Fresno State (3-1) at Pacific (3-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 10:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alex G. Spanos Center (6,150) -- Stockton, California. Television: None. Home Record: FSU 2-0, Pacific 2-0. Away Record: FSU 1-1, Pacific 1-0. Neutral Record: FSU 0-0, Pacific 0-0. Conference Record: FSU 0-0, Pacific 0-0. Series Record: Pacific leads 79-74.
GAME NOTES: The Pacific Tigers shoot for their fourth straight win to open the 2013-14 campaign as they host the Fresno State Bulldogs in non-conference action on Saturday night at the Spanos Center.
Pacific, which heads to Oregon for three games in three days next week as part of the 2013 Global Sports Hardwood Classic, was last on the hardwood on Sunday when they tripped up Western Illinois at home in a 66-52 final. The Tigers also own wins over Nevada and UC Irvine thus far.
As for the Bulldogs, they are off to a 3-1 start for the second straight year, but a victory tonight would push the squad to their best start since they began 7-0 during the 2006-07 campaign. On Wednesday night, Fresno State took down another California-based program in Cal Poly, 63-46.
In terms of the all-time series between these two programs, Pacific owns a 79-74 advantage, although the most recent meeting last season went in favor of the Bulldogs at home, 66-61.
Allen Huddleston scored 14 points, leading five players in double figures, as Fresno State posted the 17-point win over the Mustangs in a non-conference battle at the Save Mart Center. Marvelle Harris produced 12 points for the Bulldogs, followed by Cezar Guerrero with 11 and both Alex Davis and Paul Watson with 10 points apiece. Fresno State won the battle of the boards, 45-28, and prevented any of the Cal Poly reserves from scoring even a single point.
The Bulldogs have five players averaging double figures at the moment, accounting for all but 9.6 ppg of the unit's 73.8 ppg. Harris and Watson are tied for the lead with 14.8 ppg, although the former is shooting just 28.6 percent behind the 3-point line, while the latter has been connecting on an impressive 62.5 percent from the field. Tyler Johnson checks in with 10.5 ppg to go along with 9.3 rpg and 15 assists, proving that he can do it all when the team needs him.
Pacific shot a perfect 11-of-11 at the free-throw line, 7-of-17 beyond the arc and a modest 45.3 percent from the floor against Western Illinois in order to pick up the double-digit win the last time out. Tony Gill led all scorers with 19 points, followed by Sama Taku and Andrew Bock with 16 and 13 points, respectively. From a defensive standpoint, the Tigers limited the visitors to only 37.2 percent from the floor and 4-of-16 out on the perimeter, all while forcing 17 turnovers.
Although he is shooting just 36.0 percent from the floor in his two games, Taku leads the scoring attack with 18.0 ppg, thanks in large part to his 94.4 percent accuracy at the free-throw line. Gill accounts for 15.0 ppg as a 63.0 percent sniper out in the field, followed by Ross Rivera and Bock with 12.3 and 10.7 ppg, respectively, as the team generates 76.7 ppg and outscores the opponents by seven points per contest.
With a balanced scoring attack and a solid defense, the Bulldogs are built for success this season and should be well enough prepared to take care of Pacific tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fresno State 76, Pacific 71
11/23 10:32:54 ET