Cal State Fullerton (12-12) at UC Irvine (13-13)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 11 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bren Events Center (4,984) -- Irvine, California.
Television: FSN-PT. Home Record: Cal State Fullerton 5-5, UC Irvine 9-1. Away
Record: Cal State Fullerton 5-7, UC Irvine 3-11. Neutral Record: Cal State
Fullerton 2-0, UC Irvine 1-1. Conference Record: Cal State Fullerton 5-7, UC
Irvine 7-6. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 52-43.
GAMES NOTES: The Cal State Fullerton Titans will invade the Bren Events Center
on Saturday night for a Big West Conference matchup with the UC Irvine
The Titans are stumbling into this contest after being routed, 85-65, by
conference-leading Long Beach State on Wednesday. The setback was the fourth
in the last five games for the Titans, who are 12-12 overall, including a 5-7
mark against the Big West. That has the Titans seventh in the 10-team
conference after the team went 12-4 and finished second in the league a year
ago. Cal State Fullerton hosts Cal Poly in its next test.
As for UC Irvine it bounced back from a two-game slump with a hard fought
52-48 victory over UC Riverside on Wednesday night. The Anteaters also have as
many wins as losses overall (13-13) but have had a bit more success in league
play at 7-6. The Anteaters, who are 9-1 at home, sit in fifth in the league
standings and will host Pacific next.
UC Irvine already collected a win against Cal State Fullerton this season with
a 92-65 rout at Titan Gym on Jan. 17. The win was the second straight for the
Anteaters, who upset the Titans in the Big West Conference Tournament a year
ago. The Titans still lead the all-time series, 52-43.
It simply came down to which team was able to hit their shots between Cal
State Fullerton and Long Beach State. The Titans connected on just 35.3
percent from the field, while the 49ers managed a superior 51.5 percent
Cal State Fullerton can still boast the conference's best offensive unit as
the Titans rank at the top of the league in points (81.1 pg), assists (15.8
pg) and field-goal percentage (.480). Each of those marks is among the 25 best
in the country. However the Titans don't play well defensively by letting in
76.7 points per game on 47.6 percent shooting, while ranking at the bottom of
the Big West in rebounds (30.9 pg). The trio of D.J. Seeley (18.9 ppg, 4.0
apg), Kwame Vaughn (18.0 ppg, 4.0 apg) and Sammy Yeager (16.1 ppg) has kept
the Titans competitive. In fact, Seeley and Vaughn are the highest scoring
teammates in the Big West.
It was a brutal game on the offensive end for both teams in UC Irvine's win
over UC Riverside. The Anteaters shot just 30.9 percent from the field in the
contest but held the Highlanders to just 17 total field goals on a 29.8 field
Though a decent offensive team, UC Irvine cannot lay claim to the same type of
production that the Titans can. The Anteaters are near the middle of the
conference in scoring (68.1 ppg). However, the Anteaters hold teams to just
38.3 percent shooting, while ranking second in the conference in both assists
(15.7 pg) and rebounds (39 pg). In fact the squad's assists and rebounding
numbers are among the 30 best in the country. Daman Starring (13.2 ppg) is the
only player on the team scoring in double figures, although five others are
putting in at least seven points per game, led by Chris McNealy (9.3 ppg).
Adam Folker (8.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Will Davis II (7.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg) are the
top contributors on the glass.
With their ability to move the ball so efficiently the Anteaters will expose
the Titans' porous defense and be able to keep up with the high-octane
offensive tempo Cal State Fullerton will try to employ.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Irvine 78, Cal State Fullerton 74
02/16 10:31:07 ET