UC Riverside faces UC Irvine in Big West semis
No. 3 seed UC Riverside (14-7, 11-5) vs. No. 2 seed UC Irvine (17-8, 14-4)
Big West Conference Tourney Semifinals, Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas; Friday, 12 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: UC Irvine is ready to face UC Riverside with the winner securing a spot in the Big West championship game. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last met on Feb. 13, when the Anteaters shot 43.5 percent from the field while holding UC Riverside to just 39.7 percent en route to the 73-67 victory.
SENIOR STUDS: UC Riverside’s Jock Perry, Arinze Chidom and Dominick Pickett have combined to score 43 percent of the team’s points this season, including 48 percent of all Highlanders scoring over the last five games.
SPARKING THE OFFENSE: Zyon Pullin has either made or assisted on 43 percent of all UC Riverside field goals over the last three games. The sophomore guard has accounted for 13 field goals and 17 assists in those games.
PERFECT WHEN: UC Irvine is a perfect 10-0 when the team records eight or more steals. The Anteaters are 7-8 when they steal the ball fewer than eight times.
PASSING FOR POINTS: The Highlanders have recently gotten baskets via assists more often than the Anteaters. UC Irvine has an assist on 31 of 75 field goals (41.3 percent) over its previous three games while UC Riverside has assists on 39 of 70 field goals (55.7 percent) during its past three games.
DANGEROUS FROM DEEP: The UC Riverside offense has made an average of 9.3 3-pointers per game, the 29th-most in Division I. UC Irvine has only averaged 4.9 3-pointers per game (ranked 273rd, nationally).
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This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.com