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In addition to facing four Power Five teams throughout non-conference play, UC Davis will head to the Golden 1 Center on Nov. 20 for this year's Causeway game. Purchase season tickets today to receive free tickets for this rivalry matchup!
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –
Senior communication major TJ Shorts II
led all Aggies with 14 points and eight rebounds in Monday's Hardwood Classic opener at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., junior economics major Joe Mooney
scored double figures for the second straight game by finishing with 10 points, and UC Davis out-rebounded Arkansas 36-31 overall, and stayed within striking distance of the Razorbacks until a late 11-1 run in the second half helped the home squad pull away from the Aggies and record an 81-58 victory.
"I told the guys in the locker room afterwards that I appreciated their fight. There were a couple instances where we could have folded, but we continued to battle and kept making runs," said head coach Jim Les
UC Davis will head to Arlington, Texas, for two games in as many days: Saturday's neutral-site game versus Texas A&M Corpus Christi and a road game at UT Arlington less than 24 hours later, and will enter this busy block of action with a 0-3 record.
Arkansas will continue its season with a 1-1 record.
Even though UA opened the game by scoring 11 straight, a 9-0 UC Davis run, which spanned 2:06 of game time, turned what was once a 14-point Arkansas advantage into a two-possession game with 3:06 left until halftime.
Sandwiched between Shorts II's layup and back-to-back free throws, during that scoring outburst, was a jumper in the paint from junior communication major Matt Neufeld
. Once senior communication major Siler Schneider
canned one from deep behind the arc on the following possession, the crowd of 13,444 fell silent, with the exception of a group of Aggie fans who made the trek to Arkansas to show their support.
After a brief Razorback run early in the second half, which pushed their lead back to double digits, free throws from Shorts II and Neufeld, combined with a three from junior communication major Stefan Gonzalez
brought the Aggies' deficit back down to seven — their original halftime margin.
Aided by a total of 41 free throw attempts — 27 were earned throughout the second half — Arkansas' 11-1 run helped it pull away from UC Davis for good.
By comparison the Aggies earned 18 trips to the line for the entire night, but they made the most of those opportunities by connecting 15 times (.833).
Winning the rebound battle helped UC Davis more than double the Razorbacks' second chance points (11-5); led by Gonzalez and Neufeld, who finished with nine points, six rebounds and six points, six rebounds respectively, the Aggies' bench also outscored their counterparts, 17-12.
Led by Mason Jones with 21 points and Adrio Bailey with 20, four Arkansas players scored 10 or more points throughout their home opener.
"There are too many good people in that locker room … this will motivate us, bring us closer together and work on the things that made Aggie basketball successful: playing hard, playing together, not beating ourselves and working hard on defense all game long," added Les, regarding his team's start, albeit against a tough non-conference slate.
"I love the character in that room, we are going to fight our way through this."
Established during the 2017-18 academic year, the Aggie EVO System is UC Davis Athletics' investment in the primary mission of preparing student-athletes for a successful "launch" after graduation.
Thanks to a collaboration of alumni, university resources, corporate partners, coaches and Student-Athlete Outcomes staff, all Aggies are guided over four years to acquire the skills, knowledge, opportunities and tools to better know and navigate the "World of Work" after graduating from UC Davis.
Follow the Aggie EVO system on Twitter and Instagram at @AggieEVO.
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ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley.
The No. 5-ranked public university in the nation, according to the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.