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MORNING BRIEFING: Hot Big West race draws big crowd
by Paul Kennedy, November 6th, 2008 8AM
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The best men's conference race in the country is in the Big West, where only three points separated the top five teams. Interest is so high that No. 21 UC Santa Barbara drew 9,749 fans on Wednesday night for its 0-0 tie with No. 25 Cal Poly in their top-of-the-table clash.

The tie enabled the Mustangs (5-2-3, 18 pts) to remain one point ahead of UCSB (5-2-2, 17 pts) at the top of the Big West standings.

No. 13 UC Irvine (4-1-4, 16 pts) got two goals from Matt Murphy in its 3-1 win over UC Riverside that moved the 'Eaters into third place.

Cal State Northridge (4-2-3, 15 pts) came back from two goals down to defeat Cal State Fullerton on Cameron Sims' golden goal, his second goal of the game, and leapfrog over No. 17 UC Davis (4-2-3, 15 pts), which was idle.

The Big West has added a conference tournament that will decide its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Saturday's games: UC Santa Barbara at UC Davis, UC Irvine at Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton at UC Riverside and Cal Poly at UCLA (non-conference).

1. Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara (Oct. 17), 11,705
2. UC Santa Barbara-Cal Poly (Nov. 5), 9,749
3. UC Santa Barbara-Wake Forest (Sept. 21), 7,408



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