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Big West Round Up: UC Davis Shocked, Long Beach State Blown Out, Ndiaye Returns

It was an action filled night in the Big West with leader UC Davis upset, Long Beach State blown out on the road against Hawaii and the long awaited return of UC Irvine's 7-6 Mamadou Ndiaye.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Bryson, Williams lead UC Santa Barbara to upset win over UC Davis

Michael Bryson scored a game high 20 points and Alan Williams had 15 points and 16 rebounds to lead the way for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos as they upset Big West Conference leaders, the UC Davis Aggies, 74-60. John Green also scored 15 points on 7 of 14 shooting for the Gauchos (15-12, 8-5).

Alan Williams, who moved into 5th place on UCSB's all-time scoring list, had his third-straight double-double since returning from a shoulder injury. Williams did a great job for the Gauchos on Thursday night on both sides of the ball. He had a game-high four blocks to lead the way on the defensive end and a game-high seven offensive rebounds.

Corey Hawkins led the way with 18 points for the Aggies. UC Davis (21-5, 11-2) was within four points with 9:55 remaining, but following a no-call foul on a layup by Josh Fox, UC Davis head coach Jim Les was assessed a technical. Zalmicho Harmon nailed both free throws and Williams hit a baby hook to extend the lead to eight for the Gauchos.

UC Davis didn't get within six points for the rest of the game.

Final score: UC Santa Barbara 74, UC Davis 60

Remaining Schedules:

UCSB: 2/28 vs. UC Irvine, 3/4  at Hawaii, 3/7 vs. Cal Poly
UC Davis: 2/28  at Cal Poly, 3/5 vs. UC Riverside, 3/7 vs. UC Irvine


UC Irvine wins third straight; Ndiaye returns and Davis soars

As the Big West Tournament looms, the UC Irvine Anteaters appear to be the strongest team from top to bottom in the conference, at least after their dominant road win over the Cal Poly Mustangs (13-13, 6-8).

The highly anticipated return of Mamadou Ndiaye, the 7-6 center from Senegal, was not even the main story as he finished the first half with just two points. Senior forward Will Davis II stole the show as he made his first eight shots on his way to a season-high 24 points, and added nine rebounds Thursday night.

Behind Davis, the Anteaters (17-10, 10-3) have won their 10th conference game of the season and third straight.

The UC Davis Aggies lead the conference with an 11-2 record, but they have trailed for a majority of their last five games, including the loss to UCSB on Thursday night. UC Davis is now not as comfortable atop the Big West as they once were as the win by the Anteaters cuts the Aggies' conference lead to just one game.

It looks like the Big West title could be determined during the final regular season matchup between the top two teams.

Final Score: UC Irvine 63, Cal Poly 56

Remaining Schedules:

UCI: 2/28 at UCSB, 3/5 vs. Cal State Fullerton, 3/7 at UC Davis
Cal Poly: 2/28 vs. UC Davis, 3/7 at UCSB

Cal State Northridge bursts Cal State Fullerton's bubble with home victory

Winning their first Big West Conference game since January 17, the CS-Northridge Matadors fended off a feisty Cal State Fullerton team Thursday night. Even with a healthy Alex Harris, who led the Titans in scoring with 18 points, the Matadors still found a way to hold on. Harris, who missed the last three games with a thigh injury, sparked some early energy for the Titans, but it wasn't enough down the stretch.

Northridge (8-22, 3-11) was led by the duo of senior guard Stephan Hicks and senior forward Stephen Maxwell, who combined for half of the Matadors offensive production, scoring 46 of their 82 points. Maxwell earned his 12th double-double of the season, leading all scorers with 24 points.

The Matadors now find themselves in control of their own destiny heading into the Big West Tournament. The Cal State Fullerton Titans (9-19, 1-12) will now have to win all of their remaining three games and get help from the two teams left on the Cal State Northridge schedule to get into postseason play.

Final Score: Northridge 82, Fullerton 72

Remaining schedules:

CS Fullerton: 2/28 at Long Beach State, 3/5 at UC Irvine, 3/7 vs. Hawaii
CS Northridge: 2/28 UC Riverside, 3/5 at Long Beach State

Hawaii rolls Long Beach State, sending 49ers to 5th straight loss

Not even a trip to Hawaii could solve the problems of the Long Beach State 49ers, as they lost for the fifth time in a row, this time against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Thursday night.

It was another slow start offensively for the 49ers (13-16, 7-6), who look absolutely lifeless at this point. The team's confidence appears to be nonexistent and LBSU still has yet to break 60 points during the losing streak.

Missouri-transfer Negus Webster-Chan took advantage, draining five first-half threes for the Rainbow Warriors (19-11, 7-7), who took a 39-29 advantage into the break.

In the second half, the 49ers were able to get within three points but the Bows, who were in the bonus for the majority of the half, were able to salt away the game at the charity stripe. Webster-Chan finished with a game-high 20 points and Roderick Bobbitt added 15 in the win.

Hawaii is idle Saturday, but will host UCSB on Wednesday in its home finale before closing out the regular season at Cal State Fullerton.

The 49ers find themselves in 4th place in the Big West with three games remaining. They return home Saturday to take on Cal State Fullerton. Perhaps the 49ers will put this losing streak to bed against a Titans squad that sits at a dismal 1-12 in conference play.

Final Score: Hawaii 78 , Long Beach State 59

Remaining Schedules:

Hawaii: 3/4 vs. UCSB, 3/7 at CS Fullerton
LBSU: 2/28 vs. CSUF, 3/5 vs. CS Northridge, 3/7 at UC Riverside