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Cal Poly (11-19) vs. UC Irvine (23-10)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 9:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Honda Center (17,608) -- Anaheim, California. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Cal Poly 6-6, UCI 12-4. Away Record: Cal Poly 3-12, UCI 10-6. Neutral Record: Cal Poly 2-1, UCI 1-0. Conference Record: Cal Poly 6-10, UCI 13-3. Series Record: UC Irvine leads, 24-20.

GAME NOTES: The Cal Poly Mustangs continue their drive to perhaps their first Big West Conference Tournament title, as they clash with the UC Irvine Anteaters in the semifinals of the 39th annual event at the Honda Center tonight.

Cal Poly, which is the seventh seed in this year's tourney, scored a major upset on Thursday as it defeated second-seeded UC Santa Barbara. But it wasn't just a lucky day for the Mustangs, they completely dominated the Gauchos in a 69-38 final. The Mustangs had lost both regular-season battles with UCSB, including a 71-55 final just five days ago at home.

Meanwhile, the top-seeded Anteaters are aiming to get back to the championship round for the second time in as many years, after losing to Pacific in 2013 by a score of 64-55. Now 24-31 in this event over the years, UCI had virtually no trouble taking case of UC Riverside on Thursday, 63-43, in order to advance.

UCI won both regular-season meetings with the Mustangs, although the latest battle less than two weeks ago at the Bren Events Center was decided by only seven points (55-48). As a result, the Anteaters now lead the all-time series by a 24-20 margin.

The winner of this meeting heads to the title game on Saturday night to face either Cal State Northridge or Long Beach State for the right to take part in the NCAA Tournament.

Cal Poly's effort against UCSB was historic for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it was the finest defensive effort for the Mustangs in just over two years. The 38 points allowed also represented the toughest defensive stance in this tournament since 2001 when Utah State scored a 50-38 win against Pacific.

Offensively, the Mustangs were paced by Ridge Shipley who scored a career-high 15 points in 21 minutes off the bench, converting all eight of his free-throw attempts. Joel Awich was a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor as he accounted for 11 points, matching the scoring of Kyle Odister who knocked down 3-of-5 shots behind the 3-point line.

UCSB turned the ball over 13 times, shot only 32.7 percent from the floor and was outscored by Cal Poly at the free-throw line, 17-0.

Just like the Mustangs, UCI dialed up the defensive pressure on Thursday, holding UC Riverside to a mere 29.4 percent shooting from the floor, including 3-of-12 behind the 3-point line. The Highlanders didn't have a single starter score in double figures as the quintet combined to shoot only 9-of-39 from the field. Over on the other side, Will Davis II accounted for a game-high 16 points and Luke Nelson dropped in 14 for the Anteaters as they got away with only 4-of-12 shooting beyond the arc.

The defensive effort by UCI wasn't out of the ordinary last night, but the same cannot be said for the performance turned in by Cal Poly, a program which is just 5-13 away from home this season. As great as it was to see the Mustangs dominate in all facets of the game, it is unlikely that it will carry over to tonight's contest.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UC Irvine 67, Cal Poly 61

03/14 10:39:45 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
3rd
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
Final
MIA 100
BOS 84
Final
BRK 110
DET 105
Final
SAC 108
LAL 101
Final
ORL 88
PHI 96
Final
WAS 92
PHO 104
4th
MIN 87
IND 87
 
4th
OKC 97
NOP 96
 
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
Final
UGA 65
SHU 47
Final
ALA 60
APP 59
Final
KSU 53
NDST 52
 
Final
WASU 82
SJST 53
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
Final
DET 1
COL 2
 
Final
EDM 5
DAL 6
 
3rd
BOS 2
BUF 2
 
3rd
NYR 1
CAR 0
 
3rd
CHI 2
TOR 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
Final
OAK 26
BUF 24
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
1st
ARI 0
SEA 0