UC Riverside meets UC Irvine in Big West quarters
No. 8 seed UC Riverside (10-22, 4-12) vs. No. 1 seed UC Irvine (27-5, 15-1)
Big West Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Honda Center, Anaheim, California; Thursday, 8 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: UC Riverside is set to match up against UC Irvine in the quarterfinals of the Big West tournament. In the regular season, UC Irvine won both of the head-to-head matchups. The teams last went at it on March 2, when the Anteaters outshot UC Riverside 47.3 percent to 40 percent and had eight fewer turnovers on their way to a 21-point victory.
SUPER SENIORS: UC Irvine has relied heavily on its seniors this year. Max Hazzard, Evan Leonard, Jonathan Galloway, Collin Welp and Elston Jones have collectively accounted for 59 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 63 percent of all Anteaters points over the last five games.
DOMINANT DIKYMBE: Dikymbe Martin has connected on 45 percent of the 151 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 5 of 10 over his last three games. He’s also made 85.5 percent of his foul shots this season.
SLIPPING AT 72: UC Riverside is 0-13 when it allows at least 72 points and 10-9 when it holds opponents to less than 72.
ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Anteaters have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Highlanders. UC Irvine has 52 assists on 108 field goals (48.1 percent) over its previous three contests while UC Riverside has assists on 31 of 68 field goals (45.6 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The UC Irvine defense has allowed only 63.8 points per game to opponents this season, ranking the Anteaters 20th among Division I teams. The UC Riverside offense has averaged 65.9 points through 32 games (ranked 287th, nationally).