Men's Basketball Preview: UC Irvine vs. Pepperdine

UC Irvine Pregame

Vs. Pepperdine

Saturday 7 p.m. at Bren Events Center

The Anteaters enter their only December home game at 5-4, before hitting the road for four straight games.

Pepperdine (5-4) lost at Cal State Fullerton, 78-64, on Tuesday.

UCI has won the last four games against Pepperdine in the Bren Center, including double-overtime wins in 2003 and 2001. The Waves have won the last two in Malibu, including 72-62 last season.

UCI has four players averaging in double figures, led by senior guard Chris McNealy at 11.9 points per game. McNealy, the 'Eaters' lone senior, needs 72 points to become the 23rd player in school history to top the 1,000-point plateau.

Will Davis, a 6-foot-8 junior, is averaging 11.8 points and a team-best 7.6 rebounds, while freshman guard Luke Nelson is averaging 11.6 points. Sophomore guard Alex Young is averaging 10.4 points and leads UCI with 38 assists.

Mamadou Ndiaye, UCI's 7-6 freshman center, ranks ninth in the nation with 27 blocked shots, including a Big West Conference single-game-record 10 against Eastern Washington and nine against Washington.

Coach Marty Wilson's Waves are led by senior forward Brendan Lane (16.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game). Sophomore forward Stacy Davis is averaging 16 points and 6.4 rebounds.

UCI is shooting 48.6% from the field and has shot better than 50% six times this season in nine games.

UCI is 3-2 this season at home after posting a 13-1 home record last season.

The Anteaters scored a season-low 56 points and shot a season-worst 29% from the field in a 17-point loss at Cal on Monday.

— Barry Faulkner

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