Hawaii has always had trouble slowing down UC Davis men’s basketball standout Corey Hawkins. The junior — who set a school record with 40 points against the Rainbow Warriors last season — scored 21 more points on Thursday against UH at The Pavilion.
However, Hawkins and his Aggie teammates had similar problems stopping Christian Standhardinger and the Warriors, as the visitors posted a 90-73 victory in front of 2,321 local fans.
UCD (6-14, 1-4 Big West Conference) cut a 20-point second-half deficit to single digits, but Hawaii (13-5, 2-2) held on behind Standhardinger’s 22 points and 10 rebounds.
In addition to Hawkins, Iggy Nujic had a season-high 17 points for the Aggies while Georgi Funtarov and Ryan Sypkens each scored 10.
Sypkens, the most successful 3-point shooter in program history and current holder of three school records — most treys made in a career, season and single game — continued his ascent up the Big West’s career chart by finishing with two makes from behind the arc.
The senior guard entered Thursday’s game tied for fourth all-time, alongside Utah State’s Tony Brown and UNLV’s Anderson Hunt, and left The Pavilion as the No. 3 sharpshooter in the league’s 45-year history.
UCD started strong, getting a 3-pointer from Funtarov and buckets from Nujic and Sypkens to forge a 15-8 lead. However, the Rainbow Warriors went on a run of their own as Brendan Spearman’s layup put the Rainbow Warriors ahead, 26-25, and later, Isaac Fotu’s layup extended the advantage to 36-26.
A pair of free throws from Standhardinger with 13:01 to go in the second half gave UH a 65-45 lead, but Hawkins responded with a 3-pointer, starting a 17-6 Aggie run that was capped by Nujic’s three-point play. That brought UCD to within 71-62 with 6:26 left.
But, ahead 73-64 shortly after, the Warriors pulled away by scoring seven straight points and 10 of the next 12 to push the cushion to 83-66.
With Nujic leading the way, a season-high 38 of the Aggie points were earned by its reserves.
Both teams shot the ball well as Hawaii shot 58.2 percent from the floor while UCD made 10 treys and shot 50.9 percent overall.
Fotu contributed 20 points for the Rainbow Warriors and Garrett Nevels had 16, Spearman added 15 and Keith Shamburger tallied 14. UH also hit 19-of-23 (82.6 percent) from the line. The Aggies shot 9-of-13 from the stripe.
Funtarov had a team-high six rebounds while Hawkins finished with four 3-pointers. Funtarov and Nujic each hit two from long distance, matching Sypkens.
Notes: UCD will return to action next Thursday with a road game at Cal Poly, a 58-56 winner at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday to improve to 4-1 in league. The Big West matchup tips at 7 p.m. … In other conference games, UC Irvine stayed unbeaten (4-0) with a 72-56 win over Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara (3-1) went on the road to top UC Riverside, 68-65.