Finally after a long layoff during finals and the holidays, basketball is back. Coming of their overtime win at Drake, the Aztecs start a 3 game home stand which includes the beginning of conference play. The match-up looks to be an easy one for the Aztecs who have a 10 game winning streak at home and a 13 game winning streak at home over non-conference foes. Additionally, the Highlanders are 1-5 on the road this season and have never beaten the Aztecs.
UC Riverside is 6-5 on the season and has beaten San Diego, whom the Aztecs also beat, and San Jose State. The Highlanders last played Dec. 21 and this game will end a stretch of three consecutive road games for them, which is good because they have really struggled on the road. The Aztecs have been great at home, so this looks to be a tough game for UC Riverside. This is the fourth Big West school the Aztecs will have faced this season, including a road loss to Pacific, a road win over UCSB, and a home win against Fullerton.
The Highlanders best player is junior forward Kyle Austin who averages 15.2 PPG and 7.8 RPG. The Aztecs continue to lean on freshman forward Kawhi Leonard who is averaging nearly a double double with 9.9 PPG and 9.7 RPG.