Joe Mooney
Wayne Tilcock/AggiePhoto.com
62
UC Davis UCD 2-7
71
Northern Ill. NIU 5-3
Score By Periods
Team 1 2 F
UC Davis UCD 34 28 62
Northern Ill. NIU 35 36 71

Game Recap: Men's Basketball |

Mooney returns home, scores a career-high 16 points at NIU

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DeKALB, Ill. – Senior communication major TJ Shorts II scored a game-high 18 points on 46 percent shooting from the floor, junior economics major and Wauconda, Illinois native Joe Mooney returned home and finished with career-high 16 points, and senior communication major Siler Schneider collected a career-high seven rebounds in Wednesday's non-conference game at the Convocation Center in DeKalb, Ill.
 
The first meeting between UC Davis and Northern Illinois was a competitive one that featured 13 lead changes and 5 ties until the Huskies scored nine of 12 points throughout a 4:21 timespan in the second half, and turned a three-point Aggie deficit into a double-digit one in a game they won by a 71-62 score.
 
With finals week approaching, UC Davis will not return to action until William Jessup visits the Pavilion on Dec. 16, and will enter that game with a 2-7 record. Northern Illinois improved to 5-3 with its result.
 
In addition to a season-high 11 threes, the Aggies set another season high by recording 17 assists (for the second game in a row) out of their 22 baskets.
 
The combination of Mooney and freshman Damion Squire helped UC Davis outscore NIU's reserves by a 28-21 margin; Squire was responsible for a season-high nine of those points by connecting on 3 of 4 shots from three.
 
"It was nice to see the way Damion played," said associate head coach Kevin Nosek. "A player's freshman year is full of ups and downs; we played him off the ball tonight and he responded well by knocking down some shots tonight and with the way he played defense tonight,"
 
Of UC Davis' 13 first half baskets, seven were taken from behind the arc, led by Mooney and Squire who shot 3-for-5 and 2-for-2 respectively from distance. The team's ball movement and patience also led to assists on 11 of 13 field goals.
 
"We did some really nice things in the first half by taking quality shots and finding our rhythm," added Nosek.
 
Even though the Huskies turned its 35-34 halftime lead into a 52-44 advantage before the under-12 break, UC Davis trimmed its deficit to three with 7:22 remaining.
 
"We were trading baskets with them … and then they started to pull away at the 12-minute mark," said Nosek regarding NIU's brief scoring run, until the Aggies' shot selection mirrored the way the team played throughout the first half.
 
During that portion of the game, UC Davis used the free throw line as a tool to pull itself within striking distance.
 
Following two made free throws from Shorts II, Mooney and senior communication major Colin Russell each hit 1 of 2 shots at the stripe. Combined with a three-point play from Shorts II, the Aggies cut that original deficit by more than half and trailed 54-51 with seven minutes remaining.
 
It was then when the Huskies responded with the decisive scoring run of the night, which took place throughout the ensuing four-plus minutes.
 
"This team will now enter a time where everyone can focus on themselves, study, take care of finals and focus on being Aggies," said Nosek regarding the team's upcoming 11-day hiatus. "This will give us a chance to practice and not worry about traveling, or playing one game after another, as was the case in November."  
 
 
 
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