“I think this win right here could change things around for us,” said Moore, who had a career-high 21 points to lead all scorers, including a career-high four three-pointers. [UC Riverside, which entered the night tied with UCI for last place] lost tonight and it might be a big momentum shift four our team.”
A shift was in order from Douglass as well, after the Aggies (10-14, 6-6 in conference) matched their season high with 11 three-pointers in the first half against UCI’s two-three zone.
Douglass called for a shift to man-to-man defense in the second 20 minutes, and the Anteaters (11-15, 4-8) held the visitors to 32% shooting from the field, and just three-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc (27.3%).
Davis, which had beaten UCI four straight times and, Douglass said, creates a difficult matchup due to the inside-outside offensive capability of its big men, was held to two points the last 6:33.
After Ryan Sypkens hit a 14-footer with 4:27 left to give the visitors a 67-60 lead, UCI scored the final nine points, capped by Patrick Rembert’s driving left-handed layup with nine seconds left for the winning margin.
Sypkens missed a three-point attempt in the final seconds and Moore rebounded to seal the victory.
“We had practiced the zone and when we’ve been effective against [the Aggies], we’ve been in zone,” Douglass said of his reasoning behind remaining in the zone as Davis shot 64.7% from threedom before intermission. It was the most threes ever allowed in one half by a UCI team.
“They’re a tough matchup for us, man-to-man, but we had no choice the way they were burying the three,” Douglass said. “Sometimes, you jump out of a zone when [opponents] are making threes. I was a little stubborn [staying in the zone the whole first half]. But, after a while, better judgment ruled out.”