The UC Davis Aggies lost to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 82-67 at the Thunderdome Saturday night largely due to their inability to contain Gauchos center Alan Williams.
UC Davis (7-14, 2-5 Big West Conference) sharpshooter Ryan Sypkens scored 22 points, including 5-of-13 3-pointers, but Corey Hawkins shot 0-of-5 behind the 3-point arc, derailing the Aggies’ attempt for another upset victory in the Big West.
However, it was the Aggies’ failure to keep Williams off the glass and from the scoring column which doomed the Aggies’ chances for a win. The UC Santa Barbara junior center scored 27 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds in leading the first-place Gauchos (14-6, 5-2) to another decisive Big West victory.
Sypkens paced the Aggies with 22 points, followed by Hawkins with 15 points. Clint Bozner led the Aggies with eight rebounds, with Hawkins grabbing five boards. Hawkins dished out a game-high six assists.
The Gauchos were supported by reserve Kyle Boswell (15 points, including 3-of-5 3-pointers) and Michael Bryson (11 points). Williams, Taran Brown, and Zalmico Harmon dished out four assists apiece for the Gauchos.
The game was never in doubt, as the Gauchos opened up a double-digit lead in the first half, which included a rare four-point play by Bryson. Hawkins scored the first bucket of the game, but that would be the Aggies’ first and only lead, as the Gauchos connected from distance and in the post. The Gauchos led at the intermission 36-22.
The second half had one common theme: the Gauchos fed Alan Williams in the post. The 6-foot-8 Williams continued to score in the paint, pouring in 17 of his 27 points in the second half. Meanwhile, the Aggies–with the exception of Sypkens–couldn’t find their stroke beyond the 3-point line, or even from the charity stripe.
UC Davis shot 41.8 percent (23-for-55) from the field, 33.3 percent (8-for-24) behind the 3-point line, and 52.0 percent (13-for-25) from the free throw line. UC Davis was out-rebounded 41-27.
UC Santa Barbara shot 53.7 percent (29-for-54) from the field, 38.9 percent (7-for-18) behind the 3-point line, and 70.8 percent (17-for-24) from the free throw line.
The Aggies return to Davis to host Cal State Northridge on Thursday. Tipoff is 7 p.m. Pacific.