UC Davis sophomore guard Corey Hawkins made trey after trey in the first half and free throw after free throw down the stretch of Saturday night’s 93-82 win at Hawaii.
Mix in a few of his patented athletic drives to the basket and it all added up to a 40-point night, the highest scoring single game in program history.
Hawkins’ performance — which helped him earn the College Sports Madness National Mid-Major Player of the Week award and the Big West Men’s Basketball weekly honors on Monday — broke the Aggie scoring mark that was set in 1979 when Mike Lien tallied 39 points in a home game against Cal State Stanislaus.
For UCD head coach Jim Les, the incredible outing was most notable for its efficiency as the Hawkins made 10-of-14 shots from the floor, including 8-of-9 from 3-point range, and made all 12 of his foul shots.
“How often do you see someone score 40 points off 14 shots? He was unbelievably efficient,” Les said after Saturday’s game. “We want the ball in his hands, especially late in the game; there is nothing more discouraging to an opposing team that is trying to catch up than someone who makes his free throws.”
The Rainbow Warriors, who entered the game without a Big West loss, had to catch up because the red-hot Aggies converted 14-of-21 treys (67 percent) in the opening half to take a 54-37 advantage at intermission. Hawkins made 7-of-8 long balls to lead the charge.
With the Saturday victory in paradise and Thursday’s 74-71 win at Northridge, UCD (7-10) improved to 3-3 in Big West play.
In the two games, Hawkins averaged 28.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals. After making 18-of-19 free throws last week, the 6-3 guard now leads the conference and is seventh in the nation with his .916 percentage from the charity stripe.
“This was a fun night for me and my teammates playing in front of a hostile crowd. All we tried to do was focus on what we needed to accomplish to win the game,” Hawkins said Saturday. “We made the extra passes when we needed to and had wide-open looks throughout the game.”
Many of those passes came from Paolo Mancasola, who followed up a career-high 18-point night against Northridge by setting another career best with 11 assists at Hawaii (10-8, 4-3).
“I thought Paolo (Mancasola) really bothered Hawaii when they were on defense and made things really difficult for their big men,” Les said.
While Hawkins did a good portion of the damage, the Aggies also got 14 points and nine rebounds from J.T. Adenrele and good 3-point shooting from Ryan Sypkens (3-7), Tyler Les (2-4) and Josh Ritchart (2-4).
Hawkins’ eight treys tied a record that is shared by Sypkens — who did it earlier this season — and Les.