UC Santa Barbara (8-9, 5-2) at UC Irvine (11-5, 5-2), 5:30, Fox Sports Net 2, KUCI-FM (88.9), KEYT (1250) -- Now that they are injury-free, the Gauchos have won three in a row and five of their last seven and are playing the way defending conference champions are expected to. They have pulled into a second-place tie with Irvine, a half-game behind Utah State. Leading scorer Branduinn Fullove averages 15.2 points, but he has also had 22 rebounds in the last three games. This is the first of four consecutive home games for two-time defending regular-season champion Irvine.

Pacific (9-7, 4-3) at UC Riverside (3-10, 2-5), 7, KPRO (1570), KUCR-FM (88.3) -- After playing eight of its last 10 games on the road, Riverside is at home for seven of its last 11. Senior swingman Mark Miller is 45 points shy of scoring 1,000 points, but he is listed as day to day because of an injured ankle. Freshman guard Nate Carter (17.7 points) leads the Big West in scoring. Pacific shot a season-best 61% from the floor Saturday and ended a three-game losing streak by beating Long Beach State, 93-60.

Cal State Northridge (9-8, 3-4) at Cal State Fullerton (5-12, 3-4), 7, KWRM (1370), KCSN-FM (88.5) -- These fifth-place teams have taken opposite paths to get to this point. Northridge has won three in a row after a six-game losing streak. After winning three overtime games in a row, Fullerton has lost four straight. But those games weren't decided until the final two minutes, including Saturday's 61-60 loss at front-running Utah State.

-- Paul McLeod



USC (9-11, 4-5) at No. 25 Washington (15-3, 7-2), 7 -- The glow from USC's upset victory over then-fifth-ranked Stanford on Sunday evaporated Wednesday when the Trojans learned starting guard Aisha Hollans partially tore a ligament in her right knee. Hollans, who suffered the injury Friday against Cal, will not need surgery but is sidelined three to six weeks. Her spot may fall to either Erin Young or Meghan Gnekow. Washington, which moved into the top 25 for the first time this season, is 9-0 at home.

UCLA (11-7, 6-3) at Washington State (0-17, 0-9), 7, KBET (850), KTDD (1350) -- Coach Sherri Murrell called Washington State's 93-51 loss to UCLA three weeks ago "our lowest point of the season." That's saying something, considering the Cougars are on a 41-game losing streak, dating to Dec. 1, 2001. The Bruins aren't that bad, but they are in a lull, having lost three in a row after winning seven in a row.

-- Mike Terry

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