field in the extra session and were outscored 11-0.
In comparison to the Tigers, the Aggies have been a more prolific offensive team as they net 72.1 points per game despite shooting at a slightly worse percentage (.461) from the field. UC Davis' downfall is its defensive efforts as it has been lit up for 73.9 points per game despite holding teams to 41.1 percent shooting. The Aggies perimeter defense has been a major reason for that as they allow teams to shoot at a 38.0 percent clip from distance, the second worst mark in the conference. Hawkins (17.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Ryan Sypkens (15.0 ppg) have each been scoring at a high level, while Ryan Howley (6.6 ppg, 10.0 rpg) has really cleaned the glass.
A return home should help the Aggies rekindle the offensive success they have enjoyed for the bulk of the season and allow them to earn that first conference win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Davis 73, Pacific 70
01/05 10:31:21 ET