Riverside, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Patton tallied 20 points and nine rebounds, as the UC Riverside Highlanders claimed the final spot in next week's Big West Conference Tournament by downing the UC Davis Aggies at SRC Arena, 78-65.
Patton shot 10-of-17 from the field for UCR (10-19, 5-10 Big West), which snuck into the postseason by winning two straight. Sam Finley netted 19 points off the bench, while Steven Thornton added 14 points for the hosts.
Brynton Lemar scored 19 points for UCD (9-21, 4-11), which has lost six of seven and will not partake in the conference tournament. Corey Hawkins put up 13 points and Ryan Sypkens shot 3-of-4 from 3-point range for 10 points. In the process, Sypkens became the conference's all-time leader in long-range buckets with 313.
UCR shot a red-hot 64 percent from the field in the first half while holding UCD to only 39.3 percent shooting, as it carried a 39-29 lead into the break.
The Highlanders' field goal efficiency dipped to 46.4 percent in the second stanza but still cruised to the victory, extending their lead to as many as 19 before it was all said and done.
UCR won the rebounding battle, 34-26, and outscored UCD at the foul line, 16-6.