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Men's Basketball

No. 5 UC Irvine, No. 7 UC Riverside Advance to Quarterfinals of 2008 Men's Big West Basketball Tournament.

Files associated with this release:
UC Irvine-Long Beach State Box Score.pdf
UC Irvine-Long Beach State Quotes.pdf
Cal Poly-UC Riverside Box Score.pdf
Cal Poly-UC Riverside Quotes.pdf

Links associated with this release:
Post game interviews

3/12/2008

No. 5 UC Irvine Picks Up Win Over No. 8 Long Beach State To Advance To Quarterfinals

No. 5 UC Irvine defeated No. 8 Long Beach State, 77-63, in the first round of the Big West Tournament Wednesday night at the Anaheim Convention Center. UCI had four players score in double figures as Darren Fells led the Anteaters with 19 points and seven rebounds. Patrick Sanders added 18, and Marcus McIntosh finished with 16. Donovan Morris scored 18 of his game-high 25 points in the second half for Long Beach State.

UC Irvine (16-15) seized control of the game in the first half by shooting 72 percent on its way to a 47-31 halftime lead. Long Beach State (6-25) was never able to get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

After falling behind 10-2 in the opening three minutes, UCI went on a 21-8 run and led 23-18 with 8:47 left in the half. Fells scored nine of his points during the run.

Long Beach State went on a 6-0 burst to regain the lead at 24-23 before UCI took the lead for good on the next possession. Michael Hunter, who finished with 12 points, completed a four-point play to make it 27-24.

LBSU pulled to within one on a Greg Plater three-pointer at the 5:39 mark, and UC Irvine went on a 10-0 run in a span of less than three minutes to lead 39-28 with 2:39 left in the half. In all, the Anteaters closed the half on an 18-3 run.

UCI built its lead to as much as 64-44 with 11:03 left in the game before the 49ers responded with an 11-2 run. Morris scored eight points during the blitz, which pulled LBSU within 66-55 with seven minutes to play. The 49ers would get as close as 73-63 with two minutes remaining on a Plater layup.

UC Irvine finished the game shooting 59 percent from the field while LBSU shot 48 percent. The Anteaters held a 26-21 advantage on the boards.

Fells shot 8-for-10 from the field while McIntosh made seven of his 10 field goal attempts.

Plater scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half, and Cornel Williams finished with 12 for Long Beach State. Maurice Clady dished out a game-high eight assists.  

UC Irvine will move on to face No. 4 Pacific Thursday night in a quarterfinal match-up.

No. 7 UC Riverside Posts 62-54 Upset Win over No. 6 Cal Poly to Reach Quarterfinals of Big West Tournament

No. 7 UC Riverside defeated No. 6 Cal Poly, 62-54, Wednesday night in the first round of the Big West Tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center. Larry Cunningham led UC Riverside with a game-high 23 points, and Aaron Scott finished with 11. With the win, UC Riverside (9-20) advances to a quarterfinal match-up with No. 3 Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night. Titus Shelton and Lorenzo Keeler each led Cal Poly with 13 points while Shawn Lewis added 10.

Both teams were plagued by cold shooting. Cal Poly (12-18) missed 13 of its first 14 shots, and UC Riverside slowly built an 18-8 lead as a result. The low scoring game featured a combined 11 points midway through the first half as well as a stretch of more than 13 minutes in which the Mustangs went 0-for-10 from the field. A jumper in the lane by UCR’s Sean Cunningham with 4:13 left in the half gave the Highlanders an 18-8 lead.

From that point, the Mustangs went on a 7-0 run. Trae Clark ended the shooting drought with a jumper at the 3:10 mark. Keeler added a three-pointer, and Chaz Thomas made two free throws with 1:36 left in the half to make it 18-15.

UC Riverside finished the half leading 20-17. The Highlanders held the Mustangs to 18 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes but shot just 30 percent themselves.

Cal Poly opened the second half with three-pointers by Lewis and Keeler sandwiched around two free throws by Larry Cunningham. The Keeler trey at the 18:19 mark gave the Mustangs their first lead of the night at 23-22. Neither team led by more than three points in the first 10 minutes of the second half before a 9-2 run by the Highlanders made it 43-36 with 7:10 remaining.

The Mustangs battled back with a 6-0 run, capped off by a pair of free throws by Shelton at the 3:34 mark, to cut the UCR lead to 45-44. The Highlanders promptly turned consecutive turnovers by the Mustangs into fast-break layup, and Larry Cunningham hit a jumper to extend the lead back to seven at 51-44 with 2:31 remaining.

Cal Poly would get as close as 58-54 with 47 seconds left but could not get any closer. The Mustangs finished the game shooting 29 percent from the field while UCR managed 37 percent.

UCR held a 44-37 rebounding advantage behind Cleavon Barlow’s career-high 14 boards.

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