Sellout Expected for UC Irvine-Fullerton

Times Staff Writer

Tonight’s UC Irvine-Cal State Fullerton game may not have the impact on the Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. race it has had, but the 7:30 contest will have the atmosphere of a big game.

Irvine’s 5,000-seat Bren Center is expected to be sold out for just the second time this season.

The last time the Anteaters (10-9 overall and 5-5 in the PCAA) and the Titans (6-13, 2-8) met, Irvine shot 80% from the field in the second half en route to an 81-73 victory. The Anteaters shot a sea son-low 38% Thursday night during a 99-77 loss to No. 2-ranked Nevada Las Vegas.

Fullerton, meanwhile, continues to discover new ways to lose close ones. Thursday night at UC Santa Barbara, the Titans scored just 15 points in the first half before rallying. They had two chances to win in the final seconds with their best players--Richard Morton and Henry Turner--missing medium-range jumpers and the Gauchos prevailed, 57-56.


Morton broke out of a semi-slump with a 31-point performance against Santa Barbara. He made 9 of 12 field-goal attempts, including 4 of 5 three-point shots in the second half. In the first game against Irvine, Morton had 38 points (a school record since Fullerton obtained Division I status in 1974-75).

Center Wayne Engelstad, 6-8 senior, scored 40 points and had 12 rebounds in the Anteaters’ 79-62 win over New Mexico State last Saturday, but he made just 10 of 26 field-goal attempts against UNLV.

Irvine forward Jeff Herdman suffered a broken nose, and forward Steve Florentine sprained an ankle against UNLV. Both are questionable for tonight’s game.