RECORD: 9-6 overall, 3-1 Western Athletic Conference
COMING UP: Saturday at Cal State Bakersfield, 7 p.m.
OUTLOOK: The Vandals came into the season as one of the most inexperienced teams in Division I. But they’re finally starting to coalesce, and coach Don Verlin credits the team’s diligent game preparation as one reason why. “I talk to them all the time about the way we practice and their level of performance,” Verlin said. “They’ve been able to do that better than the other teams (I’ve had at UI).” Cal State Bakersfield (8-8) is led by the backcourt duo of Stephon Carter (17.3 ppg) and Alex Johnson (14.9 ppg). The Roadrunners have lost three straight by an average of 28 points.