The UC Davis men’s basketball team has developed into a wild card in the Big West Conference landscape, capable of playing at a high level on any given night.
Now comes word that ESPN2 has taken notice and has chosen the Aggies’ home matchup against Long Beach State on Thursday, March 7, as its “wild card” game at 8 p.m.
“UC Davis is a hidden gem; if we do our part, we can continue to garner additional attention toward this great community, university and our basketball program,” said UCD head coach Jim Les.
It will be the first time a game at The Pavilion has been nationally televised.
“It is every player’s goal, when they come to a Division I program, to compete in a televised game and show the world what UC Davis is all about,” Les added. “I am excited for the students and the players involved in this opportunity.”
Aggies Lauren Wallace and Raquel Lambdin finished first and third, respectively, in the 800-meter run while several other Aggies finished up a busy weekend with strong performances at the UW Open at Dempsey Indoor on Sunday.
The meet was the third day of indoor track and field competition for UCD this weekend following the Husky Classic on Friday and Saturday.
Wallace, the school-record holder in the 800 (2:07.48), won the event on Sunday in 2 minutes, 8.01 seconds, edging Lyndsay Harper of Bowerman AC (2:08.18). Lambdin was third in 2:09.91, a mark that debuts her at No. 2 all-time in the Aggie books.
Other strong UCD efforts came from Melanise Chapman, who finished third in the 200 (24.73); Shanie Landen, who won her 400 and was second overall (56.42) and fifth in school history; Emily Bush who approached her pole vault school record (12 feet, 6.25 inches) and took third overall; along with Veronica Smart (51-03.75) and Danielle Steffen (50-2.75) in the weight throw.
Junior Anna Shumaker posted top-five finishes on both vault and balance beam, while senior Michelle Ho and sophomore Tiana Montell each delivered strong three-event performances in helping the Aggies to a season-high 194.675 at Pauley Pavilion on Sunday. UCD missed its program record by the minimum .025 margin and placed third at the meet, ahead of Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State, but behind No. 4 UCLA and No. 25 Washington.
The Aggie score is behind only the program benchmark of 194.700, set at the 2008 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship meet.
Shumaker scored 9.800 on vault to take part in a sizable tie for fifth place. She also provided the last Aggie routine of the afternoon, tying her own personal record of 9.850 on balance beam. That score put her in a three-way deadlock for third place. Shumaker, the reigning Co-MPSF Gymnast of the Week, compiled an all-around total of 38.625.
Senior Katie Yamamura led UCD in the all-around with a 38.800, while Ho and Montell both hit 3-of-3 routines. Ho scored 9.775s on both floor and bars before finishing with a 9.725 on beam. Montell hit 9.725 efforts on vault and bars, then finished her meet with a 9.675 on beam. Lisa Wiktorski, who returned to the bars lineup with a career-best 9.775 on Feb. 1, struck again with a 9.750 in Sunday’s competition.
Despite losing the doubles point to open their road match on Sunday, the Aggies captured four of six singles encounters to defeat Portland, 4-3, at the Louisiana-Pacific Tennis Center.
The win snaps a five-match slide and improved UCD’s record to 2-5.
The No. 2 duo of Layla Sanders and Nicole Koehly got a doubles win for the Aggies in a losing doubles effort, then each added straight-set victories in singles. In a hard-fought match at the No. 5 court, UCD’s Melissa Kobayakawa fought to earn the requisite break needed to record a 6-4, 6-4 straight-set singles win over Tori Troesch, before Lauren Curry clinched the team victory with a 6-2, 6-2 decision.
Recording victories against their last eight opponents to finish their dual schedule with an 8-2 record has given the Aggies a No. 8 ranking in CollegeSwimming.com’s recent Mid-Major Rankings. Falling .61 of a point shy of overtaking Yale for No. 7, and 1.34 points short of San Jose State’s No. 6 standing, UCD maintained its position from January’s rankings.
The Aggies return to the water at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships beginning Feb. 20 at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park. UCD divers will travel to the U.S. Air Force Academy for their three-day championship event, starting Feb. 21.