FACTS & STATS: Site: The Pavilion (8,000) -- Davis, California. Television: None. Home Record: CSF 5-3, UCD 2-4. Away Record: CSF 3-5, UCD 3-6. Neutral Record: CSF 2-0, UCD 2-0. Conference Record: CSF 3-3, UCD 3-3. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 11-7.
GAME NOTES: This will be the 19th installment of this rivalry between these Golden State schools. UC Davis holds a 11-7 all-time series lead after its 78-75 win at home on Feb. 25, 2012.
Hawkins was named the Big West Player of the Week after pouring in a school- record 40 points to push the Aggies to a 93-82 decision over Hawaii on Saturday. The sophomore guard also tied the UC Davis school-record with eight makes from 3-point range as the Aggies tied the program record with 16 makes from long distance, overall. J.T. Adenrele scored 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds while guard Paolo Mancasola had a career-high 11 assists. Hawkins broke the 34-year old record of 39 points previously held by Mike Lien. The victory was the third in four games for UC Davis, which enters this one with a 7-10 overall record and 3-3 standing in the Big West.
Despite the offensive outburst versus Hawaii, UC Davis is still just the fourth highest scoring team in the conference at 72.0 ppg. It is giving up 73.4 ppg to its opposition despite Hawkins's conference best average of 19.2 ppg. Junior guard Ryan Sypkens (13.9 ppg) and Adenrele (11.5 ppg, 23 blocks) are also in double figures. Senior guard Ryan Howley leads the team with 8.2 rebounds per game while averaging 5.6 points per tilt.
Fullerton enters on a two-game slide after it dropped an 81-71 decision to Long Beach State on Saturday. The loss pinned the Titans to a 10-8 overall record and a .500 mark in conference action. Sammy Yeager paced the squad with 22 points and seven rebounds, D.J. Seeley contributed 17 points and nine boards, while Deuce Johnson netted 10 points. LBSU held a sizeable, 51-31 edge in the rebounding battle and outscored the Titans, 21-12, at the charity stripe in the contest.
Although they just lost to the 49ers, the Titans lead the Big West and rank fourth in the nation with 82.2 points per game on 48.9 percent shooting from the field. Defensively, Fullerton has struggled though, as it gives up 75.6 ppg. The up-tempo philosophy has helped Seeley (18.2) and Kwame Vaughn (17.9) rank second and third, respectively, on the Big West's scoring leaderboard. Both are also dishing out four assists per tilt while Yeager adds 15.4 ppg to the mix. Vaughn, who had scored in double figures in every game this season, had his 21-game double-digit scoring streak snapped versus LBSU. Yeager, the Big West's fourth-best three-point shooter in terms of percentage, in also one of the nation's best as his .462 mark from 3-point range also has him ranked No. 11 in the nation entering this week.
While neither side holds a definite advantage in terms of talent, both have plenty of offensive firepower. This game should deliver tons of scoring and very little defensive tenacity until the late stages. The team with the hotter hand will come out on top.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Davis 83, Cal State Fullerton 78