November 8, 2023

Men's and women's basketball teams start seasons

Both teams - newly sporting Nike gear - are coming off historic 2022-23 campaigns

Jordan Cornet
Author: Jordan Cornet
November 8, 2023

As the fall sports season continues to unfold, all eyes are turning toward the impending excitement of the UC Riverside men's and women's basketball teams. Following their impressive performances in the 2022-23 seasons, both teams are gearing up for what promises to be an exhilarating journey on the court this fall.

All ticket purchases for UCR Athletics home events must be made online. Home games are free for UCR students with an R’Card.

Men's Basketball

The men's basketball team, led by Big West Coach of the Year Mike Magpayo, are ready to take the court following a successful season that included their first 20-win campaign at the Division I level.  

Coach Mike Magpayo, who recently signed a 5-year contract extension in April, continues to guide the team's development. The team is welcoming talented athletes Chip Brunt, Ben Griscti, Isaiah Moses, and Gavin Davis. The team has a busy schedule ahead, with 14 home games and 17 away games.  

"This schedule will challenge our program like never before," said Magpayo, who was named this past year the Big West Men's Basketball Coach of the Year. "We have multiple programs on our schedule that won 20 games last year, such as Montana State and UC Merced. In addition, we have a return game with Portland and our annual Crosstown Showdown with California Baptist University (CBU). We have challenged ourselves over the last four years in the non-conference schedule to purposely prepare ourselves for the rigors of the Big West and anticipate another exciting season from the start."  

UC Riverside's 2023-24 season will feature road trips to North Carolina, Utah, UCLA, and Washington State. The team will also face at least one Pac-12 school for the eighth straight year, recalling a viral buzzer-beater against Arizona State and Coach Magpayo's first Division I win against Washington in Las Vegas.

The Big West conference play will kick off with an away game against UC Irvine on December 28. The Highlanders will then return home to face UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis. Senior Night is scheduled for March 7 against Cal State Fullerton, and the regular season will conclude on March 9 at UC Santa Barbara.

Adding to the excitement, UCR athletes will be proudly sporting Nike gear following a five-year agreement between UCR Athletics, Nike, and BSN Sports.

Women's Basketball

The UC Riverside women's basketball team is gearing up for its first game of the season, against the SMU Mustangs. With a mix of new talent and seasoned players, the Highlanders are set for a season full of thrilling basketball action.

This season, the women's basketball team welcomes roster additions including Maya Chocano, Jaden Sanderson, and Makayla Jackson. Additions promise to bring depth and talent to the squad.

Fans can look forward to 14 exciting games at the SRC Arena in the 2023-24 season, including 10 in Big West competition. Members of the team will have the opportunity to showcase their skills against opponents including Antelope Valley, Utah State, Santa Clara, and Cal Lutheran, before diving into conference play on December 30 at UC Santa Barbara. 

The Highlanders' non-conference schedule includes road trips to face off against SMU, UCLA, and Boise State. The team continues a streak of facing Power 5 opponents every year since the 2006-07 season, testing their mettle against top-tier competition.  

Fans will be particularly eager to see the Highlanders take on USC on December 10, marking their first meeting since the memorable 54-52 win at the Galen Center in the 2020-21 season. Expect an intense showdown between these two teams.

The Big West Conference home schedule kicks off on December 28, when UC Irvine comes to Riverside for a 6 p.m. tip-off, and it concludes with an exciting match against the Gauchos on March 9, starting at 6 p.m. Both of these games will be broadcast on ESPN+.

The women's basketball players will also be proudly playing in their Nike jerseys and gear.  

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