Sac State men’s basketball dominates UC Davis in 75-63 victory

Hornets bounce back during return of Causeway Classic


Ayaana Williams

Senior forward Bryce Fowler attempts a wrap-around pass on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2021, at Golden 1 Center against UC Davis. The Hornets handled the Aggies in a dominant 75-63 in the return of the Causeway Classic.

Jordan Latimore

When Sacramento State men’s basketball fifth-year senior forward Bryce Fowler decided to run it back for another season, he knew he only was playing with one ambition — winning basketball games.

“That’s the reason why I came back,” Fowler said. “I’m not coming back just to pad my stats or try to make records. I want to win.”

Behind his team-high 21 points at Golden 1 Center on Tuesday, the Sac State men’s basketball team did just that in a 75-63 victory against UC Davis in the return of the Causeway Classic.

The story for the Hornets (3-2) in the opening minutes against the Aggies (2-2) shows simply how dominant they were on the defensive end. 

Sac State showing aggressive on-ball pressure has been a constant theme this season, but the Hornets’ ability to constantly take away possessions from the Aggies through their seven forced turnovers in the first half allowed them to significantly impose their will.

“I love playing with this team,” said junior center Jonathan Komagum . “Not everyone has to be a scorer. It’s about finding your role and being the best in your role.”

In terms of their half-court offense, Sac State opened the game with a smooth rhythm and flow despite not being able to finish possessions. Though they weren’t extremely efficient, going 41% from the field, the Hornets were able to work their sets well and get great looks.

That was all until the Hornets finally started knocking down shots, which only opened the floodgates for their offense.

Just as it seemed that UC Davis was marginally closing in on Sac State after cutting the lead to three at 18-15, the Hornets went on a 12-0 run that was ignited by assertive slashing to the rim by their bigs and kick-outs to three-point shooters. 

This run was capped off with a near 40-foot three pointer from senior guard William FitzPatrick, which gave the Hornets a 30-15 lead with four minutes and 29 seconds and a 41-23 lead going into the break.

“That’s a glimpse at Sacramento State basketball,” said head coach Brandon Laird. “That’s the way we’re trying to play. We wanted to play with fearlessness, aggression and confidence.”

The Hornets kept their foot on the gas to open the second half, continuing to suck the life out of the Aggies with their swarming defensive presence. Sac State limited UC Davis to scoring just two points through the first four minutes of the second half and forced multiple turnovers.

Though the Hornets carried an extensive lead throughout the majority of the second half, the Aggies did not go away silently.

UC Davis went on a quick offensive burst that cut the lead to 12 with two minutes and 56 seconds left in the half, but it did not matter as the Hornets walked away with a seismic victory over the Aggies.

The Hornets’ next game will be on the road at McKale Memorial Center Nov. 27, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. against No.17 University of Arizona.