Kent State (8-1) vs. UC Irvine (6-5)
Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational , Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas; Monday, 7 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: Kent State and UC Irvine are set to clash in the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational. UC Irvine earned a 120-63 win over Pacific Union on Saturday, while Kent State won easily 81-59 against Cleveland State on Dec. 12.
LEADING THE WAY: Collin Welp is averaging 14.2 points and 6.5 rebounds to lead the way for the Anteaters. Eyassu Worku is also a key facilitator, putting up 11.4 points and 4.2 assists per game. The Golden Flashes have been led by Danny Pippen, who is averaging 13.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and three blocks.DOMINANT DANNY: Pippen has connected on 31.6 percent of the 57 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 8 of 31 over his last five games. He’s also converted 73.1 percent of his free throws this season.
ASSIST DISTRIBUTION: The Anteaters have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Golden Flashes. UC Irvine has an assist on 57 of 96 field goals (59.4 percent) over its past three games while Kent State has assists on 52 of 98 field goals (53.1 percent) during its past three games.
DID YOU KNOW: The Kent State offense has recorded a turnover on only 15.7 percent of its possessions, which is the 10th-best rate in the nation. The UC Irvine defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 17.5 percent of all possessions (ranked 306th among Division I teams).