clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UC Riverside Dominates UC Davis 78-65

The "Battle for the No. 8 Seed" finished in a fine fashion, as the Highlanders clinched the final spot in the Big West Tournament with a stellar performance by Chris Patton on Senior Night.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

It came as a complete surprise to the Aussie.

In honor of what Chris Patton had provided UC Riverside's basketball team for the last two years, the athletic department gave back.

"Advance Australia Fair," the Australian National Anthem, began to play over the loudspeakers.

From there, it was all Tartan and Highlanders.

UC Riverside jumped out to a solid lead, making six of their first eight field goals to build a solid lead.  However, UC Davis did not go away, as senior Ryan Sypkens and freshman Brynton Lemar kept the Aggies out of UCR's comfort zone.

With 4:44 left to go in the first half, Sypkens tied the Big West All Time 3-point record.  A little over a minute later, Sypkens broke the record.  The record, formerly set by now-Pacific Associate Head Coach Adam Jacobsen, was obliterated with swishes from a good four feet behind the 3-point line.

However, the momentous occasion was quickly overshadowed by UC Riverside's Sam Finley and Patton, who quickly responded with field goals of their own.

The first half ended with UC Davis down 39-29, and a new game plan was drawn up by the Aggies.

The second half started and the Aggies forced their way to the basket.  Their aggressiveness paid off as the Highlanders drew four fouls within the first four minutes.  Corey Hawkins, who was held to five points in the first half, helped the Aggies chip away at the lead.  What also helped for awhile, was the double and triple-team placed on Patton, who had scored 14 points in the first half.

The chipping came to a halt, when UC Riverside's Taylor Johns and Steven Thornton got points from open looks, thanks to the multi-player pressure on Patton.

From then on, despite the Aggies sniping threes in the second half, the Highlanders turned UC Davis' defense into haggis.  Chants of "Whose Side," "R'Side" rang out in a student-packed SRC, to close out the game.

Statistically, while the Aggies were numerically close in terms of shots made, it was the lack of rebounds and shooting fouls that led to UC Riverside's win.  The Highlanders out-rebounded UC Davis 34-26 and made 16-18 from the free-throw line (as opposed to the Aggies 6-9).

Patton finished the game with 20 points and 9 rebounds for the Highlanders.  Sam Finley and Steven Thornton helped out as well with 19 and 14 points, respectively.

For the Aggies, Lemar led the way with 19 points, followed by Hawkins (13 points) and Sypkens (10 points).

The Highlanders have officially clinched the No. 8 seed for the Big West Tournament, regardless of what happens on Saturday against Long Beach State.  The Aggies, with nowhere to go for the post-season will attempt to spoil UC Irvine's No. 1 seed for their final game on Saturday.