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Tonight

February 05, 2003|Rob Fernas,Paul McLeod

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Gonzaga (16-5, 7-0) at Pepperdine (11-9, 3-4), 9 p.m., ESPN, KPLS (830, delayed 9:30 p.m.) -- Pepperdine dropped into fifth place after losing consecutive West Coast Conference games last week for the first time since 1999. First-place Gonzaga has an eight-game winning streak and has won 21 consecutive games against WCC teams since losing at Pepperdine, 88-79, last season. It will take an exceptional effort for the injury-depleted Waves, who have only nine players, to repeat that feat. Fatigue and poor interior defense have resulted in Pepperdine fading late in games. Derick Grubb, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound freshman, will make his second start at center in an effort to beef up the Waves. The Bulldogs routed Pepperdine, 92-72, on Jan. 12 at Spokane.

-- Rob Fernas

UC Riverside (4-11, 3-6) at UC Irvine (11-7, 5-4), 7 p.m., KDOC-TV (56), KPRO-AM (1570), KUCI-FM (88.9) -- Irvine has lost three in a row and opponents have shot 49% from three-point range in that span. When these teams met at Riverside on Jan. 11, Irvine rallied for an 81-77 victory, thanks largely to turnovers by Riverside in the final seconds.

-- Paul McLeod

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