The UCLA Bruins welcome the UC Irvine Anteaters to Los Angeles this evening for a non-conference affair. UC Irvine had won two games in a row heading into Saturday's road clash with Pepperdine, but that tilt resulted in a 76-69 setback. The Anteaters are now 6-5 overall, including 2-3 in true road games, and they have yet to begin Big West Conference play.
As for UCLA, it got off to a rough start this season, posting just three wins through its first seven games. Fortunately, the Bruins have righted the ship, as they have put together four consecutive victories to improve to 7-4 overall. On Tuesday, they cruised past Montana State by a 75-59 final, and a victory over nationally-ranked BYU preceded that win. UCLA owns a 5-2 series lead over UC Irvine, which includes a 76-65 decision over UC Irvine in the most recent meeting back in 2004.
The go-to guy at the offensive end for UC Irvine is Darren Moore, as he is netting 16.9 ppg on 53.6 percent shooting from the floor. More than just a scorer, Moore leads his team with 7.0 rpg and 24 steals as well. The only other double-digit scorer in the fold is Patrick Rembert, as he provides 12.4 ppg despite his lackluster 38.9 percent field goal efficiency. Rembert has handed out 33 assists, a team-leading average of three per contest. Through 11 outings, Irvine is generating 75.8 ppg while surrendering 71.3 ppg. In the seven-point loss to Pepperdine, Moore hit his average with 16 points, and Rembert tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds. Unfortunately, the Anteaters couldn't overcome their 31.1 percent shooting from the floor, including 5- of-29 from three-point range. Those poor figures overshadowed a strong defensive performance by the squad.
UCLA, a member of the Pac-10 Conference, is scoring 74.0 ppg while allowing 67.5 ppg to opponents. The Bruins are led by Tyler Honeycutt and his 14.9 ppg. Honeycutt is also tops on the boards with 8.0 rpg, while fellow frontcourt performer Reeves Nelson is close behind with 14.7 ppg and 7.8 rpg. Malcolm Lee provides 11.3 ppg, and Lazeric Jones rounds out a foursome of double-digit scorers with 10.6 ppg. The Bruins are outrebounding opponents by over five boards per tilt, a key to their success. Taking a look at the 16-point win over Montana State, Lee scored 18 points to guide his team, while Nelson pitched in 15 points. The Bruins made good on only 2-of-13 three-pointers in that affair, but they earned a decisive 21-6 edge in points from the foul line. (Sports Network)
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