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Home | Tag Archives: UC-irvine

Tag Archives: UC-irvine

Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational to host UC Irvine, Kent State, North Carolina A&T

The Sun Bowl Association and WestStar Bank are pleased to announce the teams coming to El Paso for the 58th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.

Joining the UTEP Miners in the Don Haskins Center this year will be UC Irvine, Kent State and North Carolina A&T.

“We have another competitive tournament lined-up for college basketball fans to enjoy,” said Sun Bowl Executive Director Bernie Olivas.  “This tournament has become a tradition and the history of teams and players that have come through El Paso is tremendous. Our basketball committee, which is led by Barry Kobren, continues to seek out and work towards bringing quality teams to the Don Haskins Center.”

The tournament, which will be held, Monday and Tuesday, December 16-17, in the Don Haskins Center, brings in teams that posted 31, 22 and 19 wins, which includes two top-100 teams per RPI.

UC Irvine returns to the Sun Bowl Invitational for the third time after winning the tournament in 2015.  The Anteaters have won four conference titles in the last six years, including a Big West Conference championship in 2018-19 to help finish with a final RPI of 61.

UC Irvine reached the NCAA Tournament last year and picked up a big win over No. 4 Seed and Big 12 Champion Kansas State to reach round of 32.

Kent State, which is led by head coach Rob Senderoff, who is the all-time winningest coach at Kent State, will also make its third appearance in the Sun Bowl Invitational.  The Golden Flashes won the tournament in 1999 and fell by three points to UTEP in the title game in 2014.

Kent State finished the 2018-19 season with a 22-11 record and made it to postseason play for the 17th time in 21 years.

North Carolina A&T is making its first appearance in the Sun Bowl Invitational and is led by Coach Jay Joyner, who completed his third season at the helm.  The Aggies finished 13-3 in MEAC play last season, finishing the season undefeated at home in conference play for the second straight year.

‘This year’s tournament should be one of our most competitive with three visiting teams having won at least 19 games last year, and it’s also great having an NCAA tournament team who won 31 games,” said Tournament Director Barry Kobren. “Everyone is anticipating a vastly improved UTEP team with their infusion of new talent.”

The UTEP Miners are led by head coach Rodney Terry, who enters his second season as the team leader.  The Miners return sophomore Efe Odigie, who averaged 12.7 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per contest while being named to the 2018-19 All-Conference USA Freshman team. He is the first UTEP player to finish the season averaging a double-double since Terry White accomplished the feat (10.1 ppg/10.2 rpg) in 1981-82.

Odigie is one of nine Miners to average a double-double in a single season. In total, the Miners will return four scholarship players from last season and have two incoming freshmen players.  There are also two sophomores, who sat out last season due to transfer rules. There are five juniors on the team for the 2019-20 season.

For more information on the 2019 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, click here.

UC Irvine Anteaters

  • Big West Conference Champions (Four Conference Titles in last six years)
  • 31-6 overall record and 15-1 in conference play
  • #61 in Final RPI
  • The ‘Eaters set a slew of school records in 2018-19 including the most wins (31) and longest winning streak (17 games) in program history
  • UCI is ranked fourth nationally in field goal percentage defense
  • The team ranks ninth in rebound margin (+7.0)
  • Led by Coach Russell Turner who was named Conference Coach of the Year for the third time


Kent State Golden Flashes

  • 22-11 overall record and 11-7 in MAC Conference play (Most wins since 2009-10 season)
  • 17th Postseason in 21 Years (CIT Tournament)
  • Third Appearance in Sun Bowl
  • No. 90 in Final RPI
  • Head coach Rob Senderoff has led the team to postseason in all eight of his seasons as head coach including NCAA tournament in 2017


North Carolina A&T Aggies

  • 19-13 overall and 13-3 in MEAC Conference play (2nd Place)
  • The Aggies 13 conference wins are the most they have had since going 16-0 during the 1987-88 MEAC regular-season
  • The Aggies improved 17 games from the 2016-17 season to the 2017-18 season coming one game shy of tying UTEP’s 18-game improvement in 2003-04


UTEP Miners

  • 8-21 overall record and 3-15 in Conference USA play after the 2018-19 season
  • Returning C-USA All-Freshman team member Efe Odigie
  • Added two new assistant coaches in Kenton Paulino and Arturo Ormond
  • Miners have won 31 Sun Bowl Invitational tournaments

UC-Irvine takes WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational over Norfolk 82-60

Junior center Mamadou Ndiaye had 21 points and junior guard Luke Nelson scored 17 to lead UC Irvine over Norfolk State, 80-62, in the championship game of the 54th annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational in El Paso, Texas, Tuesday night.

Senior forward Mike Best and junior guard Jaron Martin added 10 each as the Anteaters improved to 10-4 overall, the program’s best start since a similar record to open the 2002-03 season.

Tuesday’s victory was the 100th career win for sixth-year head coach Russell Turner at UCI.

Norfolk St VS UC Irvine-13Nelson, who scored 16 points in Monday’s win over Sam Houston State, was named the tournament MVP after averaging 16.5 points in the two victories.  He added four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in Tuesday’s victory.

Ndiaye, who also had nine rebounds and five blocked shots in the championship game, was named to the all-tournament team.

Redshirt freshman forward Jonathan Galloway also pulled down a career-high nine boards and scored seven points.  Senior guard Alex Young had six assists as he is one shy of tying Raimonds Miglinieks for the UCI career record at 475.

Senior guard Aaron Wright scored six points and recorded five rebounds, three steals and two assists.  SeniorDominique Dunning added five points and three assists while junior post Ioannis Dimakopoulos scored four points.

Norfolk St VS UC Irvine-10Tuesday’s title came one year to the day since the Anteaters won the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas last Dec. 22.

Jeff Short led Norfolk State (5-8) with a game-high 24 points Tuesday while Charles Oliver added 18.

Trailing 12-10 early in the game, UCI went on a 22-4 run over a span of less than 10 minutes to take a 16-point lead at 32-16 on a three by Nelson with 5:42 left in the first half.

UCI, which led 39-23 at halftime, built its largest lead of the night at 77-52 on a basket by Ndiaye with 4:43 remaining.

The Anteaters, who outrebounded the Spartans, 47-33, shot 53 percent in the first half and 47 percent for the game.  Norfolk State shot 28 percent from the field as UCI improved to 8-0 this season when limiting the opposition to under 40 percent.

UCI travels to No. 2 Kansas next Tuesday for a 6:00 p.m. (PT) game on ESPNU.

Author: UC-Irvine Athletics

2015 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational set for tip-off Monday

The 54th edition of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational is set for tip-off on Dec. 21-22, with four games scheduled to be played at the Don Haskins Center.

Game 1 is Monday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. (MT) with Sam Houston State taking on UC-Irvine. Game 2 follows at 7 p.m. (MT) as Norfolk State faces UTEP.

The winners of Game 1 and Game 2 meet on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the championship game, and the consolation game is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Tickets for the 2015 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational are on sale at the Sun Bowl Association office or the ticket office at the Don Haskins Center.

Scouting Sam Houston State

The Bearkats (4-5) out of the Southland Conference will be making their second appearance at the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, as they went 1-1 in the 2010 tournament. This season, Sam Houston State has garnered wins against St. Thomas, Bethune Cookman, Sul Ross, LeTourneau and lost an overtime decision to Southern Illinois. The Bearkats also faced Texas Tech and SMU, who both were top-20 teams, on the road.

Sam Houston State averages 78.4 points per game and is being led by junior guard Dakari Henderson, who puts up 15.5 points per game.

Scouting UC-Irvine

The Anteaters from the Big West Conference are currently 7-4 and face Chapman on Friday, before heading to El Paso to make their first appearance at the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational. UC-Irvine is among the favorites to win the Big West this season, mainly in part of 7-foot-6 junior center Mamadou Ndiaye’s play. Ndiaye is leading the team in points and rebounds, as he’s averaging 12.3 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game.

UC-Irvine defeated ACC opponent Boston College, 80-67, on Nov. 27 and took down Utah State, 73-63, last Saturday.

Scouting Norfolk State 

The Spartans of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference look to go into their second WestStar Bank Don Haskins Invitational appearance with momentum as they face Evansville on Thursday night. Norfolk State currently garners a 4-6 record with wins against Washington Adventist, Northern Arizona, Mercy College and Coppin State. The Spartans are led by redshirt senior guard Jeff Short, who is averaging 16.0 points per game this season.

Scouting UTEP

The Miners, of Conference USA, average 78.0 points per game and will face New Mexico State at home on Saturday before making their record 31st WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational appearance. They will also look to snap a three-game losing streak against NMSU. UTEP is currently 6-3 and has garnered solid wins against Southern Illinois (Nov. 27) and Colorado State (Nov. 28).

Junior guard Lee Moore leads UTEP with 16.3 points per game, as senior center Hooper Vint leads the team in rebounds with 6.0 per game.

Follow the Hyundai Sun Bowl in its social media platforms: Facebook (Hyundai Sun Bowl), Twitter (HyundaiSunBowl), Instagram (Hyundaisunbowl) and Snapchat (sunbowl2015).

Author: Sun Bowl

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