Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Irvine Anteaters Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/30/14
UC Irvine Anteaters (13-8) at Santa Barbara Gauchos (12-6)
College Basketball: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Thunderdome)
The Line: Santa Barbara Gauchos -4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Storyline: UC Santa Barbara hosts UC Irvine Thursday with both sides hoping to avoid consecutive losses.
The Breakdown: UC Irvine is in first place in the Big West with a record of 4-1, dropping its first conference game of the season Saturday in a 90-86 overtime loss to Hawaii. The Anteaters outshot the Warriors from the field 55.0 percent to 47.8 percent, but were outdone on the boards 40-32, but struggled from outside the arc, hitting just 3 of 13. Sophomore G Alex Young had a team-high 14 points to go along with 5 steals, while freshman C Mamadou Ndiaye and senior G Chris McNealy added 12 points apiece. Through 21 games, UC Irvine is averaging 75.2 ppg on 48.5 percent shooting. McNealy leads the team with 12.2 ppg, followed by junior F Will Davis at 11.4 ppg.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Meanwhile, UC Santa Barbara is tied for third place in the conference, falling to a record of 3-2 after a 74-72 loss to CS Fullerton Saturday. The Gauchos shot 46.3 percent from the field and hit 7 of 21 from outside the arc while allowing the Titans to connect on 50.0 percent from the floor and 9 of 20 from downtown. Santa Barbara finished with a 31-29 rebounding edge and forced 13 turnovers. Junior F Alan Williams had a game-high 26 points on 11 of 21 shooting to go along with 9 boards and sophomore G Michael Bryson had 16 points, including 3 of 7 from distance and senior G Kyle Boswell added 11 points off the bench. Through 18 games, the Gauchos are averaging 72.2 ppg on 47.5 percent shooting and Williams leads the team with 22.9 ppg.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently set at -4.5 for Santa Barbara and the only real measuring stick aside from stats is CS Fullerton. UCSB lost narrowly to the Titans, while Irvine squashed them by 18. The Anteaters average more points and shoot at a better clip as well. The points look like the play here.