RIVERSIDE — After cruising to a 15-point lead in the first half, the UC Davis men’s basketball team held on for dear life after the break for a 59-52 victory at UC Riverside.
A 16-6 first-half scoring run midway through the opening period helped the Aggies (13-14, 8-7) build a double-digit lead, one the team would posses until the final moments of the Big West Conference contest.
Ryan Sypkens led all scorers with 16 points and was one of three UCD players in double digits against the Highlanders (6-22, 3-12). The junior guard was 5-for-17 from the floor and 4-for-13 from 3-point range. Tyler Les added a pair of treys among his 10 points.
Also working well down low, the Aggies saw J.T. Adenrele record his fourth career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The sophomore influenced the game on both sides of the floor by blocking a game-high four shots to tie a career high and posting a career-best four assists.
Guard Paolo Mancasola grabbed seven rebounds, the most of in his Aggie career.
UC Riverside led the game twice for a collective 46 seconds early in the first half, which was all that prevented UCD from earning its third wire-to-wire win of the season.
After trailing 8-7 at the 14:34 mark of the first period, the Aggies scored eight unanswered points to take a seven-point lead, and a Highlander timeout did nothing to stop UCD’s momentum.
The locals play their final road game of the regular season on Saturday (6:05 p.m.) at Cal State Fullerton.