Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Big West weekly review-preview

Week 2 of Big West Conference games brought a few more surprises, but one constant remains at the top.

UC Irvine scored a pair of victories last week to remain atop the conference at 3-0. The Anteaters have now won 19 consecutive games against Big West teams, a streak dating to last season, when they won both the regular-season and conference tournament championships.

Hawai’i got two home wins last week and is currently alone in second place at 3-1 (with its only loss at UC Irvine).

The bottom of the conference standings is not that far off, and every team has at least one Big West victory already. Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State are tied for the 8th/9th spot with identical 1-3 conference records, although the Titans beat the 49ers last week.

Here is a brief look back at last week, and a l ook ahead to this week:

● Who will challenge UC Irvine?

The Anteaters scored a road win at Cal State Fullerton (74-61) and then a home win over UC Riverside (69-53). UCI is now 3-0, and all three wins have been by double-digit margins.

Over their last 35 Big West games going back to the 2017-18 season, the Anteaters are 31-4 against conference opponents. The next best record among Big West teams during that same stretch is UC Santa Barbara at 22-13.

● UC Riverside drops back to the pack

The Highlanders went 2-0 during the first week of conference games and had a brief stay in first place, but they lost two games last week to fall to the middle of the standings at 2-2. The Highlanders lost a home game to CSUN (80-68), then lost at UC Irvine (69-53).

● Latest NET rankings

UC Irvine’s early dominance in league play is reflected in the latest NET rankings from the NCAA.

106 – UC Irvine
160 – UC Santa Barbara
169 – Hawai’i
218 – UC Davis
226 – UC Riverside
252 – Cal State Fullerton
261 – CSUN
292 – Long Beach State
313 – Cal Poly

The NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) is a measuring tool that relies on statistics and other variables to rank all 353 NCAA Division I teams.

● Best game of last week

UC Davis 85, Long Beach State 82. The 49ers trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half, but rallied to tie it in the second half. UC Davis built the lead back up to 11 with less than a minute remaining, but the 49ers made three 3-pointers in the closing seconds to make it an exciting finish.

● Player of the Week

UC Davis freshman Ezra Manjon was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week on Monday. The 5-foot-11 guard averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game to lead the Aggies to a pair of road wins.

He had 19 points, four rebounds and four assists in an 85-82 victory at Long Beach State. Two days later, he recorded 16 points and six rebounds in a 66-62 win at CSUN.

● Game to watch this week

UC Davis at Hawai’i, Saturday. This game features the only teams currently with one loss. UCD is 2-1 in the Big West, and will host Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday before making the trip to Honolulu. If the Aggies win on Thursday, the Saturday game will be for sole possession of second place – or possibly first place, if UC Irvine gets upset this week.

The Rainbow Warriors are 3-1 in conference, and do not have a weeknight game this week. In effect, they get the full week at home to prepare for UCD.

Last week’s results
UC Irvine 74, at Cal State Fullerton 61
UC Davis 85, at Long Beach State 82
CSUN 80, at UC Riverside 68
at Hawai’i 65, Cal Poly 61
at UC Irvine 69, UC Riverside 53
UC Davis 66, at CSUN 62
Cal State Fullerton 66, at Long Beach State 62
at Hawai’i 70, UC Santa Barbara 63

This week’s games

UC Irvine at Long Beach State
Cal State Fullerton at UC Davis
CSUN at UC Santa Barbara

Cal Poly at UC Riverside

Cal Poly at UC Irvine
UC Riverside at UC Santa Barbara
CSUN at Cal State Fullerton
UC Davis at Hawai’i

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