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Men's Basketball

Heavy Weekend Slate For Men's Hoops As 2018 Winds Down


Weekly Release No. 8

UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara and Hawai‘i are a combined 27-11 entering the final weekend of the men's basketball schedule in the 2018 calendar year.


UC Irvine Road Win Streak Halted
UC Irvine’s victory at Eastern Michigan on Dec. 19 represented the 10th straight true road win for the program, which was the second longest in the country behind Virginia (11).  That streak ended at Butler two days later as the Anteaters lost a road game for the first time since Jan. 20, 2018.  UCI is still 11-3 – the program’s best start through 14 games since going 12-2 in 2000-01.  The ‘Eaters are back in action on Saturday as they travel to Pacific.

Winning Formula Is Defense
UCI improved to 7-0 on the season when limiting the opponent to 60 points or less, achieving that standard in the 52-48 win at Eastern Michigan.  The 48 points represented a season-low for an ‘Eater foe.  Defense is the cornerstone of head coach Russell Turner’s program, and the benchmark for success over the last six-plus seasons.  Consider that the Anteaters are an impressive 86-5 since 2012-13 when an opponent fails to exceed 60 points.  The year-by-year record:

2012-13 - 12-0
2013-14 - 17-0             
2014-15 - 15-2   
2015-16 - 10-0
2016-17 - 14-3
2017-18 - 11-0
2018-19 - 7-0

UC Santa Barbara Undefeated At Home
UC Santa Barbara improved to 5-0 at home in Saturday’s 19-point victory over Idaho State.  The Gauchos are 17-2 in the Thunderdome since Joe Pasternack became head coach.  UCSB’s most difficult task awaits as 12-1 San Francisco invades the T-Dome this Saturday.  The Dons are ranked No. 26 in the NCAA’s most recent NET ratings.

Highlanders Pick Up Solid Win
It was the biggest victory of first-year head coach David Patrick’s young career at UC Riverside, as the Highlanders defeated previous one-loss Loyola Marymount by a score of 60-53.  The 53 points allowed was a season low for a UCR Division I opponent and represented the team’s third win in the last four games.  UCR looks to close out the calendar year with more success on a road trip to Air Force and Western Michigan this week.

Hawai‘i Downs Another Pac-12 Opponent
Hawai‘i defeated its second Pac-12 foe this season in a consolation round 70-62 overtime triumph over Colorado in Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic action Sunday.  The ‘Bows also knocked off Utah on Thanksgiving Day in the Wooden Legacy.  Since joining the Big West in 2012-13, the ‘Bows have made a habit of beating teams from high major conferences, as Utah and Colorado represent the seventh and eighth such wins over that period.

Diane In Exclusive Club
CSUN freshman Lamine Diane – the Big West’s leading scorer (24.3 ppg) and rebounder (10.2 rpg) – is one of just three players in the country to average a double-double.  The other two are South Dakota State senior Mike Daum and BYU junior Yoeli Childs.


Big West squads have lined up another challenging non-conference slate which includes a 26 games against opponents which advanced to the NCAA Tournament or National Invitational Tournament last season.  Thirteen out of 15 games scheduled against 2018 NCAA teams will be played on the road or at a neutral site.  Montana at UC Irvine (Dec. 8) and Rhode Island at Hawai‘i (Dec. 25) represent the only two home games.

Games Against 2018 NCAA Tournament Teams
Nov. 6     Cal State Fullerton at Arizona State
Nov. 9     Long Beach State at UCLA
Nov. 9     UC Irvine at Texas A&M
Nov. 11   Cal Poly at Arizona
Nov. 12   Long Beach State at Arizona State
Nov. 12   UC Davis at Arkansas
Nov. 19   Long Beach State vs. Iona
Nov. 23   Hawai‘i vs. Seton Hall
Nov. 28   Hawai‘i at UCLA
Dec. 8     Montana at UC Irvine
Dec. 19   CSUN at New Mexico State
Dec. 21   UC Irvine at Butler
Dec. 22   UC Davis at Arizona
Dec. 25    Rhode Island at Hawai‘i   
Jan. 1      CSUN at San Diego State

Games Against 2018 NIT Teams
Nov. 16    Long Beach State at Mississippi State
Nov. 22    Hawai‘i vs. Utah
Nov. 28    UC Irvine at Saint Mary’s
Nov. 28    Long Beach State at USC
Dec. 2      UC Santa Barbara at Washington
Dec. 10    Cal State Fullerton at Saint Mary’s
Dec. 22    Cal State Fullerton at Nebraska
Dec. 23    CSUN vs. Rider
Dec. 29    Long Beach State at Stanford
Dec. 30    UC Davis at USC
Jan. 1      Cal State Fullerton at Washington

Long Beach State’s DAN MONSON is the dean of Big West head coaches, entering his 12th season roaming the sidelines of the Walter Pyramid.  He ranks eighth all-time in conference history with 190 wins, while his 114 Big West victories is sixth all-time.  Only five Big West head coaches have accumulated 200 or more wins during their tenure with the conference – Bob Thomason (Pacific, 436), Jerry Tarkanian (Long Beach State & UNLV, 405), Bob Williams (UC Santa Barbara, 313), Neil McCarthy (New Mexico State, 248) and Jerry Pimm (UC Santa Barbara, 222).  Monson has won a minimum of 15 games in each of the last 10 seasons, needing that total to get to 200 for his career during the 2018-19 campaign.  Monson needs five wins to catch Fresno State’s Boyd Grant (194) and eight to surpass UC Irvine’s Pat Douglass (197) in the Big West record book.

RUSSELL TURNER notched his 164th win all-time at UC Irvine when his team defeated Saint Mary’s on Nov. 28, moving him past Bill Mulligan for second place on the career wins list at the school.  He now needs to surpass Pat Douglass (197, 1997-2010) for the record.  In addition, Turner is now ranked ninth in Big West history with 168 career victories.  Turner is on pace to become the third-fastest coach in league history to reach the 200-win mark, with Jerry Tarkanian and Neil McCarthy the only two Turner cannot outdo.  The ninth-year coach has led the Anteaters to 20-win campaigns in five of the last six seasons.


Coach, Team Years Wins
Bob Thomason, Pacific 25 436
Jerry Tarkanian, Long Beach State/UNLV 14 405
Bob Williams, UC Santa Barbara 19 313
Neil McCarthy, New Mexico State 12 248
Jerry Pimm, UC Santa Barbara 15 222
Pat Douglass, UC Irvine 13 197
Boyd Grant, Fresno State 9 194
Dan Monson, Long Beach State 12 190
Russell Turner, UC Irvine 9 168

After opening the season ranked No. 24 in the preseason Mid-Major Top 25 poll, UC Irvine enters the week at No. 14.  The Anteaters have been ranked in the poll for seven straight weeks, at a high of No. 13 on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17.  Other conference schools have been recognized in the “others receiving votes” section of the poll – Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and Hawai‘i.  UCSB has been receiving votes in all but one week this season.

The top two active career scorers in the Big West have accumulated in excess of 2,500 points at Cal State Fullerton.  Seniors KHALIL AHMAD (1,355) and KYLE ALLMAN, JR. (1,301) have scored 2,656 points for the Titans.