UC Irvine's Jazmyne White (11) is the top returning scorer.

UC Irvine's Jazmyne White (11) is the top returning scorer. (File Photo / November 3, 2012)

Sophomore Methlyn Onomoguho and freshman Mokun Fajemisin also figure to play big roles at forward.

Onomoguho, the team's best athlete a year ago when she started 25 games and made the conference All-Freshman team, averaged 7.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in 2011-12.

Primarily a slasher on the offensive end last season, she has a more well-rounded game this season, Oliver said.

"I am really happy with the improvement she has made on her shooting stroke," Oliver said.

Fajemisin, the lone scholarship freshman on the roster, is 5-11, but has a 6-6 wingspan, Oliver said. She put that length to good use by blocking five shots in the exhibition game.

Senior Pernilla Hanson (five starts as a junior), junior Lauren Spinazze and freshman walk-on Raelyn Cheung-Sutton add depth for UCI, which plays host to nearby Concordia in another exhibition on Tuesday, before opening the regular season at Santa Clara on Nov. 9.

UCI, which tied for third in the Big West last season, its best finish since 1997-98, was picked to finish ninth in the 10-team conference in the preseason media poll.

But UCI, which was 13-17 last season, has bettered its predicted preseason finish each of the last four seasons and widespread losses and question marks prevail among Big West rivals this season.


Twitter: @BarryFaulkner5