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Tonight

January 12, 2002|Gary Klein; Rob Fernas; Eric Stephens

MEN

Long Beach State (5-10, 1-3) at Utah State (11-3, 3-2), 6 PST, KRLA (870)--Long Beach had a chance to put together a two-game winning streak before its Big West Conference game at Logan, Utah, but the 49ers lost to Idaho, 69-67, on Thursday. Long Beach committed 22 turnovers, helping Idaho to its first conference victory this season. Long Beach might have caught a break, however, because UC Irvine ended Utah State's 31-game home winning streak on Thursday. Utah State, which won the Big West tournament last season and defeated Ohio State in the NCAA tournament, suffered its first defeat at home since Jan. 8, 2000, when it lost to Brigham Young.

Cal State Fullerton (3-10, 0-4) at UC Riverside (5-7, 2-2), 7, KPRO (1570)--Fullerton will try to end a losing streak that reached five games last Saturday when the Titans lost to Long Beach State, 68-60. Fullerton is 0-4 in the Big West for the first time since the 1993-94 season. The Titans need more production on the boards from center Babacar Camara, who is averaging only 1.3 rebounds the last three games. That does not bode well against a Riverside team led by center Vili Morton, who is averaging 12.8 points and 10.8 rebounds in conference play. Riverside lost to Irvine, 72-53, last Saturday.

Gary Klein

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Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (9-4, 3-2) at Cal State Northridge (3-10, 2-2), 7, KDOC (Channel 56)--Northridge needs a victory to avoid falling into the bottom half of the Big West Conference standings. The Matadors, in a three-way tie for fifth place, have struggled offensively and are shooting 39.1% from the field after making only 16 of 55 shots Thursday in a 57-54 loss to UC Santa Barbara. Northridge missed its first 13 shots and didn't make its first field goal until 10:33 had elapsed. The scrappy Matadors again relied on defense, forcing 20 turnovers, to stay in the game. They will need another spirited effort against Cal Poly, which was off to its best Big West start since 1991-92 until losing at Pacific, 70-54, Thursday. The Mustangs made only 22 of 64 shots and forward Brandon Beeson, a senior forward from Irvine Woodbridge High, was held to four points on two-for-eight shooting after averaging 18.5 points in the previous two games.

Rob Fernas

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UC Irvine (11-4, 4-0) at Idaho (4-10, 1-4), 7, KUCI-FM (88.9)--Irvine sits alone on top of the Big West after its one-point win at Utah State Thursday on Jerry Green's buzzer-beater. The Anteaters must avoid a letdown against a struggling Idaho team that got its first conference victory over Long Beach. Forward Jordan Harris and Stanislav Zuzak combined for only seven points on three-of-15 shooting against the Aggies.

UC Santa Barbara (10-4, 4-1) at Pacific (10-4, 2-2), 7--The Gauchos, who lead the Big West in field-goal percentage defense, limited Northridge to below 30% shooting in its victory. They've allowed teams to shoot only 40% or worse in 10 of 14 games. Santa Barbara swept the two regular-season games last year, but Pacific won in a first-round tournament game. Guard Branduinn Fullove has scored 20 or more points in three of the last four games.

Eric Stephens

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