UC Irvine (3-3) at Pepperdine (2-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 24, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Firestone Fieldhouse (3,104) -- Malibu, California. Television: None. Home Record: UCI 2-0, Pepperdine 1-0. Away Record: UCI 0-2, Pepperdine 1-2. Neutral Record: UCI 1-1, Pepperdine 0-0. Conference Record: UCI 0-0, Pepperdine 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 10-10.
GAME NOTES: Hoping to play only the required 40 minutes on Saturday night, the Pepperdine Waves entertain the Anteaters of UC Irvine in non-conference action at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu.
After opening the season with consecutive setbacks against Cal State Northridge and California on the road, the Waves have had to go to overtime in each of their last two outings in order to balance their record at 2-2. First it was a 58-56 final versus Washington State in the home opener last week and then on Tuesday, Pepperdine slipped by Houston Baptist in a 57-53 final.
As for the Anteaters, they already have six games under their belts, and are trying to snap a brief two-game slide this weekend. UCI took part in subregional action of the Legends Classic in Texas earlier this week and began the three-day stretch with a victory over Liberty (64-46), before bowing to both Southern Miss (69-65) and Sam Houston State (65-63), the latter in overtime on Wednesday.
The all-time series between these two teams is tied at 10-10, with Pepperdine holding a 7-2 edge in Firestone Fieldhouse.
Battling back from a double-digit deficit in the first half against the Bearkats, UCI Irvine managed to make it to overtime but then shot just 1-of-6 from the floor in the period to suffer the loss. Chris McNealy led the way for the squad with 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists off the bench. Adam Folker contributed with seven points and 13 rebounds before fouling out, while Will Davis accounted for six points and 12 boards for the squad. Michael Wilder, the team's leading scorer on the season with 11.8 ppg, missed all seven of his three-point tries, finishing 2-of-11 from the floor for his five points in 33 minutes. The other double-digit scorer for the team at the moment is Daman Starring with 11.4 ppg. Folker (6.3 ppg) is pacing the program on the glass with seven rebounds per game, but he has already fouled out of two contests and is not always an asset on the floor with his mere 4- of-18 shooting at the free-throw line.
Despite making just eight field goals in the second half against Houston Baptist in the last outings, the Waves were able to force an overtime session where they held the Huskies to just 1-of-6 shooting from the floor in order to capture the four-point win. Lorne Jackson overcame just 3-of-13 shooting from the floor as he tallied a game-high 17 points, thanks to his 9-of-12 showing at the charity stripe. Jett Raines added 12 points and Stacy Davis another six to go along with a team-best 10 rebounds, although he too had trouble from the floor (3-of-12) just like fellow starter Jordan Baker (1-of-8). Jackson leads the team in scoring at the moment with his 14.5 ppg, taking advantage of his opportunities at the free-throw line where he is 19-of-23. Unfortunately, everywhere else Jackson has failed to hit the mark, shooting just 23.3 percent behind the three-point line and 32.7 percent from the field overall. Baker and Davis check in with 11.5 and 10.5 ppg, respectively, as well.
If Wilder has another off night like he did in the last outing for the Anteaters, expect to see Pepperdine take advantage and quite possibly score the win at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Irvine 61, Pepperdine 57
11/24 10:38:37 ET