Pacific (4-1) vs. Cal Poly (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthew Knight Arena (12,364) -- Eugene, Cal Poly. Television: None. Home Record: Pacific 3-0, Cal Poly 1-1. Away Record: Pacific 1-1, Cal Poly 0-2. Neutral Record: Pacific 0-0, Cal Poly 1-0. Conference Record: Pacific 0-0, Cal Poly 0-0. Series Record: Pacific leads, 25-12.
GAME NOTES: Former conference rivals Pacific and Cal Poly face off on Saturday afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena as part of the second day of the Global Sports Challenge.
The Tigers' perfect start to the season finally came to an end on Friday as they were dismissed by host Oregon, 85-62. The win ended a four-game win streak to open the year for the Pacific, which will tangle with North Dakota in Sunday's event finale.
The Mustangs have logged back-to-back wins for the first time this season thanks to a 70-43 trampling of North Dakota to kick off this weekend's action. Cal Poly opened the campaign with three straight losses. Cal Poly gets its shot at nationally-ranked Oregon in Sunday's finale.
These two teams formerly competed in the Big West Conference before Pacific moved to the West Coast Conference this season. They split a pair of regular- season matchups a year ago before the Tigers squeaked out a 55-53 triumph in the Big West Conference Tournament. Pacific leads the all-time series, 25-12.
The Tigers did win the battle on the boards against Oregon (35-27), but little else. Pacific hit only 36.4 percent of its shots from the field and had twice as many turnovers (18) as the Ducks (nine). That led to a 20-9 difference in points off of takeaways.
Leading scorer Sama Taku (14 ppg) was held in check by the powerful Oregon backcourt, as he managed only four points on a ghastly 1-of-9 performance from the floor. Trevin Harris (4.8 ppg) came out of nowhere to tie the team-high with 14 points after struggling through the first four games. T.J. Wallace (6.8 ppg) also turned in a surpassingly potent effort as he finished with 14 points. Normally Andrew Bock (12 ppg) and Ross Rivera (10.8 ppg) serve as the next-best scoring options behind Taku. As a unit, the Tigers are scoring 75.6 points per game and hitting 44.1 percent from the floor, including a nearly 40 percent success rate from 3-point range.
On Friday, the Mustangs hammered North Dakota at the defensive end. Cal Poly only allowed UND to record 11 field goals and just a 23.4 percent success rate on its field goal attempts. Cal Poly coupled that with an impressive 50.9 percent showing from the field itself.
Playing strong defense has been a trend for the Mustangs this season. Cal Poly is only allowing 55.6 points per game and keeping opponents to a meager 36.5 percent shooting from the floor. Cal Poly doesn't have as much success when trying to score itself, netting only 62.8 points per game on just 42.4 percent shooting from the field. Chris Eversley (12.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Dave Nwaba (10.8 ppg) are the only double-digit scoring threats on the roster, although Kyle Odister (9.8 ppg) has the ability to do so. Odister has been held back by poor shooting (.375 FG percentage). However on Friday, Brian Bennett (8.6 ppg) was the lead scorer with 16 points.
Pacific has been playing well out of the gate and should keep its success against the Mustangs going.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pacific 69, Cal Poly 60
11/30 10:36:28 ET