DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 15th, 7:00 p.m. (pt)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UC Riverside Student Rec. Center (3,168) -- Riverside, California. Television: None. Home Record: Fullerton 10-1, UCR 6-4. Away Record: Fullerton 5-5, UCR 4-8. Neutral Record: Fullerton 1-1, UCR 1-2. Conference Record: Fullerton 8-3, UCR 5-7. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 23-17.
GAME NOTES: Fullerton's 16 wins overall is the second-most in the conference, and the team is currently tied with UC Santa Barbara for second place in the Big West with an 8-3 conference mark. The Titans have worked their way up in the standings in recent weeks thanks to winning three in a row and six of their last seven overall, the most recent of which being a 100-94 shootout win against UC Irvine last Thursday.
UC Riverside is trending in the opposite direction as Fullerton. After winning four of their first five Big West games, the Highlanders have dropped six of their last seven to fall to 5-7 in conference and 11-14 overall. Their latest defeat came at the hands of UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, 60-52.
Fullerton has won two of the last three matchups between these two teams, and leads the all-time series, 23-17.
Fullerton has the top scoring offense in the Big West and one of the most potent attacks in the nation, putting up 78.9 ppg on 48.8 percent field goal efficiency. The Titan offense has been especially deadly on its current three- game win streak, putting up an astounding 94 ppg. They cracked triple digits for the second time this season in the recent win over UC Irvine, shooting lights-out from the field (30-of-59), three-point range (9-of-15) and the foul line (31-of-35). D.J. Seeley (27 points) and Kwame Brown (24 points) both notched big games, marking the fifth time on the campaign that both players went for at least 20 points in the same game. Seeley (17 ppg) and Brown (16.5 ppg) rank fourth and fifth in the conference in scoring, respectively, while Isiah Umipig (13 ppg) and Omondi Amoke (12.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg) also provide big- time contributions. Fullerton is the most prolific three-point shooting team in the BWC, draining 197 long-range shots behind 41.9 percent efficiency. Seeley is threatening the school's single-reason record for three-point shooting percentage as he is currently sitting at .465, besting Don Leary's record of .443 with six regular-season games to go.
At the opposite end of the Big West scoring spectrum lies UC Riverside, which ranks dead-last with 59.6 ppg, nearly 20 points per game fewer than Fullerton. It has been especially terrible at the offensive end in recent weeks, as the squad has scored less than its average in five straight games. The struggles continued for the Highlanders in the loss to UCSB on Saturday, as they shot 38.2 percent overall and 1-of-13 from the three-point line, while turning the ball over 15 times. In a common occurrence on the season, Phil Martin was the lone bright spot for the Highlanders as he tallied 17 points and seven rebounds. Martin ranks second in the conference in scoring (17.8 ppg) and leads UCR in rebounding (5.5 rpg), three-pointers per game (1.2), and free- throw percentage (.830). The Highlanders don't have much surrounding Martin however, with Kareem Nitoto (8.9 ppg, 2.4 apg) and Robert Smith (8.5 ppg, 3.3 apg) being their next-best options. UC Riverside doesn't move the ball very effectively either, ranking last in the league in both assists (9.9 pg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (0.8).
UC Riverside will have the home crowd on its side, but that will do little to hinder the red-hot Fullerton offense. The Highlanders need to put together their best offensive game in weeks if they have a prayer at keeping pace with the Titans.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 82, UC Riverside, 67