UC Santa Barbara Aims For Continued Momentum
Links associated with this release:
This Week in the Big West - November 11-17, 2013
Men's Basketball Release No. 2
Fresh off a 21 point shellacking of UNLV in the desert, UC Santa Barbara returns home with a 2-0 record and an upcoming men's basketball showdown with Utah State on tap.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Tough Setbacks: Cal Poly is off to an 0-2 start after losing on the road to No. 5 Arizona (73-62) and at home to Nevada (60-58). The Mustangs led the Wolf Pack by four points with 28 seconds to go, but two turnovers proved costly in the waning seconds. Cal Poly is 0-2 for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Eversley Off To Good Start: Senior Chris Eversley has continued the solid play that led to his selection as an All-Big West First Team pick. The forward scored 17 points at Arizona and added 19 more against Nevada for his 35th and 36th career double-digit scoring games.
Mott Magic: Cal Poly’s loss to Nevada was the first in 13 games at the Mott Athletics Center. The Mustangs finished 13-1 at home last year, including a perfect 9-0 mark in conference games.
Odister Brilliant Versus Wildcats: Senior guard Kyle Odister knocked in a career-high seven three-pointers to finish with a game-high 21 points against Arizona.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Congrats, Coach: Cal State Fullerton’s Dedrique Taylor got off to a roaring start in hiss collegiate head coaching debut at Montana State, as the Titans shellacked the Bobcats, 84-55. CSF drained nine three-pointers in 18 attempts.
Harris Continues Solid Play: Junior Alex Harris, the team’s leading returner scorer at 10.5 points per game, delivered an impressive contribution in the season opener with a game-high 20 points against the Bobcats. Harris connected on 8-of-13 floor shots to help the Titans shoot 53.6% for the game.
Keep Up The Road Work: The Titans, which open the season with four of their first five games on the road, continue a two-game trip to the Northwest with a Wednesday game at Seattle University. The matchup is the first of a home-and-away series this season between the Titans and Redhawks. CSF looks for back-to-back road wins for the first time since defeating Cal State Northridge (1/5/13) and CSU Bakersfield (1/9/13).
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Theus Wins In Debut: The Matador head coaching debut of Reggie Theus was successful as Cal State Northridge earned an 86-74 victory over Hope International last Friday. The Matadors could not repeat the outcome in game two as they fell, 95-79, at USC on Tuesday.
Freebie Fest: Cal State Northridge turned in one of the best free throw shooting performances in NCAA history against Hope International. The Matadors sank 32 of 33 attempts for a .970 success rate, which represented the sixth-best percentage in a single game ever. UC Irvine and Pacific (2/21/81) along with Samford and Central Florida (12/20/90) own the record with a perfect 1.000 on 34 of 34 shooting.
Greene Hits Milestone: Senior guard Josh Greene posted 16 points in his season debut to give him 1,006 for his career, making him the 16th player in Cal State Northridge history to reach the millenium milestone. Greene slid past Ollie Carter (1964-66), who had 1,003 points, into 15th place on the school’s career scoring list.
LONG BEACH STATE
Success Again: The 49ers won their fourth consecutive season opener with a 71-59 victory against Hawaii-Pacific on Saturday. Long Beach State has now won 43 of its last 51 games inside the Walter Pyramid.
Monson Moves To Second On Wins List: Head coach Dan Monson picked up career win No. 105 at Long Beach State against Hawaii-Pacific. In doing so, he tied Seth Greenberg (1990-96) for second place on the LBSU career victory list.
Career Bests: The two cornerstones of Long Beach State’s roster, junior Mike Caffey and senior Dan Jennings, had career-best performances on opening night. Caffey scored a career-high 27 points while Jennings registered a double-double, posting 10 points with a career-high 17 rebounds.
More Jennings: Jennings was one of the few bright spots for the 49ers in their 91-57 loss at No. 5 Arizona on Tuesday. Jennings tied for game high honors with 16 points and hit 8 of 10 free throws. He also added eight rebounds, a block and a steal in 27 minutes.
Even Steven: UC Davis went 1-1 to open the 2013-14 season. The Aggies dropped a 100-83 decision at Portland and walloped Holy Names, 80-54. Davis begins a four-game roadtrip this Friday at Utah, concluding the following week with its second trip to the state of Oregon in the Portland State Tournament.
Stellar Debut For Hawkins: Corey Hawkins, the 2012-13 Big West Newcomer of the Year, had a solid line in last Friday’s opener against the Pilots. He compiled 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to just miss on recording the first Aggie triple-double since Mark Payne did so against Sacramento State during the 2007-08 season.
Long Distance Party: Senior guard Ryan Sypkens is one of the top shooters in the Big West, and he proved that again against Holy Names. After canning 106 threes for the eighth-highest single-season total in Big West history a year ago, Sypkens drilled seven of 10 attempts en route to a 25-point night. He missed the UCD single-game record that he and Tyler Les share by one.
Tough Breaks: UC Irvine, the preseason favorite to win the Big West according to several publications, is off to an 0-2 start. Both losses were hard fought. The Anteaters lost on a half court buzzer beater shot to Fresno State in the opener, 98-97, and after battling Pacific to a 73-73 tie with 2:24 remaining, watched the Tigers score 11 of the final 17 points.
Davis II Outstanding In Opener: Junior Will Davis II, a preseason Big West all-conference pick, lived up to the billing and then some in the season opener against Fresno State. The 6-8 forward notched a double-double with 10 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.
McNealy Also Steps Up: Several Anteaters contributed heavily in the Fresno State game. Senior guard Chris McNealy scored a career-high 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting while sophomore guard Alex Young had 20 points, including a go-ahead trey with five seconds remaining.
Pac-12 Party: UCI plays the first of four Pac-12 opponents when it travels to Washington on Thursday.
Formidable Test: UC Riverside faced an extremely difficult opening opponent in San Diego State, and fell 77-41 to the Aztecs last Friday. The Highlanders managed to shoot just 30.8 percent from the field in the loss.
Johns Steps Up: Sophomore Taylor Johns led the Highlanders against the Aztecs with 14 points and nine rebounds as he just missed out on a double-double.
Homecoming: The Highlanders play twice at home this week, including Homecoming on Saturday against Montana State. UCR’s home opener is on Wednesday against Pepperdine.
Free Throw Foibles: UCR not only struggled from the field in the loss to the Aztecs, but also had difficulty at the chartity stripe. The Highlanders managed just a 34.8% showing, connecting eight of 23 attempts.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Rebel Slayers: UC Santa Barbara might want to schedule UNLV on the road every year. For the third straight time, the Gauchos defeated the Rebels on their home court following an 86-65 blitzling on Tuesday. UCSB also won the last two meetings in Vegas, in 2009-10 and 2006-07.
Big Al: Junior Alan Williams surpassed the 500-rebound mark for his career after pulling down 17 against Hawaii Pacific and nine more at UNLV. The 6-7 center enters this week’s home game against former Big West rival Utah State with 521 career rebounds. Williams is the Big West active leader in that category.
Shooting Clinic: The Gauchos connected at an impressive 55.8% (29 of 52) clip from the field, including 64.3% (9 of 14) from distance against UNLV. Senior marksman Kyle Boswell canned five threes (in seven attempts) en route to a productive 19-point night.
Williams Hits Another Milestone: Bob Williams won his 250th career game at UCSB with the UNLV triumph.
Solid Start: Hawai‘i captured the first two games and lost the third in the season-opening Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Classic. The Rainbow Warriors downed Tennessee State (85-55) and Western Michigan (78-68) while falling to New Mexico State (95-88) in an ESPN2 televised game that was part of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
Fotu Picks Up Where He Left Off: Isaac Fotu, the 2012-13 Big West Co-Freshman of the Year, dominated during Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Classic. The big man averaged 16.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, including a 20-point, nine-rebound effort against the Aggies. Fotu was named tournament Most Valuable Player for his efforts.
Road Warriors: Taking their first trip off the islands, the Rainbow Warriors return to action this week with a tough neutral court matchup against Missouri. The two teams meet in Kansas City at the Sprint Center in a game that is available on ESPN3. UH hopes to improve on the road this year after finishing 4-8 away from the Stan Sheriff Center in 2012-13.