DAYTON, OH - MARCH 15: Head coach Jim Les of the UC Davis Aggies reacts in the second half against the North Carolina Central Eagles during the First Four game in the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 15, 2017 in Dayton, Ohio.
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Fuller, Shorts II, Team’s Defense Helps Ags Start New Home Win Streak

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.

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 six 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.

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.

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 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.

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