vs. LIU Brooklyn
Friday, 7 p.m. at Bren Events Center
The Anteaters (2-2) have won two straight and will play three games in three days as part of the 2K Sports Classic Irvine Subregional.
The visiting Blackbirds (1-1) led for more than half the game before being edged, 73-72, at No. 23-ranked Indiana on Nov. 12. They have won the last three Northeast Conference titles and are led by senior guard Jason Brickman, who led the nation in assists last season (8.5) and is averaging 12.5 this season.
LIU Brooklyn's Jack Perri won the Joe B. Hall Awards last season as the nation's top second-year head coach after a 20-14 campaign.
E.J. Reed, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward, leads the Blackbirds in scoring (16 per game), followed by junior Citrus College transfer Gilbert Parga (14) and junior guard Gerrell Martin (13).
Will Davis, a 6-8 junior forward and the reigning Big West Conference Player of the Week, tops UCI at 14.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest.
The other four starters average between nine and 12.5 points per game for the 'Eaters, who are shooting 54.9% as a team and have shot at least 50% from the field in every game this season.
Mamadou Ndiaye, a 7-6 freshman center, is averaging nine points, 5.8 rebounds and three blocks per game and set a conference record with nine blocks in a win Thursday at Washington.
UCI is averaging 93 points per game as a team, nearly 13 more than the Blackbirds, and has posted an average rebounding advantage of 40.2 to 34.8.
UCI will face Boston University on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and close out the event on Sunday against Eastern Washington at 4 p.m.
— Barry Faulkner