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Postgame Interview - Fuller and Shorts II
| Postgame Interview - Coach Les
DAVIS, Calif. –
By scoring 12 of the first 14 points in Thursday's non-conference home game at the Pavilion, a five minute and 35 second block of action that included a 10-0 scoring run, UC Davis held an early double-digit advantage, one that grew to a game-high 18 points in its 73-57 wire-to-wire victory versus Northern Arizona.
With a win in their first home game since Nov. 9 — the Aggies played a season-long five straight games on the road before facing the Lumberjacks — UC Davis improved its record 2-6. NAU will continue its Northern California road trip with a 2-3 mark.
"Indiana, despite the result, was a positive step for us, as was tonight. But sandwiched between those two games were three really good practices. I'm old school in the fact that this team's success will start on the practice floor. The intensity, communication and execution was ramped up. We didn't become comfortable thinking we played a really good Indiana team, on the road, in a tough place to play," said UC Davis head coach Jim Les
"This team deserved tonight's result with the way they prepared all week long."
Senior communication major TJ Shorts II
led all players with a season-high 21 points, on 8 of 13 shooting from the floor, hit half of his eight shots from distance and earned seven of the Aggies' 17 assists. He and senior economics major Garrison Goode
collected a team-high six rebounds.
Of Goode's rebounds, two were earned on the offensive glass in the final minutes of the first half. By out-hustling his defender both occasions, the senior forward gave his team two extra possessions, which ultimately led to a layup from junior communication major Matt Neufeld
Combined with a last-second layup from Shorts II, the Aggies were able to enter halftime with a double-digit lead once again at 39-28, and extended that margin as the second half progressed.
Freshman guard Caleb Fuller
enjoyed his best game of the season, and started the night on fire by canning all three of his attempts from three and each of his first five shots to finish with a career-high 13 points. His five rebounds were one shy of another career high.
"My teammates trust me, my coach trusts me, and as soon as a few of those shots started dropping, I felt this was going to be a good night," said Fuller.
Senior communication major Siler Schneider
was the last of his team's double-digit scorers as he shot 6-for-11 to finish with 12 points.
"Everyone knows we led at Indiana (the Aggies' previous game) for 31 minutes and let that slip away, but after a solid week of practices, this team looked at the positive things that happened there and implemented them in tonight's game," said Shorts II.
NAU experienced firsthand why the Aggies are known for their defense since it committed 19 turnovers, which led to 24 UC Davis points. By comparison, the Lumberjacks only scored six of their points off UC Davis' season-low 10 turnovers.
In addition to sinking a season-high 10 shots from three for the second straight game, the Aggies were brutally efficient inside the arc all night long by connecting on 19 of 29 attempts, for a two-point shooting percentage of .655.
"I think tonight is a good start. I saw some positive things tonight, with our ball movement, the way we shot the ball and held NAU to 57 points. This team is starting to scratch the surface regarding its potential, and I think the ceiling is high," added Les.
Following their Dec. 5 game at Northern Illinois, the Aggies will begin their 11-day Finals Week hiatus before returning to the Pavilion for the team's next home game on Dec. 16.
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.
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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.