UC Irvine (13-13, 7-6) vs. Cal State Fullerton (12-12, 5-7)
Saturday, February 16, 2013 – 8:00 p.m.
Bren Events Center (5,000) – Irvine, Calif.
Series Record: CSF leads 52-44
Last Meeting: UCI won 92-65 (1/17/13 in Fullerton)
Radio: KUCI/88.9 FM (Mark Roberts, 19th Season, & Steve Henkle)
TV: FOX Prime Ticket (Paul Sunderland, Michael Cage, Kelli Tennant)
Audio / Video / Live Stats
'EATERS HOST TITANS SATURDAY NIGHT
● Third-year head coach Russell Turner's UC Irvine squad (13-13, 7-6 Big West) hosts Call State Fullerton Saturday night as the Anteaters play three of their last five conference games at home this season. UCI is 9-1 at home this season, including 6-0 in Big West games.
● This is the longest series for the Anteaters as Saturday marks the 97th meeting in the UCI-CSF series with CSF leading 52-44. UCI's 92-65 victory at Titan Gym Jan. 17 was the largest margin of victory for the Anteaters in the series.
● Junior guard Chris McNealy scored 21 points off the bench for UCI in the Jan. 17 win, hitting 5 of 8 threes. He added six assists and five rebounds. Senior guard Daman Starring scored 16 points and also recorded six assists while senior Michael Wilder had 12 points and eight boards. Sophomore post Will Davis II registered 11 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots.
● UCI is coming off a 52-48 win over UC Riverside in the Bren Center Wednesday night. Senior Michael Wilder scored a game-high 17 points and freshman Alex Young added 10 points, a career-high eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. The 'Eaters had a 15-point lead early in the second half and had to hold off the Highlanders down the stretch.
● UCI drew UT Arlington in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters and will face the Mavericks next Saturday at 5:00 p.m. (CST) at the College Park Center in Arlington, Tex. This will be the first meeting between the schools.
UC IRVINE NOTES
● UCI's 7-6 Big West record is the program's best in five years after 13 games since the 2007-08 team had a similar mark.
● UCI is 8-0 this season when holding the opposition to under 60 points and 9-3 when leading at halftime. UCI is 9-5 this season when the opponents have shot below 40 percent from the field.
● The lineup of Alex Young, Daman Starring, Michael Wilder, Adam Folker and Will Davis II has started 15 games this season, including the last 11. The 'Eaters are 9-6 overall with that starting unit, 6-5 in league games.
● As of Friday, UCI ranked 22nd in the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.383), 29th in assists per game (15.7) and 37th in assist/turnover ratio (1.25).
● Alex Young ranks 21st in the nation in assist/turnover ratio at 2.59 and Will Davis II is 40th in blocked shots at 2.16 per game.
● Will Davis II, with 54 blocked shots this season, is one shy of his single-season school record of 55 set last season.
● Alex Young, with 106 assists this season, is on pace to record the most assists in a season by a UCI player since Aaron Fitzgerald had 190 in 2005-06.
● For all games, UCI ranks first in the Big West Conference in field-goal percentage defense (.383), three-point field goal percentage defense (.325) and blocked shots per game (4.5).
● Individually for all games, Will Davis II leads the Big West in blocked shots per game (2.16), Young is second in assist/turnover ratio (2.59) and fourth in assists per game (4.1), Adam Folker is sixth in offensive rebounds per game (2.7), and Daman Starring is sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.418) and seventh in free-throw percentage (.773).
● In conference games only, Davis is first in blocked shots per game (2.2), Young is second in assist/turnover ratio (2.6) and fourth in assists (4.5), Adam Folker is third in offensive rebounds per game (.3.1), and Davis II (.571) and Folker (.553) rank fifth and seventh, respectively, in field-goal percentage.
● Senior Daman Starring is the only UCI player averaging in double figures at 13.2 points per game, leading the team in scoring in 11 games this season and recording five 20-point games.
● Starring has 932 points in 90 career games at UCI.
● Senior post Adam Folker has 572 career rebounds to rank 15th in the Anteater record book, two behind No. 14 Jeff Cunningham.
● Senior Michael Wilder has 971 points and 533 rebounds in his UCI career. His 533 career boards rank 16th in Anteater history. Fifteen previous UCI players have scored 1,000 points and grabbed 500 rebounds in their careers.
● Wilder ranks No. 4 in UCI history with 200 career threes, one behind No. 3 Jeff Herdman (1987-91). Daman Starring is 10th with 131, one behind No. 9 Rod Palmer (1988-90). Michael Hunter (2006-10) is the school's career leader with 236 threes.
DEFEND THE BREN
The Bren Events Center on the UCI campus marked its 26th anniversary in January. The center opened Jan. 8, 1987, when the 'Eaters defeated Utah State, 118-96, on the strength of 43 points by Scott Brooks. Brooks is head coach of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder and the 2010 NBA Coach of the Year.
UCI is 202-145 all-time at the Bren Center. The 'Eaters are 121-48 (.716) in the Bren dating back to February 2000. UCI is 9-1 at home this season.
WELCOME BACK ALUMNI
UCI men's basketball alumni were invited to Saturday night's game and the list of expected attendees includes Steve Parker (1968, 72), Jeff Cunningham (1967-70), Howard Hawkins (1971-74), Rainer Wulf (1980-82), Ricky Butler (1988-91), Shauhin Talesh (1993-95), Jerry Green (1998-2002), Stan Divranos (1999), Jordan Harris (2001-03), Ryan Snook (2004), Darren Moore (2009-11) and Coach Tim Tift (1969-80).
Possible alums who will attend include Aras Baskauskas (2000-04), Greg Ethington (2000-05) and Nic Campbell (2003-07).
A LOOK AT CAL STATE FULLERTON
● Interim head coach Andy Newman's Titans are 12-12 overall and 5-7 in the Big West following an 85-65 loss at Long Beach State Wednesday night.
● Seniors D.J. Seeley and Kwame Vaughn are averaging 18.9 and 18.0 points, respectively, to rank 2-3 in the Big West.
● Senior Sammy Yeager is averaging 16.1 points and has hit 65 threes on the season, hitting 45.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
● Fullerton ranks second in the nation in free-throw percentage (.785) and fourth in scoring offense (81.1).