Game #9-138: California-Davis at Sacramento State HornetsNovember 20, 2012 10:35 pm
College basketball has plenty of classic rivalries based on proximity like the Battle of the Boulevard. Sac State and UC Davis are separated by the Yolo Causeway, which serves mostly as a floodplain.
Sac State started as Sacramento State College in 1947 to help soldiers utilizing the GI Bill. In 1955, the Hornet Nest was constructed. UC Davis started as the University Farm, the agricultural extension of UC Berkeley, better known in the sports world as Cal. To honor their heritage, their moniker is the Aggie and the mascot, a Gunrock
, a tribute to a US Army donation that helped develop cavalry horses. Sadly, most of you reading might be more familiar with Davis due to a protest of tuition increases
or the meme
In basketball, this local rivalry happened on the court until 1998, including during the brief existence of the American West Conference
. Once UC Davis came up to D-I in 2004, the two schools renewed their rivalry. Since then and like many other rivalries, competitions in all sports now contribute to the school with the most overall points earning a trophy. Coming into this game, Davis lead Sac State 35-7.5. Depending on how the game went, Davis could clinch their fifth year with the cup before the end of the year.
Figuring this game would be packed, I took in a double header as the Sac State Women's team took on Utah Valley
. It was truly an uptempo game as both teams had 84 possessions. Senior Kylie Kuhns broke the school record for rebounds, getting 12 for a total of 934 career rebounds.
CALIFORNIA-DAVIS 87, at SACRAMENTO STATE 76
However, both teams were not accurate; Sac State hit 28-88 from the floor and the Utah Valley Wolverines hit 22-63. A tradition of the home crowd is to stand until the first home point(s). After four possessions and seven missed shots, the Hornet fans were able to sit, ending a 6-0 Wolverine run. Patience as always is a strong virtue to possess especially after witnessing a 4 minute drought in which both teams settled for jumpers and superhoops because two attempted layups were blocked.
Though made baskets seemed a rarity, credit the Sac State defense; their physical defense forced 14 steals and 23 TOs. Closing out possessions with 10 blocks and 30 defensive rebounds didn't hurt either. In the second half, the Hornet superhoops started to fall for Allie Moreno.
It's been a while since I saw a women's game but it won't be the last.
During the changeover, I realized the Hornet's Nest is such a small place that both teams had to fight the traffic of the Causeway Classic fans on their way out of the building. One sign the nightcap was more anticipated was the setup of metal benches along the far baseline.
The men's Davis-Sac State game started off similarly to the lead-in, as the scores at the media timeouts went from football (6-3) to baseball (10-8) back to a football halftime score of 33-24.
Regardless of the action or the score, the cheer team and entertainment were welcomed with lukewarm reactions and the crowd seemed to be more reactionary than proactive. Especially for a rivalry game I would have expected some enthusiasm encouraging either the visitors or the defense of the home court.
At the half both teams led me to believe shots had to fall eventually. Davis, similar to the last time I saw them
, did not disappoint. When the Aggies quickly cut the lead to one by scoring off Hornet missed layups, I hoped the momentum could continue. The Hornets helped their case by making only one field goal in the opening five minutes of the second half. They were trying but their jumpers and layups would not fall.
Davis' uptempo physical style gave me concern as they drew their fourth foul coming out of the under 16 Media Timeout. Then, for the second time tonight, a team became hot from behind the arc. The barrage started with Taylor Les, the coach's son. Sandwiched between missed jumpers by Jordan Sally of Sac State, Les and the Aggies figured to play to their strengths. Not every superhoop attempt fell, but their Aggie tenacity to grab the offensive rebounds kept the dreams of their first win alive. Sometimes their efforts produced points but others drew fouls. Most importantly, the extended possessions prevented Sac State from scoring. After forcing a turnover, the coach's son and Corey Hawkins fueled the rest of a 16-1 run with a superhoop-layup-corner superhoop combination.
Both coaches are known hotheads. Coach Les, even though his team was up ten with just under 11 minutes left, still let known his frustrations over potentially missed calls. A secondary game was which coach would earn a technical first. With 10:24 to go, Hornet John Dickson stole the ball from the coach's son. After J.T. Adenrele was called for a reach-in foul, Coach Les broke first and literally made his mark on the game.
Coach Les made sure he earned his technical foul by taking it out on the Pepsi sign.
After the game I got a better angle.
Normally, technical fouls on coaches can help or hurt the team. The confluence of fouls also put Sac State into the bonus for the rest of regulation. The thought of an uptempo game returning to a slogging clunky game made me shudder. Sac State hit their free throws to cut the lead to six.
A byproduct of the uptempo style is the fast movement can result in one player being uncovered. For Davis, Corey Hawkins was that open player. Even after he scored six first half points, he kept getting open. If he didn't drive in for layups, he would pass it to the coach's son or Ryan Sypkens who would hit a superhoop.
The middle part felt like everyone was the passenger of a driving school car. Davis would run out after getting missed Hornet attempts followed by a period of free throws by both sides. The last 5:30 were destined to be slow moving since both teams were in bonus, Sac State the double. The Hornet faithful finally got loud after Paolo Macasola stepped on the sideline and the score was 69-63.
The Aggies hit seven superhoops but could have been credited with an eighth. With 2:25 remaining and Davis up 6, Corey Hawkins had a man on, but feeling hot decided to take a shot as he attempted to draw contact. He did not get the call but as he fell the ball for some reason fell in. The normally upbeat Sac State students figured the chance at a comeback was diminished as Davis kept hitting shots. When a team gets 63 second-half points, 21 from superhoops, it's hard to lose that game.
Hopefully both schools now can view this a more of a rivalry on the hardwood and football field.
CALIFORNIA-DAVIS 1-2 (0-0) -- C. Hawkins 9-15 9-9 29; R. Howley 3-5 1-1 7; P. Mancasola 3-8 2-2 8; R. Sypkens 5-9 0-0 15; J. Adenrele 9-16 1-1 19; T. Les 3-6 0-0 9; J. Ritchart 0-1 0-0 0; D. Graham 0-2 0-0 0; S. Clayton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-62 13-13 87.
SACRAMENTO STATE 3-1 (0-0) -- D. Garrity 6-10 8-8 22; J. Dickson 6-16 5-6 18; J. Eberhard 1-6 1-3 3; M. McKinney 4-13 3-4 13; K. Veteto 3-5 0-0 6; J. Carbajal 1-9 1-2 4; J. Quigley 2-5 2-2 7; J. Demalleville 0-0 0-0 0; C. Demps 1-1 0-0 3; J. Salley 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-67 20-25 76.
Three-point goals: UCD 10-24 (R. Howley 0-2; R. Sypkens 5-8; P. Mancasola 0-2; T. Les 3-6; J. Ritchart 0-1; C. Hawkins 2-4; D. Graham 0-1), SAC 8-24 (J. Eberhard 0-2; J. Dickson 1-5; J. Carbajal 1-6; D. Garrity 2-6; C. Demps 1-1; M. McKinney 2-3; J. Quigley 1-1); Rebounds: UCD 40 (R. Howley 15), SAC 29 (M. McKinney 7); Assists: UCD 20 (P. Mancasola 6), SAC 13 (D. Garrity 6); Total Fouls -- UCD 20, SAC 15; Fouled Out: UCD-None; SAC-None.