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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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UCD men catch fire to beat Argos

By
December 4, 2010 |

Enterprise correspondent

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In the opening moments of the UC Davis men\’s basketball team\’s 80-53 win over Notre Dame de Namur, Mike Kurtz found himself wide open at the top of the 3-point arc. The Aggies\’ seven-foot center drained that trey, and there were many more to come.

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Coming off of a competitive 74-62 loss at California on Wednesday, UCD (4-4) came home and buried the Division II Argonauts (0-5) under a school-record barrage of 3-pointers, 15 in all.

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“Threes are always a big part of our game,” Aggie junior Eddie Miller explained. “They backed off us and (the 3-pointers) were dropping.”

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Miller contributed 15 points, while shooting 3-of-6 from behind the arc. UCD\’s Joe Harden and Tyler Les added 12 points each, with Les connecting on 4-of-5 from long range, and Ryan Sypkens drained three treys of his own to go along with five assists.

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Arron Mollet lead the NDDN in scoring with 14 and Tyler Fricke added nine. Jeff Ford, the Argos leading scorer on the season at 20 points per game was held to three points by a swarming Aggie defense, but had five assists.

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After Kurtz scored the opening points, UCD knocked down their next five 3-point attempts to take an 18-4 lead.

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Then Ryan Silva hooked up with Josh Ritchart on an alley-oop, and Mark Payne finished on an over-the-back lay-up to push the Aggie lead to 22-5.

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On the other end of the court, a stingy UCD defense kept the NDDN from cracking double digits until 10:40 remained in the first half.

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A 3-pointer by Sypkens and an offensive putback by Kurtz stretched the lead 32-14 then,

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after threes by Silva and Les, the Aggies went to halftime up 46-20.

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But when the Argonauts flashed signs of life early in the second period, cutting the UCD advantage down to 15 at 50-35 with 15:13 left in the game, the Aggies needed a timeout to refocus.

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“We knew that they were going to compete,” UCD head coach Gary Stewart said. “We felt like we were struggling with rotations, and more specifically, on ball defense for those five minutes.”

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After an earful from Stewart, the Aggies came out of the timeout with a bang.

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Miller scooped up a loose ball and sprinted untouched to the rim, finishing with an emphatic two-handed slam that energized the crowd and ignited a 20-2 run. Harden got to the line, Miller nailed a baseline jumper and Les, Ritchart, and Sypkens all knocked down treys. At the end of the scoring streak, UCD was up 70-39, its largest lead of the night.

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Later, after the teams traded baskets, Ryan Howley intercepted a pass at midcourt and took it to the hoop for a spirited slam. Then, fittingly, Silva hit one last wide-open 3-pointers to put an

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exclamation mark on the game.

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The Aggies, who are off until next Monday when they head south to face UCLA, are now 22-2 all-time against the Argonauts.

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— Reach Will Bellamy at wbellamy@davisenterprise.net

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