Men’s basketball falls to UC Davis and Pacific for final home games

Daming Ye/HIGHLANDER
Daming Ye/HIGHLANDER

Feb. 28, 2013
Aggies 59 – Highlanders 52

The UC Davis Aggies pulled out a 59-52 victory over the UCR men’s basketball team.

UCR’s only lead of the night came with 14:34 to go in the first half when a layup by Taylor Johns put the Highlanders up 9-8. However, the Aggies would proceed to dismantle UCR’s defense for the rest of the period. An 8-0 Aggie run that followed Johns’ layup, put UC Davis up 16-9 with 11:55 to go in the first.

Davin Guinn and Austin Quick stopped the bleeding to bring the Highlanders back within three, but the Aggies would not take their foot off the gas. UC Davis opened up a 19-4 run to end the first period, giving them a commanding 37-22 lead at the buzzer.

The SRC crowd was kept quiet coming out of the break as Paolo Mancasola hit a 3-pointer that extended the Davis lead to 40-22.

Resilience showed in the UCR team though, as they were able to shut down the Aggie scoring attack for most of the second half. Slowly but surely, Riverside fought an uphill battle, chipping away at the UC Davis lead until it was down to as little as 47-53 with 1:42 remaining.

As expected, a comeback was not in the books and the Aggies escaped with the win, as the Highlanders just can’t seem to finish the job.

Head Coach Jim Wooldridge spoke about the team’s performance, “We couldn’t sustain the effort for 40 minutes.”

Coach Wooldridge’s quote is a tell-all microcosm of how a 6-22 season has unfolded for the UCR men’s basketball team. With the loss against UC Davis, the Highlanders have now dropped nine of their last 10 games—many of which they either led at halftime or fell behind early but rallied late to only fall just short.

March 2, 2013
Tigers 70 – Highlanders 68

The men’s basketball team lost their last home game of the season as the Pacific Tigers outlasted the Highlanders 70-68 in what was a contentious Homecoming matchup.

The Tigers found themselves in control for much of the first half, using a 12-0 run en route to opening up a 33-18 lead with 8:10 to go in the period. UCR would rally and answer the run by scoring 18 of the last 24 points, cutting the Pacific lead to 40-43 when the buzzer sounded.

Senior guard Robert Smith, playing his final home game as a Highlander, sent the home crowd into a frenzy with his 55-foot buzzer-beating half-court heave to end the first half. He was honored before the game for his two years of stellar play for UCR.

In a back and forth game throughout most of the second half, the Tigers held a 69-66 lead with 1:48 to go. After the Highlanders failed to score on their ensuing possession, they were forced to foul Sama Taku and hope for him to miss both of his free throws. Miraculously, Taku did just that and gave the Highlanders another chance to send the student section to the Heat festival in a good mood. Chris Patton hit a layup to cut the Pacific lead to 69-68 with 12 seconds to go.

UCR committed another intentional foul, and the Tigers were only able to capitalize on one free throw, giving the Highlanders another golden opportunity that they could not capitalize on. Highlander Smith attempted another buzzer-beating 3-pointer as time expired, but this one would would be short, continuing the Highlanders’ season of misfortune.

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