Men's Basketball Preview: UC Irvine vs. Washington

UC Irvine Pregame

Vs. Washington

Thursday, 8 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena

The Anteaters have lost their first two games by a combined six points, including a 98-97 overtime setback in their home opener against Fresno State.

Washington is 1-0 after topping Seattle, 88-78, at home on Sunday.

This is the second meeting between the two schools. UCI topped the Huskies, 56-55, in Seattle in 2000.

UCI is shooting 50.4% from the field for the season, but just 56.5% from the foul line. Take away Will Davis and Travis Souza, who are a combined 10 for 10, and UCI had made just 29 of 59 free-throw attempts (49.2%).

UCI is led by 6-foot-5 senior guard Chris McNealy (21 points and 4.5 rebounds per game), sophomore guard Alex Young (18.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg and four assists per game) and junior forward Davis (11 ppg, 9.5 rpg).

Washington, coached for the 12th season by Lorenzo Romar, is paced by guards C.J. Wilcox, Andrew Andrews and Darin Johnson, who scored 22, 21 and 16, respectively against Seattle. Wilcox averaged 16.8 last season as a junior when Washington went 18-16, 9-9 in the Pac 12 and lost in the first round of the NIT.

The Huskies' starting lineup includes 6-9, 250-pound junior Shawn Kemp Jr., the son of the former Seattle SuperSonics star. The younger Kemp had 10 points and three rebounds in the opener.

Washington was outrebounded, 41-37, by Seattle and UCI is posting a 39-35.5 edge in that department this season.

UCI's John Ryan, a 6-10 junior center, is expected to play after falling hard to the floor and not returning on Tuesday at Pacific.

Will Davis and 7-6 freshman center Mamadou Ndiaye have both fouled out of one game this season.

UCI has 56 fouls in two games and has had three players foul out. Davis has nine fouls followed by Ndiaye and Young (eight each).

Ndiaye is four for 15 on free throws this season (26.7%). He shot 46.2% from the line as a senior at Brethren Christian High (73 for 158).

After Thursday, UCI returns home to meet Pacifica on Sunday at 7 p.m.

— Barry Faulkner

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World