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Tonight

January 02, 2003|Mike Bresnahan;Paul McLeod

MEN

Pepperdine (8-4) at Brigham Young (9-2), 6 -- The Waves finish nonconference play with a tough test at Brigham Young, which has won 41 consecutive games at home, the longest streak in the nation. Pepperdine freshman guard Alex Acker has played well in the absence of Devin Montgomery (broken thumb). Acker was selected MVP of the Lobo Invitational, totaling 42 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists in victories over Arkansas Little Rock and New Mexico. Senior guard Travis Hansen averages 15.5 points for BYU, which has lost to Creighton and San Francisco.

Mike Bresnahan

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Cal State Fullerton (2-7) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (4-5), 7, KWRM (1370) -- Fullerton has won only five Big West games in two seasons and two of those have been at San Luis Obispo. But the Titans expect to suit up only eight players because of injuries and the suspension of center Pape Sow, who was arrested last month on petty theft charges. San Luis Obispo has won three of its last four games since transfers Diaby Kamara (Portland) and Shane Schilling (Minnesota) became eligible.

UC Riverside (1-5) at UC Santa Barbara (3-7), 7, KEYT (1250) -- Santa Barbara, picked in a preseason coaches' poll as the top team in the conference, has not lived up to expectations. The Gauchos have lost five in a row -- all on the road -- and play at home for the first time since Dec. 3. Riverside, which has not won on the road, has played a tough nonconference schedule, having lost twice to San Diego and once at No. 9 Oregon.

Utah State (9-2) at CS Northridge (6-4), 7 -- Utah State has won four games in a row and owns the best record in the conference thanks to its defense, which has given up an average of only 58.6 points a game. Northridge, which has lost two in a row, is tops among conference teams in scoring, averaging 81.1 points. Matador swingman Ian Boylan (17.1 points a game) ranks fifth among Big West players in scoring.

-- Paul McLeod

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