MENâ€™S BASKETBALL OVERCOMES 17-POINT FIRST HALF DEFICIT TO BEAT UC DAVIS, 69-61
Senior Walter Jackson had 13 points and six rebounds during the second half to help spark tonight's victory
DAVIS, Calif. – Sacramento State overcame a 17-point first half deficit, and outscored the Aggies in the second half by a 47-29 margin on the way to a 69-61 victory over UC Davis on Tuesday evening in front of a crowd of 1,847 at The Pavilion.
Sacramento State got off to a cold start, missing 10 of its first 11 field goal attempts of the game, and each of the team’s first eight three-point attempts. In fact, it wasn’t until a Joe Eberhard leaner at the 8:25 mark of the first half that Sacramento State converted its second field goal of the game.
By that time, the Aggies had a 14-6 lead, and, after back-to-back three-pointers on consecutive possessions by Ryan Silva and Josh Ritchart, extended the lead to a game-high 17 points (32-15) with 2:19 left in the half. The Hornets would score the final seven points (four of which came from Konner Veteto) of the half to claw back to a 10-point deficit (32-22) at the break.
The Hornets carried that momentum into the second half and outscored the Aggies, 47-29, in a half that saw Sacramento State shoot 41.2 percent (14-34) from the field, 40.0 percent (6-15) from the three-point line and 81.3 percent (13-16) from the free throw line.
After a dunk from UC Davis’ Ryan Howley gave the Aggies a seven-point lead (48-41), Sacramento State closed the final 8:27 of the contest on a 28-13 run which included four three-pointers, two putbacks and eight made free throws.
Those four three-pointers came during a 10-possession span that saw the Hornets rack up 17 points, including a Jordan Estrada three-pointer that gave Sacramento State its first lead (52-50) since the early stages of the game with 5:42 remaining.
Sacramento State would never trail the rest of the way as a John Dickson three-ball broke a tie score with 3:46 left, and a 25-foot three-pointer with the shot clock winding down from freshman Dylan Garrity proved be the dagger with 1:19 left. The Hornets went 5-for-8 from the free throw line during the final minute to help put the game away.
With the victory, Sacramento State is now 3-1 for the first time since the 2003-04 season, and the program extended its dominance of UC Davis as the Hornets lead the all-time series, 65-44. Should Sacramento State defeat McNeese State at home on Saturday, the Hornets would start 4-1 for the first time since the 1999-00 squad started with the same record.
Sacramento State found a way to win despite shooting just 34.4 percent (21-61) from the field, including a first half that saw the team shoot just 7-of-27. The Hornets didn’t fare much better from the three-point line (.296, 8-of-27), but went 19-of-25 from the charity stripe (.760) and held a healthy 42-30 advantage in the rebounding department. That included 19 offensive rebounds (four each from Joe Eberhard, Walter Jackson and Konner Veteto) that led to 24 second-chance points. Sacramento State outrebounded the Aggies, 27-13, in the second half.
The Hornets also turned the ball over just nine times, and converted 14 UC Davis turnovers into 15 points. The Aggies finished the game shooting 42.9 percent (21-49) from the field, but just 38.5 percent (10-26) in the second half.
“UC Davis was the more aggressive and tough minded team in the first half,” Sacramento State fourth-year head coach Brian Katz said. “We talked about that at halftime, made some corrections, and our guys came out the aggressors in the second half. They sustained that energy throughout the (second) half and really hit the glass hard in the rebounding department as well.”
For Sacramento State, Eberhard finished with a team-high 16 points to go along with eight rebounds in 39 minutes. He has now tallied at least 11 points and seven rebounds in every game this season. Veteto, a 6-8, 265-pound center, used his muscle down low to finish with 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Senior Walter Jackson added 14 points and six rebounds after having just one point and no rebounds at halftime.
It was Jackson’s play that really sparked the Hornets in the second half as the high flyer seemed to be skying all over the lane, accounting for 13 of the Hornets’ final 39 points. All 13 of those points came on dunks (two), tip-ins (two, one of which resulted in a three-point play) and lay-ups (two).
Estrada added eight points, five rebounds and a game-high three steals, and Garrity added seven points, four rebounds and a game-high six assists with just two turnovers. The true freshman, who is sixth in the nation in assists, now has 31 assists compared to just six turnovers all season.
For UC Davis, Tyler Les scored a team-best 16 points (including four three-pointers) while Harrison DuPont added 15 points and five assists, and Josh Ritchart had 10 points and six rebounds. The Aggies were held to 2-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc in the second half, after going 4-for-8 in the first half.
Sacramento State was playing the second game of a stretch that will see the team play five of six games on the road. The lone home game during that stretch will come this Saturday when the team hosts McNeese State at 7:05 p.m.