DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 8 p.m. (pt)
FACTS & STATS: Site: SRC Arena (3,168) -- Riverside, California. Television: FSN-PT. Home Record: Cal State Fullerton 5-5. UC Riverside 4-6. Away Record: Cal State Fullerton 4-6, UC Riverside 1-8. Neutral Record: Cal State Fullerton 2-0, UC Riverside 0-3. Conference Record: Cal State Fullerton 4-6, UC Riverside 2-8. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 25-17.
GAMES NOTES: Through 22 games Cal State Fullerton has earned an even split with a mark of 11-11. The Titans have hurt themselves of late with losses in three straight and five of their last six. At 4-6 in league play, Cal State Fullerton is sitting in seventh place in the Big West standings. The Titans have a 4-6 mark on the road where they will be for the next two games against Long Beach State and UC Irvine.
The Highlanders have been enduring their own losing streak recently with setbacks in four straight games and seven of the last eight. UC Riverside hasn't had much success at just 5-17 overall and 2-8 in league play which has it in sole possession of last place in the Big West. At SRC Arena the Highlanders have four wins in 10 tries.
This marks the 43rd meeting all-time between these intrastate foes. Cal State Fullerton leads that all-time series, 25-17, with wins in three straight, including a 71-69 victory earlier this season.
In a game decided by just two points Cal State Fullerton was dropped by Hawaii last time out, 77-75. The Titans allowed the Rainbow Warriors to knock down 48.1 percent of their shots from the floor, while holding a 19-11 edge from the free-throw line in the contest.
D.J. Seeley continued his strong season in the losing effort by scoring 18 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists. The 6-foot-4 guard (19.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.9 apg) is the leading scorer on a team that features three players scoring more than 15 points per game. Seeley's backcourt running mate Kwame Vaughn (18.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 4.1 apg) has also been a prolific scorer and versatile contributor, while Sammy Yeager (15.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg) has played well in the frontcourt. Seeley and Vaughn are the second and third best scorers in the Big West this season. With such strong scoring options the Titans are the top offensive team in the conference at 81.9 points per game on 48.6 percent shooting, which are each within the top 15 marks nationally.
UC Riverside was dispatched by Cal State Northridge, 69-53, last time out. The Highlanders allowed the Matadors to shoot at a 50 percent clip in the game while hitting just 36.2 percent of its own shots from the field. The Highlanders assisted on just five field goals and had a 36-27 deficit on the boards.
In terms of offense, UC Riverside could not be more different than Cal State Fullerton. The Highlanders are the lowest scoring team in the Big West (60.9 ppg) while shooting at a field-goal percentage (.426) that is just a spot above that. Chris Patton (12.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg) is the top scoring option on a roster that features three double-digit scorers. Chris Harriel (11.0 ppg) is next, although he has shot at just a 37.2 percent rate on the season. Josh Fox (10.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg) rounds out the trio. Robert Smith (7.2 ppg, 3.1 apg) is the top facilitator.
Led by Seeley Cal State Fullerton has had no problem putting points up. The pace at which Cal State Fullerton plays will allow it to run past UC Riverside in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 78, UC Riverside 70