UC Riverside face UC Irvine in the Big West semi-finals

No. 3 seeds UC Riverside (14-7, 11-5) against No. 2 seeds UC Irvine (17-8, 14-4) Big West Conference Tourney Semifinals, …

No. 3 seeds UC Riverside (14-7, 11-5) against No. 2 seeds UC Irvine (17-8, 14-4)

Big West Conference Tournament Semifinals, Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas; Friday, 12 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: UC Irvine is ready to face UC Riverside. The winner will secure a spot in the Big West championship game. The teams divided the regular season with one win each. The teams last met on Feb.13 when the anteaters shot 43.5 percent off the field, while keeping UC Riverside at just 39.7 percent on the way to the 73-67 win.

SENIOR STUDS: UC Riverside’s Jock Perry, Arinze Chidom and Dominick Pickett have combined 43 percent of the team’s points this season, including 48 percent of all Highlanders who have scored in the last five games.

SPARKING THE OFFENSE: Zyon Pullin has scored or supported 43 percent of all UC riverside field goals in the last three games. The second guard has scored 13 field goals and 17 assists in these games.

PERFECT WHEN: UC Irvine is a perfect 10-0 when the team records eight or more steals. The anteaters are 7-8 if they steal the ball less than eight times.

POINTS FOR POINTS: The Highlanders have been getting baskets of assists more often than the anteaters lately. UC Irvine has backed 31 out of 75 field goals (41.3 percent) in the last three games, while UC Riverside has backed 39 out of 70 field goals (55.7 percent) in the last three games.

DANGEROUS FROM DEPTHS: The UC Riverside offense averaged 9.3 3-point points per game, ranked 29th in Division I. UC Irvine only averaged 4.9 3-point points per game (nationwide on Place 273).

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