UC Davis out-shoots visiting Warriors, 75-63

Hawai’i center Bernardo da Silva scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed five rebounds in the Warriors’ loss at UC Davis on Thursday. (Brandon Flores Photography file photo)

There was good news and bad news for the University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team throughout its game at UC Davis on Thursday.

The good news? The Warriors did not let Aggies scoring machine Elijah Pepper beat them all by himself.

The bad news? He didn’t have to, as fellow guard Ty Johnson matched Pepper by pouring in 30 points to help UC Davis shoot past UH, 75-63, in a key Big West Conference showdown.

An appreciative “Senior Day” crowd of 2,398 at the University Credit Union Center watched the dynamic backcourt duo shoot a combined 61 percent (20 of 33) from the field and 17 of 18 (94.4 percent) from the free throw line to help the Aggies improve to 17-12 overall and 12-6 in the Big West. Senior center Bernardo da Silva scored a team-high 20 points to lead Hawai’i, which fell to 16-13, 8-9.

UC Davis led from wire to wire, scoring the game’s first eight points and building a 34-20 lead late in the first half, and never allowing the Warriors closer than four points in the second.

“They had two key runs — 8-0, and then Pepper 9-0 by himself,” UH coach Eran Ganot said in his postgame radio interview. “That was disappointing.”

After the Aggies went up, 12-3, on Pepper’s layup just over three minutes in, the Warriors recovered and closed it to 18-15 on Noel Coleman’s jumper from the left baseline with 12:32 remaining. But UC Davis then ran off nine straight points to push the lead back to 27-15 on Leo DeBruhl’s mid-range jumper some four minutes later.

Johnson stretched the lead to 34-20 on a driving layup with 4:32 showing on the clock, but Coleman converted a three-point play to ignite a 12-4 surge to close out the half making the score 38-32.

After Pepper capped a 13-5 run to extend the lead to 54-41 nine minutes into the second half, Harry Rhouliadeff converted a three-point play to spark an 11-2 run that trimmed it to 56-52 on da Silva’s fast break slam dunk off of JoVon McClanahan’s steal and assist with 6:21 left in the game.

Pepper then dropped a mid-range jumper, followed by a rare four-point play after being fouled on a 3-pointer, and then another 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key to make it 65-52 with five minutes to go.

Justin McKoy drained a 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:27 remaining to cut it to 67-57, but Hawai’i could not break into a single digit deficit the rest of the way.

“Give them credit,” Ganot said. “(We’re) disappointed … back to work.”

The Warriors will close out their regular season road circuit on Saturday with a game at UC Riverside.


  1. UC Irvine (14-3)
  2. UC San Diego (13-4)
  3. UC Davis (12-6)
  4. Long Beach State (10-7)
  5. CSUN (9-9)
  6. UC Santa Barbara (8-9)
  7. HAWAI’I (8-9)
  8. UC Riverside (8-9)
  9. Cal State Bakersfield (7-11)
  10. Cal State Fullerton (6-11)
  11. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (0-17)

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