The UC Davis Aggies defeated the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars 80-75 in the first round of the Portland State Tournament. Senior forward Josh Ritchart had a career game, posting 35 points and 13 rebounds. Ritchart also added two assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Ritchart shot 12-of-14 from the field, including a perfect 3-of-3 behind the 3-point arc.
The Cougars (1-2) were led by Rozell Nunn’s 17 points and eight rebounds. Michael Messer and Kris Davis chipped in 11 points apiece, while Ray Lester grabbed five rebounds. Donivine Stewart dished out four assists to lead SIU-E.
Ritchart knocked down a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to pull UCD within two points of SIU-E 38-36 at the intermission. Ritchart continued his hot shooting in the second half as UCD slowly pulled away for the victory.
The Aggies shot 56.6 percent (30-of-53) from the field, 64.3 percent (9-of-14) behind the 3-point line, and 55.0 percent (11-of-20) from the charity stripe.
The Cougars shot 49.1 percent (28-of-57) from the field, 36.0 percent (9-of-25) behind the 3-point line, and 76.9 percent (10-of-13) from the free throw line. The Cougars out-rebounded the Aggies 34 to 24.
The Aggies continue play in the Portland State Tournament, a four-team round-robin event, Saturday afternoon against Loyola of Chicago. Tip off is 3 p.m. Pacific time.