Big West Conference Games
UC Irvine will travel to Cal State Fullerton Thursday (Jan. 17) for a 5:30 p.m. PT game at Titan Gym then host UC Riverside Saturday (Jan. 19) at 4:00 p.m. at the Bren Center.
Thursday's game at Fullerton is a double-header with the UCI men taking on the Titan men at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday's game at the Bren Center is also the annual Girl Scout Cookie Rally. Last year's rally game had a season-high crowd of 1,300 fans.
Cal State Fullerton is 6-9 overall and 2-1 in the Big West. The Titans are comig off a 54-49 victory against UC Riverside Saturday. Fullerton is 5-2 at home this year.
UCI holds a 33-32 series led over Cal State Fullerton all-time. The teams split a pair of contests last year with UCI winning at home 73-68 and the Titans taking a 58-44 victory on their home court.
In the meeting at the Bren Center, the Anteaters lead by 22 (72-50) on a Jasmine Bernard basket with 4:44 to go in the game. Cal State Fullerton would out-score UCI 18-1 to end the game with a Methyln Onogomuho free throw as UCI's only score at 1:51 following the Bernard bucket. Nine of the Titans' final 18 points came from the free throw line. UCI shot 46.2 (12-26) in the final 20 minutes while Fullerton was just 27.8 (10-36), but the Titans shot 83.3 percent (20-24) from the free throw line for the game, including hitting 17-19 in the second half.
In the second meeting, UCI's bench scored 31 of the team's 44 points. Bernard paced the Anteaters with a team-high 12 points. Kelly Meggs totaled seven points and three assists, while Lauren Spinazze sparked the Anteaters with six points and five rebounds. Pernilla Hanson had six points and Methlyn Onogomuho added four points and a team-high five rebounds.
UC Riverside leads the series with UCI, 29-14. Each team won on the opponents home court last year.
In the last meeting, Kelly Meggs recorded a career-high 26 points to help UCI to a 65-60 overtime victory in Riverside. The guard went 7-17 from the field, including 5-13 from three-point territory and 7-8 from the free throw line. She also had a career-best six assists. Klintsone totaled 16 points, hitting 12-13 from the free throw line.
In the first meeting of the year, UC Riverside held off UC Irvine for the 70-67 victory in Irvine. The lead would change seven times in the second half and the Highlanders reclaimed the lead 66-65 with 1:06 left. UCR would hit four of six free throws to end the game as UCI managed just one basket with five seconds to go. Klintsone had 14 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
The Highlanders are 7-7 on the year and 0-3 in the Big West. Riverside, who is 3-1 on the road this season, will face Long Beach State on Thursday before playing the Anteaters.
UCI ranks 31st in the country in fewest fouls, averaging just 13.9 per game. The Anteaters committed a season-low eight fouls against Cal State Northridge on Saturday.
UCI is 4-12 overall, but still looking for its first Big West win (0-4) and first victory at home (0-6). The Anteaters are 3-6 on the road and 1-0 on a neutral floor.
After winning two of three games to end 2012, UCI has dropped all four contests in 2013. The four-game losing skid matches the longest of the year.
Buckley ranks fifth in the Big West in rebounding (7.9) and is 10th in free throw percentage (.733), while Tsurumoto is seventh in minutes played at 31.9.
Buckley has led the team in rebounding in 11 of the 15 games she has played in.
In conference play, UCI is last in scoring offense (46.5), but is third in scoring defense (57.5). UCI averages 54.1 points on the season overall.
Last week, UCI dropped a pair of games to Hawaii (56-46) and Cal State Northridge (59-48) on the road.
Opponents scored 41 points on 44 UCI turnovers over the two games last week. The Anteaters committed 28 turnovers versus the Matadors, which was the second most this year for the Anteaters.
Jasmine Bernard led the Anteaters against Hawaii with 16 points, while Kelly Meggs, Jennifer Tsurumoto and Vanessa Aguilar paced UCI with nine points each versus the Matadors.
UCI out-rebounded Cal State Northridge 45-28. The Anteaters' 45 rebounds were the second most this season and the +17 margin was the highest of the year.