UC Irvine (17-9) at Hawaii (18-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 20, 11:59 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: OCSports. Home Record: UC Irvine 9-4, Hawaii 12-4. Away Record: UC Irvine 8-5, Hawaii 5-3. Neutral Record: UC Irvine 0-0, Hawaii 1-0. Conference Record: UC Irvine 8-2, Hawaii 7-4. Series Record: Series tied, 5-5.
GAME NOTES: Both the UC Irvine Anteaters and Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will look to lengthen respective winning streaks as they clash in a Big West Conference showdown at Stan Sheriff Center.
UC Irvine has won four games in a row and 10 of the team's last 12 games played. The Anteaters dropped UC Riverside, 70-52, on Saturday to improve to a conference-best 8-2 in the Big West.
Hawaii has won three games in a row and seven of its last nine outings, including an 83-80 edging of Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. The Rainbow Warriors are a game and a half behind UC Irvine in the conference standings at 7-4.
UC Irvine and Hawaii are tied in the all-time series between the two programs, 5-5. Hawaii was able to tie the series up earlier this season with a 90-86 overtime victory at Irvine.
UC Irvine took a seven-point lead over UC Riverside Friday when the two teams went into the locker rooms at the half, and continued to build on its lead in the second half for the 18-point win, though Riverside made things interesting midway through the second by cutting into the lead before the Anteaters pulled away. Dominique Dunning came off the bench to score 20 points to lead UC Irvine, while Alex Young chipped in 11 with six assists, and Chris McNealy added 10 with five steals.
Luke Nelson, who scored just two points in the win over UC Riverside, still leads the team in scoring for the Anteaters with 12.1 ppg on 41.4 percent shooting from the floor. His 77 assists on the year is second only to Young's 118, and 27 steals is again second to Young's 28. McNealy is second on the team in scoring with 11.6 ppg, and Will Davis II is third at 10.3 ppg. Davis leads the team in rebounding with a 6.4 rpg average.
Hawaii narrowly escaped Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, needing a comeback in the second half after trailing by four at the break to defeat the Titans. Isaac Fotu netted 24 points and grabbed six rebounds to pace the Rainbow Warriors, while Brandon Spearman chipped in 14 points. Garrett Nevels scored 12, Keith Shamburger tallied 11 and Christian Standhardinger chipped in 10 with nine rebounds.
Standhardinger and Fotu have been the go-to scorers this season for Hawaii, which has won four straight road games. Standhardinger leads the team with 17.6 ppg on 46.1 percent shooting from the floor, while Fotu sits right behind at 15.8 ppg on an impressive 60.7 percent mark from the field. Nevels checks in at third in scoring with 14.1 ppg, and Spearman is fourth with 11.6 ppg. Standhardinger leads the team in rebounding at 8.1 rpg, and Shamburger tops the squad with a 5.4 apg mark.
This matchup features two of the better teams in the Big West, with Hawaii boasting a strong record on its home court. Still, UC Irvine is a very well- rounded team and has the potential to take down any team in the conference on any court.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Irvine 76, Hawaii 71
02/20 10:40:57 ET