UC Irvine faces Long Beach St. in Big West quarters
No. 8 seed Long Beach State (11-21, 6-10) vs. No. 1 seed UC Irvine (21-11, 13-3)
Big West Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Honda Center, Anaheim, California; Thursday, 8 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: A spot in the Big West semifinals is on the line as Long Beach State and UC Irvine match up. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last played each other on Feb. 19, when the Anteaters shot 44.8 percent from the field while limiting Long Beach State to just 33.9 percent en route to the 70-55 victory.
FAB FRESHMEN: Long Beach State’s Chance Hunter, Michael Carter III and Joshua Morgan have collectively accounted for 51 percent of the team’s scoring this season, including 52 percent of all Beach points over the last five games.CLUTCH CHANCE: Hunter has connected on 41.7 percent of the 139 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 6 of 20 over his last five games. He’s also converted 63.6 percent of his free throws this season.
WINLESS WHEN: The Anteaters are 0-6 when they score 61 points or fewer and 21-5 when they exceed 61 points. The Beach are 0-16 when allowing 75 or more points and 11-5 on the season, otherwise.
ASSIST RATIOS: The Beach have recently gotten baskets via assists more often than the Anteaters. UC Irvine has 49 assists on 87 field goals (56.3 percent) over its past three outings while Long Beach State has assists on 44 of 75 field goals (58.7 percent) during its past three games.
SECOND CHANCES: UC Irvine has posted an excellent offensive rebound percentage of 35.3 percent this year. That rate is the 14th-highest in Division 1. The offensive rebound percentage for Long Beach State stands at just 25.4 percent (ranked 273rd).