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Big West Notebook

January 13, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Big West Conference Notebook

by Shaan Hassan

Pacific, Utah State, Fullerton Separate From the Pack

The good, the bad and the ugly are starting to detach themselves, now. It
took a few games, but it’s become clear. Pacific (3-0) remains the only
undefeated team in the conference with Utah State (3-1) and up-start Cal
State Fullerton (3-1), who may not be so full of it right now, on their
tails.

Pacific, in their lone win of the week, handled Cal State Northridge (0-3)
in their eight-point win, 67-59. Forward Christian Maraker scored 18 points
on 7-12 shooting and added eight rebounds. Utah State in their primetime
game against Cal Poly SLO, which was undefeated prior to Jan. 9, destroyed
Cal Poly 81-67. Forward Desmond Penigar led all scorers with 20 points, one
of four Aggies in double-digit scoring. Utah State, on national television,
then embarrassed UCSB, 75-59 in Utah, Jan. 11. Cal Poly, after losing their
first conference game of the season, then lost to Idaho (2-2) two days
later, 66-50. Cal Poly: officially a pretender.

Fullerton meanwhile, after starting the season 2-7, has since gone 3-1 in
conference games including a huge upset over UC Irvine (2-1). The Anteaters
managed a remarkable late game comeback capitalized on forward Jordan
Harris’ jumper with just seconds left to send the game into overtime. With a
late two-point deficit and just seconds remaining, juco transfer guard
Ralphy Holmes went coast to coast, split two defenders, threw up a prayer
and had it answered and then some. Holmes made the shot and the free throw
for a one-point lead with .3 seconds left as the Titans shocked the
Anteaters, 66-65.

Three teams currently stand at 2-2 (Cal Poly, Idaho and UCSB) and UC
Riverside (1-3), CSUN (0-3) and Long Beach State (0-3) can be considered
both bad and ugly.

War of Words Ensues Between UCI and Utah State

Ever since UC Irvine’s first regular season championship two years ago when
they replaced Utah State atop the standings, the rivalry between the
Anteaters and the Aggies has been one to remember and circle on the
calendar.

Last year, UCI upset Utah State on national television, in Utah no less, on
MVP Jerry Green’s coast-to-coast buzzer beater. In reference to that play
and this upcoming Malay, err, I mean match-up, Jan. 15 in Irvine, the
associate sports editor of UCI’s student newspaper, the New University,
received an unsettling e-mail last week from a Utah State fan. It read:
“That [expletive] was luck. We’re going to [expletive] destroy you guys next week.”

If UCI wins, they move past Utah State in the conference standings and
surely gain a mental edge come postseason. The game is televised on the
local station KDOC TV. As the associate sports editor put it in his article,
“A war zone awaits…”

Pacific’s Jackson Named Player of the Week

The tiny point guard from Pacific has been playing huge recently and has
since been awarded. Senior Demetrius Jackson, 5-10, averaged 18 points per
game during the week and was named Big West Player of the Week, Jan. 6.
Jackson led the Tigers passed Idaho 73-50 scoring 22 points with 4-4
shooting from beyond the arc and then helped Pacific down Utah State 66-54
as he had 14 points, on 6-15 shooting.

     

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