A pair of Big West opponents take the floor as two schools from the Golden State square off in conference action. The UC Irvine Anteaters are on the road as they make the trip to face the CSU Fullerton Titans Saturday night. UC Irvine survived a challenge from UC Davis, prevailing 71-69 in overtime at home Thursday night. CSU Fullerton fell 79-68 on the road to Hawaii Wednesday night in their conference opener. The Titans lead the all-time series between the teams 49-42, including a 71-55 win in the Big West Tournament title game on March 10, 2018 in the last meeting.
UC Irvine Anteaters Seek Third Straight Victory
UC Irvine nearly let a big second half lead slip away but managed to regroup just enough to open conference play with a win. The Anteaters now go on the road looking to earn a third straight victory. UC Irvine held a nine point edge at the half and led 41-25 with 14:58 to play before getting complacent and seeing UC Davis rally to force overtime. In the extra session, the Anteaters took the lead in the last two minutes and survived a last-second potential game winning three point attempt to earn the win. UC Irvine overcame shooting 39.7 percent shooting from the field, including four of 24 from three point range, and missing 13 of 34 free throws to get the win. Evan Leonard led the Anteaters with 22 points in the win.
— UCI M Basketball (@UCImbb) January 11, 2019
The Anteaters put up an average of 70.4 points per game this season. UC Irvine is aggressive on the glass, pulling down 39.7 boards a night, while they dish out 12.1 assists per contest. The Anteaters are excellent on the defensive end, ranking 37th in scoring defense by allowing 64.7 points per contest. Only two player average in double figures for the Anteaters as Max Hazzard leads the team with 12.2 points a night. John Edgar Jr., Eyassu Worku, Collin Welp and Robert Cartwright Jr. each put up better than 7.4 points a game themselves. Elston Jones, Jonathan Galloway, Tommy Rutherford and Evan Leonard (10.4 points) all are being looked to as contributors on both ends. The Anteaters shoot 43.7 percent from the field as a team this season. UC Irvine is knocking down 6.6 three pointers a night while shooting 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Anteaters are having issues at the free throw line as they sink only 67.9 percent of their attempts this season.
CSU Fullerton Titans Try to Even Conference Record
CSU Fullerton suffered a road loss to open conference play as Hawaii dispatched them Wednesday night. The Titans hope to even their conference mark but the opposition doesn’t get any easier in this contest. CSU Fullerton led by three at the half and was tied at 41 with 13:12 to play in the game. The Titans gave up a 9-0 run over the next 2:29 and never drew closer than three again. CSU Fullerton shot 48 percent from the field, including a four of 14 showing from beyond the arc, and missed eight of 24 free throws. For good measure, the Titans allowed Hawaii to drain 11 of 22 from beyond the arc. Khalil Ahmad led CSU Fullerton with 24 points in the defeat.
— Titans Men's Basketball (@FullertonMBB) January 10, 2019
The Titans score an average of 73.6 points per game so far this season. CSU Fullerton pulls down 37 rebounds per contest while dishing out an average of 13.3 assists per game. The Titans are below average on the defensive end of the floor as they are 225th in the nation by allowing 73.3 points per game this season. Kyle Allman Jr. is second on the team with 18.1 points per game this season. Khalil Ahmad (team leading 18.6 points) and Jackson Rowe (10.6 points, 7.3 rebounds) each are averaging in double figures. Austen Awosika, Jamal Smith, Johnny Wang, Wayne Arnold and Davon Clare each put up an average of 3.4 points per game. CSU Fullerton is shooting 45.5 percent from the floor. The Titans knock down 6.1 three pointers a game on 31.4 percent shooting from downtown this season. CSU Fullerton is mediocre at the charity stripe as they cash in 69.7 percent of their chances on the year.
- Titans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss
- Titans are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Titans are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
- Anteaters are 9-2-1 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record
- Anteaters are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- Anteaters are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Anteaters showed grit as they overcame letting that 16 point lead slip away to get the win over UC Davis at home. CSU Fullerton has been decent enough at home this season, going 3-1 on the year. The problem for the Titans is that the Anteaters are no pushover on the road, going 5-2 as the visiting team this season. UC Irvine is tough on the defensive end and they’ll make CSU Fullerton work for every bucket. The Anteaters’ tenacity and experience carries them to victory here.
Prediction: UC Irvine Anteaters -2.5
Full-Game Total Pick
CSU Fullerton is going to have an uphill climb here when it comes to cashing in against the UC Irvine defense. The Anteaters limit the opposition to 38.2 percent shooting from the floor, which was 14th in the nation entering Friday night. That’s not reassuring for a Titans team that is shooting just 45.5 percent as a unit this season. CSU Fullerton is going to have to dig deep and try to improve defensively in this contest. Can the Titans find a way to get a win here?
The under is 13-3 in the Anteaters’ last 16 road games and 11-4 in their last 15 vs. Big West opponents. CSU Fullerton has seen the under go 21-6 in their last 27 at home and 6-2 in their last eight against teams with a winning record. The teams have stayed under the total in each of their last four meetings and in four of the five in Fullerton. With UC Irvine controlling the flow of play, this one ends up under the number.
Prediction: Under 135