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Big West Notebook

February 3, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Big West Conference Notebook

by Shaan Hassan

The Rise of Pacific, the Fall of Irvine

Anything is possible in the wild, wild west. Examples: Pacific (6-3)
has found itself tied for second in the conference with Santa Barbara
(6-3), while Irvine (5-4) has lost three games in a row, tying them with
Cal Poly SLO (5-4) for fourth.

Pacific met UC Riverside (3-6) Jan. 30 as guard Demetrius Jackson led
the Tigers with 18 points for the 79-71 win. Five different Tigers
scored in double figures, while the Highlanders had just three players
above 10 points. Pacific had just nine assists to 12 turnovers but
forced UCR into 16 turnovers.

On Feb. 1, Pacific continued their winning ways in a 62-61 thriller over
Cal State Fullerton (4-5). Jackson again came to the rescue hitting a
three-pointer with 7.5 seconds left for three of his 28 points. He also
hit on 5-7 from three-point land. He was the only Tiger to score in
double figures. Fullerton was led by guard Ralphy Holmes who scored 20
points. Fullerton has now lost five of their last six games.

Success, meanwhile, is something of the past for UC Irvine. Ever since
the Anteaters’ four-point win over Pacific Jan. 23, they have lost by
six to Cal State Northridge (3-6), 16 to UC Santa Barbara Jan. 30 and
then by six to Cal Poly Feb. 1. In their loss to the Gauchos, guard Jeff
Gloger was UCI’s leading scorer with 13 points. The team shot a
miserable 15-41 from the field and committed 19 turnovers. UCSB was led
by forward Branduinn Fullove who scored 22 points and shot 8-15 from
behind the arc.

Against Cal Poly, Irvine didn’t fare much better as center Adam Parada
led the team with 16 points and Gloger scored 13 points to go along with
11 rebounds. Their defense, however, failed to show up as forward Varnie
Dennis scored 20 points to lead Cal Poly’s 74 points.

Weekly Recap

Utah State (7-2) continues to maintain their lead as they edged Idaho
(4-5) 60-56 Feb. 1. Forward Desmond Penigar scored 26 points on 10-16
shooting to go with eight rebounds to lead the Aggies. No other player
scored in double figures. Idaho only played eight players with just two
of them scoring more than five points.

Cal State Northridge, before the week began, was 3-4 and at this point
could have been tied for fourth place. However, with a 70-54 loss to
Fullerton Jan. 30 followed by a 74-71 disappointment to the hands of
Riverside Feb. 1, now the Matadors lie near the basement tied with
Riverside at 3-6. Just Long Beach State (2-7) lies below them.

Long Beach State fell to Cal Poly 86-71 Jan. 29, but then came back to
stun UCSB Feb. 1 68-67. Guard Tony Darden hit two free throws with 2.2
seconds left for Long Beach State as he scored all nine of his points
from the free throw line. The team shot 19-25 from the line. The
Gauchos, who live and die by the three, this time dug their own grave
shooting 4-18.

Week Preview

The big games to pay attention to this week will be Riverside at UCI
Feb. 5 as the Anteaters try to right their ship. A last place team seems
to be the right place to start. Cal Poly has a make or break week as
they host Idaho Feb. 6 then host Utah State Feb. 8. If Idaho can somehow
pull off the upset, they could find themselves in the mix at the top.

Utah State, meanwhile, will try to do everything they can to stay clear
of that as they also visit UCSB Feb. 6. Should the Gauchos win, they
would be tied for first place. Of course, that is providing they also
beat Idaho on Feb. 8. Pacific will also try to maintain their
second-place status as they visit CSUN Feb. 8.

And let’s not forget the huge match-up everyone will be keeping their
eyes on: Riverside at Long Beach State in a meeting of the two worst
teams in the conference. If Long Beach State wins, they and Riverside
will be tied up in the basement. If CSUN loses to Pacific, there will be
a three-team tie for last place.

Mr. Jackson Gets Dangerous in the Clutch

Leading the Pacific Tigers to a 2-0 week, guard Demetrius Jackson hit
the game-winning shot against Cal State Fullerton to help solidify the
conference’s pick of him as the Big West Conference Player of the Week.

Earlier in the week against UC Riverside, Jackson scored 18 points in
the Tigers’ 79-71 victory. In the match against Fullerton, he scored all
but six of his 28 points in the second half including a jumper with
under eight seconds left to give the Tigers the 62-61 win.

For the week, Jackson averaged 23 points, 3.5 assists, 57 percent
shooting from the field, 63.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc and
88 percent shooting from the free throw line.


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