Basketball Preview: Fullerton @ Riverside

Two teams playing below .500 at the moment meet up for a Big West Conference showdown tonight, as the UC Riverside Highlanders entertain the Cal State Fullerton Titans.

GAME: Cal State Fullerton (5-10) at UC Riverside (6-7)

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 8th, 7:30 p.m. (pt).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Student Rec. Center (3,168) -- Riverside, California. Television: PrimeTicket TV. Home Record: Fullerton 4-2, UCR 4-0. Away Record: Fullerton 1-6, UCR 2-5. Neutral Record: Fullerton 0-2, UCR 0-2. Conference Record: Fullerton 1-2, UCR 1-0. Series Record: Cal State Fullerton leads, 21-16.

GAME NOTES: Two teams playing below .500 at the moment meet up for a Big West Conference showdown tonight, as the UC Riverside Highlanders entertain the Cal State Fullerton Titans.

For the Titans, this is their fourth conference game of the season already, but just the second for the Highlanders who won their first outing with a 73-68 triumph over UC Irvine on December 28th. More recently, UC Riverside took a break from Division I action and clashed with La Sierra on Tuesday night, a meeting that resulted in a 94-48 triumph and the third win in the last four games for the Highlanders.

As for Cal State Fullerton, it was in action three nights ago at UC Irvine and was dealt an 85-78 loss by the Anteaters. The setback was the third in four games for a Titans squad that has yet to win back-to-back games in 2010-11.

With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, Cal State Fullerton leads by a count of 21-16.

Devon Peltier had another outstanding game on Wednesday night, shooting 7- of-14 from the floor as he finished with a team-high 23 points against UC Irvine, but it simply wasn't enough as the Anteaters posted the seven-point victory in league play. Isiah Umipig added 19 points in 19 minutes off the bench, followed by Jer-Vaughn Johnson and Orane Chin with 14 and 10 points, respectively, not to mention a combined 15 rebounds. However, Chin nearly pulled off a dubious double-double with his nine turnovers, the team finishing with 24 miscues overall. Among active players who have seen the most action for the Titans, Chin is the top scorer with his 15.0 ppg, thanks in part to his 41.3 percent shooting behind the three-point line. Johnson and Peltier are responsible for 14.6 and 13.3 ppg, respectively, as the squad generates 70.6 ppg, but at the same time is giving up 73.9 ppg as well.

Against La Sierra, an NAIA institution located in Riverside as well, the Highlanders put a total of seven players in double figures as the offense exploded for 94 points. Kevin Bradshaw recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, as did reserve B.J. Shearry with 12 points and 11 boards. Fellow backup Delonte Taylor checked in with 13 points and eight boards, while starter Javon Borum tallied 11 points and the trio of Elliott Berry, Kareem Nitoto and Phil Martin all responded with 10 points. Riverside is typically not a high-scoring group and even after the blow up against La Sierra the team is putting up just 70.5 ppg. Borum is responsible for 13.8 ppg, followed by Martin and Nitoto with 13.3 ppg and 11.1 ppg, respectively. Between those three double-digit producers there's a total of 52 three-pointers, which leaves the rest of the unit with only 14 conversions through 13 games.

This is one of those games that could be a toss-up, but something tells you that Peltier has another strong game in him and he will use that effort to get the Titans back into the win column.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Fullerton 72, UC Riverside 66