Men's Basketball Preview: UC Irvine vs. Eastern Washington

UCI Pregame

Vs. Eastern Washington

Sunday at 4 p.m. at Bren Events Center

The Anteaters get the chance to rebound from Saturday's 74-68 loss to Boston University in fewer than 24 hours by taking on the only unbeaten team in the four-team, three-day 2K Sports Classic.

Eastern Washington (4-1) has defeated BU and LIU Brooklyn, the latter a 102-70 drubbing on Saturday in which six Eagles scored in double figures and seven players shot at least 50% from the field.

Coach Jim Hayford's Eagles topped BU, 80-68, on Friday and own a victory over Pacific, which knocked off UCI earlier this season. The Eagles' lone loss is to Washington, which UCI thumped in Seattle.

The matchup features two of the best shooting teams on the West Coast. UCI, which shot worse than 50% for the first time in six games on Saturday, comes in shooting 52.8% from the field. Eastern Washington shot 63.9% against LIU Brooklyn to up its season percentage to 53.4 from the field. It is also shooting 44.9% from three-point distance (48 for 107).

The Eagles have five players averaging double figures in scoring, led by sophomore Tyler Harvey (18.8 per game).

Junior Will Davis, who on Friday became the school's all-time leader in blocked shots and now has 151 as an Anteater, leads UCI in scoring (13.5 per contest) and rebounding (7.7), followed by senior Chris McNealy (12.5 points per game).

UCI's lowest scoring output of the season dropped their season scoring average to 86.7, while Eastern Washington is averaging 86.2.

Mamadou Ndiaye, UCI's 7-foot-6 freshman center, made four of five from the field on Saturday and actually saw his field-goal percentage drop from 82.6 to 82.1. He has made 23 of 28 shots from the field this season.

After struggling from the foul line in the first three games, UCI has shot 78.9% in the last three games (45 for 57).

After Sunday, UCI's next game is Saturday at Sacramento State.

— Barry Faulkner

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