UC Irvine Pregame

Vs. Fresno State

Friday 7 p.m. at Bren Events Center

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  • Barry Faulkner Signature

The Anteaters open Coach Russell Turner's fourth season at the helm against a former Big West Conference rival, now competing in the Mountain West Conference.

UCI, coming off a 21-16 season, defeated Division III representative Chapman, 89-61, in its only exhibition on Saturday at the Bren Events Center. Senior guard Chris McNealy led the way with 17 points, while John Ryan, a 6-10 junior who began his career at Fresno State, had 15 points and seven rebounds.

Mamadou Ndiaye, a 7-6 freshman, had nine points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots against Chapman and is projected to start against the Bulldogs, along with McNealy, freshman British import Luke Nelson, sophomore guard Alex Young and junior forward Will Davis.

Fresno State, under third-year coach Rodney Terry, is coming off an 11-19 season in 2012-13. The Bulldogs defeated Cal State Stanislaus, 76-71, on Nov. 1 and Dominican, 91-67, on Monday in their two exhibition games.

Tyler Johnson, a 6-4 senior guard (12.1 points per game), and 6-1 senior guard Allen Huddleston (9.7) were the top two scorers for Fresno State last season.

Karachi Edo, a 6-6 freshman who was all-state in Texas last season, had 20 points and eight rebounds against Dominican.

Marvelle Harris, a 6-4 sophomore guard, had 23 points against CS Stanislaus.

UCI is 1-2 in openers under Turner and won last season's debut, 78-64, at home against Nevada.

Fresno State, which last played at the Bren 21 years ago, is 5-0 under Terry in road games against Big West schools.

UCI was 12-1 at the Bren last season, 13-1 at home.

— Barry Faulkner