Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine Host Hoops On ESPN3
Men's Basketball Release No. 12
Cal State Fullerton welcomes Cal Poly, and UC Irvine entertains Hawai‘i in a Homecoming matchup on ESPN3 in a pair of matchups for the ESPN3 cameras this week. The Anteaters are the lone remaining undefeated team in Big West play at 3-0.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Home Streak Falls: Cal Poly’s 16-game winning streak in home Big West games fell by the wayside on Saturday as Long Beach State handed the Mustangs a 63-62 loss. Cal Poly’s previous home conference loss occurred nearly two years to the day, to the same LBSU program.
Mustangs Tie Best Big West Start: With a 62-52 triumph over Cal State Northridge on Thursday, the Mustangs improved to 3-0 in Big West play to tie the program’s best ever league start. The 1996-97 and 2012-13 editions also began 3-0 before faltering.
Eversley On 1,000-Point Doorstep: Senior Chris Eversley needs 29 points to secure his standing as the 19th player in Mustang history to reach 1,000 for a career. Eversley, who ranks No. 10 in the Big West with 13.9 points per game, is on pace to reach that milestone this week with games at Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. Eversley has scored in double figures 11 times this season. The Thursday game against the Titans is scheduled for ESPN3.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Looking To Rebound: Cal State Fullerton lost for the fourth time in its last five games, dropping a 69-61 decision at UC Davis on Saturday. The Titans have lost four consecutive road games. However, CSF takes a three-game home win streak into this week’s contests at Titan Gym against Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.
Tube Talk: CSF gets a chance to strut its stuff in front of the cameras this week as ESPN3 will air Thursday’s game against Cal Poly while Prime Ticket will broadcast Saturday’s showdown versus UC Santa Barbara.
Still Streaking: Senior Michael Williams recorded his 17th straight game with 10 or more points, scoring 13 against UC Davis.
McClellan Ups Rebound High: Junior Steve McClellan grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in his last outing against UC Davis. He had tied his previous career best two games earlier with 12 against UC Riverside.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Roadblock: Cal State Northridge’s quest to stay unbeaten in Big West play got squashed last week in a pair of 10-point losses to Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. The Matadors hope to stay within pattern as they have not lost three in a row all season long. CSUN travels to UC Irvine on Thursday.
Maxwell Milestone On Order: At 975 career points, Cal State Northridge junior Stephen Maxwell could reach the 1,000 point milestone this week. He looks to become the 18th player in school history to hit that mark. Maxwell also picked up his ninth double-double of the year with 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Gauchos.
Free Throw Fanatic: Senior Josh Greene knocked down 12 of 12 from the charity stripe against UC Santa Barbara to tie a school record for free throw percentage. The guard leads the Big West in free throw percentage (.898), hitting 88 of 98 this season. The mark currently ranks No. 6 all-time in a Big West single-season. Greene owns a streak of 19 consecutive made free throws.
LONG BEACH STATE
Close Win: Long Beach State used a 17-0 first-half run to take the lead for good and held off a late Cal Poly charge, ekeing out a 63-62 victory on Saturday. The 49ers improved to 3-3 this season in games decided by three points or less.
Jennings Earns Double-Double: Senior Dan Jennings posted his fourth double-double of the year with 10 points and 11 rebounds in 26 reserve minutes versus Cal Poly. It was the first double-double for Jennings since Nov. 17 against Kansas State. He had three double-doubles in LBSU’s first four games.
Lamb Recovers: After a rough 1-for-13 shooting performance with five points against UC Santa Barbara, junior Tyler Lamb roared back in his next outing versus Cal Poly. The 6-5 guard posted his third 20-point effort, hitting 8 of 16 shots and corraling a career-high nine rebounds.
Ball Control: Long Beach State has valued the ball well for a long stretch, averaging just 9.6 turnovers over the last nine games.
Ags In “W” Column: UC Davis stopped a three-game losing streak, outshooting Cal State Fullerton 60.9% to 29.4% in the second half to preserve a 69-61 Big West win on Saturday.
Sypkens Now Tied For Fourth In Threes: Senior guard Ryan Sypkens moved into a tie for fourth place in Big West career three-pointers with 283, alongside Utah State’s Tony Brown (1999-2002) and UNLV’s Anderson Hunt (1989-91). Sypkens now sets his sights on becoming just the fourth player in conference history to tally 300 career treys.
Defense Does It: UC Davis posted one of its best defensive efforts of the year in the win over Cal State Fullerton. The 61 points allowed tied for the second-fewest all year. The Aggies defeated Holy Names (80-54) and Loyola-Chicago (64-61) earlier this season.
Twenty Is The Barometer: Corey Hawkins led the Big West with 15 games of 20 points or more in 2012-13. The conference scoring champion reeled off his fifth such game of 2013-14 against CSF when he finished with 22 points.
Five In A Row: UC Irvine won its fifth straight game and improved to 3-0 in the Big West with last Thursday’s win against Cal State Fullerton. The Anteaters seek their first six-game winning streak since the 2005-06 season when they host Cal State Northridge this Thursday. UCI won eight in a row to start out league play in 2006.
On That Start: The 3-0 Big West start is the best for the Anteater program since the 2005-06 campaign when UCI opened up with eight straight victories.
Bottling ‘Em Up: In the 72-54 win over the Titans, the Anteaters boosted their record to 7-0 when limiting an opponent under 60 points. They have held four straight foes below that mark, averaging just 51.5 points allowed during that span.
Caring To Assist: Sophomore point guard Alex Young tied his career high with nine assists in the win over CSF. He has 17 assists against only two turnovers in his last two games. Young also ranks third in the Big West with 4.4 assists per game.
Comeback Kids: UC Riverside provided the dramatics in an 81-69 victory at UC Davis by overcoming a 19-point deficit, tying the program’s Division I era record for largest comeback. The Highlanders also notched their first Big West win in the process.
Johns Blockade: Sophomore Taylor Johns moved into a tie for eighth in school history with 61 career blocked shots, and needs just nine more to vault into fifth. In addition, his 35 blocks tie him for ninth on the school’s single-season chart.
Discovering The Three: The Highlanders erupted for a season-high 77.8 percent showing from three-point range in the UC Davis win, hitting seven of nine attempts.
Sam He Is: Sam Finley is the second-highest scoring freshman in the Big West at 10.8 points per game, second only to UC Irvine’s Luke Nelson (11.2). The 6-2 local product notched 19 points in back-to-back games last week versus UC Davis and Hawai‘i. He has reached double figures in points in seven straight contests.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Great Response: The Gauchos rebounded from a league-opening loss with a pair of resounding victories over Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge last week. They shot better than 50 percent in both games. UCSB has won eight of its last 10 contests.
Al Reaches Milestone: Junior Alan Williams became the 26th player in UCSB history to eclipse 1,000 career points during the CSUN game. Williams finished the game with 16 points for a career total of 1,006.
Smooth Functioning: UCSB is ranked No. 16 nationally this week in assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.53). Individually, two key members of the backcourt in junior Zalmico Harmon and senior Kyle Boswell also rate among the nation’s leaders in the category. Harmon is No. 13 with a +3.15 assist-to-turnover ratio, while Boswell is No. 15 (+3.06).
Boswell Hits New Assists High: Boswell, a noted three-point sharpshooter who has hit at least one trey in 27 straight games, dished out a career-high eight assists against CSUN.
Offensive Storm: Hawai‘i blasted UC Riverside, 100-69, in its Big West home opener on Saturday in response to back-to-back conference road losses last week. The Rainbow Warriors hit the century mark for the second time this season and scored 100 points in a Big West game for the first time since joining the conference last year.
Standhardinger Keeps Rolling: Senior Christian Standhardinger notched his fifth double-double of the year with 27 points and 11 rebounds against the Highlanders. He made all 11 of his free throws, the fourth time this season he made 10 or more in a game, and recorded his eighth 20-point contest.
Scoring Scuttlebutt: UH leads the Big West and ranks No. 20 in the nation with 81.8 points per game.
Nevels On Scoring Streak: Junior Garrett Nevels has reeled off six straight games of scoring in double figures, and is shooting 52.9 (37 of 70) percent during that span. Nevels is No. 9 in the Big West in scoring (14.0 ppg).