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USIU Is Heavily Favored Against UCSD, but Series History is 50-50

U.S. International University’s game against UC San Diego might not appear as if it will be much of a contest. The NCAA Division I Gulls play host to the Division III Tritons tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Golden Hall.

But since USIU turned Division I in 1979, the teams have split six games. They each won once during the 1986-87 season (the Gulls won the last meeting, 106-94). UCSD won both games in 1985-86, and USIU swept a 2-game series in 1984-85.

The Gulls will be heavy favorites tonight--Coach Gary Zarecky has the finest team in the 4 years he has been at USIU, and UCSD is rebuilding and 5-9 against mostly Division III opponents.

The Tritons are led by 6-foot-8-inch center Gordon McNeill (12.5 points per game). USIU counters with a balanced attack that includes four players averaging in double figures.

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Gary Williams leads the team with 17.1 points, and Paul Wilson adds 16.5. Point guard Steve Smith is averaging 10.9 points, and forward Demetrius Laffitte is averaging 16 points and 10.4 rebounds.

Laffitte needs 15 rebounds to move into fourth place on USIU’s all-time list. He has 207 rebounds with 8 games remaining and has a chance to break the school record of 308 set by Don Robinson during the 1981-82 season.

The Gulls hope to tune up with UCSD and then await their rematch with Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles Jan. 31. The teams combined for an NCAA record 306 points as Loyola won, 162-144, on Jan. 7.


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