UC Davis forward Georgi Funtarov drained a clutch 3-pointer with seven seconds left in overtime to secure a thrilling victory over the Cal State Northridge Matadors 90-86. In a bizarre game of big runs from both teams, the Aggies (8-15, 3-5 Big West Conference) raced out to an 11-0 lead to open the game, before increasing the lead to a bulging 46-25 with 2:24 left in the first half. Avery Johnson led the Aggies’ first-half surge, scoring seven points in the opening minutes. Cal State Northridge (11-13, 3-6 BW) narrowed the gap to 49-32 at the intermission.
The Aggies maintained their double-digit lead through the first 10 minutes of the second half before the Matadors mounted a furious rally to tie the game in regulation. Corey Hawkins poured in a game-high 27 points for the Aggies, with key support from Ryan Sypkens (16 points), Funtarov (15 points), Lemar Brynton (12 points), and Johnson (10 points). Funtarov cleared the boards for seven rebounds, with Hawkins and Darius Graham grabbing six rebounds apiece. Hawkins also dished out a team-high six assists.
The Matadors were led by the trio of Stephan Hicks (23 points), Stephen Maxwell (21 points), and Josh Greene (19 points). Hicks also led with seven rebounds followed by Maxwell’s five boards. Landon Drew dished out a game-high seven assists for the Matadors.
The Matadors second-half comeback was aided by a rare six-point possession. Hicks scored a layup and was fouled by a flagrant foul. After sinking both free throws, the Matadors got possession of the ball and Hicks promptly scored another bucket to complete the possession. Greene knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game 81-81 in regulation to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime period, it was the Aggies who were the beneficiaries of a CSUN flagrant foul, allowing UCD to grab an 85-82 lead with three minutes left. With 25 seconds left, Hicks dunked home a pass from Maxwell to knot the score at 86-all. This would set up Funtarov’s heroics at the top of the key when he drained the game-winning trey.
The Aggies shot 45.6 percent (26-57) from the field, 40.6 percent (13-32) behind the 3-point line, and 80.6 percent (25-31) from the free throw line. UCD out-rebounded CSUN 35-34.
The Matadors shot 42.6 percent (26-61) from the field, 27.3 percent (3-11) behind the 3-point line, and 83.8 percent (31-37) from the free throw line.
The Aggies host the UC Irvine Anteaters on Saturday. Tip off is 7 p.m. Pacific.