College Sports

Rare chance to see Sacramento State, UC Davis basketball teams at home

Local college basketball aficionados will have an opportunity to see the men’s and women’s teams from UC Davis and Sacramento State play if they are willing to drive across the Causeway this weekend.

On Saturday, the UC Davis men host NAIA William Jessup at 2 p.m., and the Sac State men host Abilene Christian at 7 p.m.

The Sac State women host UC Davis in the annual Causeway Cup on Sunday at 2 p.m.

UCD’s matchup against Jessup of Rocklin is only its second home game this season, as the Aggies are coming off a school-record seven-game road swing after falling 74-70 at North Dakota State on Wednesday night. UCD (5-6) looks to snap a four-game losing streak when it faces Jessup (10-3).

The Warriors are riding a four-game winning streak and produced arguably one of the biggest wins in school history last Saturday when they beat NAIA No. 1 Biola 67-61 in the Golden State Athletic Conference opener.

UCD will then return to the road to play at Air Force on Thursday and at Seattle on Dec. 28.

Sac State (2-7) will look to remain undefeated at The Nest when it plays Abilene Christian (6-3), which made the jump from Division II to D-I in 2013-14, and is a member of the Southland Conference.

The struggling Hornets’ home-court wins came against NAIA teams – Antelope Valley and UC Merced – and are winless on the road and in neutral-site games, with the next road test coming Wednesday at Washington State (5-5).

The Sac State (4-6) women enter the Causeway Cup against UCD (6-3) having won Saturday 77-70 at UC Irvine.

Oregon State, ranked No. 15 in the USA Today’s coaches’ poll, walloped UCD 93-52 on Wednesday just three days after the Aggies upset Saint Mary’s 66-64 at the Pavilion. That loss knocked the Gaels out of the Mid-Major top 25.

UCD football – New UCD football coach Dan Hawkins has reached back to his Willamette University coaching roots to hire two assistant coaches with Central Valley ties.

Mark Speckman, a 36-year coaching veteran, is the new assistant head coach and running backs coach and former Grant High School football and baseball standout Robert Tucker is the Aggies’ new defensive coordinator.

Speckman, who led Merced High to Sac-Joaquin Section championships in 1989 and 1990, served as offensive coordinator to Hawkins at Willamette from 1995 to 1997. After Hawkins departed to become an assistant at Boise State, Speckman took over as head coach at the Salem, Ore., college and guided the program the next 14 years, posing an 82-59 record. He rejoined Hawkins with Montreal in the Canadian Football League in 2013, and spent the past two years as offensive coordinator of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.

Speckman, who was born without hands, has become a well-known motivational speaker.

Tucker, who led Los Angeles Valley College to an 11-0 finish this past season, played for Hawkins at Willamette, where he was the team’s MVP, an All-American and the school’s Male Athlete of the Year as a senior

Tucker worked in various capacities as an assistant coach and/or recruiter for Hawkins at Willamette, Boise State and Colorado.

Tucker captained Grant’s first Sac-Joaquin Section football championship team in 1992 and also was a standout third baseman and catcher for the Pacers..

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP