Cal Poly, UC Irvine meet in conference play
Cal Poly (4-14, 1-3) vs. UC Irvine (11-9, 3-1)
Bren Events Center, Irvine, California; Saturday, 10 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: UC Irvine plays host to Cal Poly in a Big West matchup. Each team is coming off a road loss in their last game. UC Irvine lost 63-56 to Long Beach State on Wednesday, while Cal Poly fell 97-64 at UC Riverside on Thursday.
SQUAD LEADERSHIP: UC Irvine’s Collin Welp has averaged 13.8 points and 6.7 rebounds while Eyassu Worku has put up 12.3 points. For the Mustangs, Junior Ballard has averaged 11.2 points while Kyle Colvin has put up 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Anteaters have given up just 59.3 points per game to Big West opponents thus far, an improvement from the 68.5 per game they gave up in non-conference play.JUMPING FOR JUNIOR: Ballard has connected on 34.4 percent of the 64 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 5 for 10 over the last three games. He’s also made 74.1 percent of his foul shots this season.
WINLESS WHEN: The Anteaters are 0-6 when they score 67 points or fewer and 11-3 when they exceed 67 points. The Mustangs are 0-12 when they fail to score more than 69 points and 4-2 on the season, otherwise.
STREAK STATS: Cal Poly has dropped its last nine road games, scoring 60.6 points and allowing 77 points during those contests. UC Irvine has won its last four home games, scoring an average of 83 points while giving up 58.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: The stout UC Irvine defense has held opposing offenses to a field goal percentage of 37.5 percent, the 12th-lowest mark in Division I. Cal Poly has allowed opponents to shoot 44.7 percent through 18 games (ranking the Mustangs 273rd).