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Men's Basketball

UC Irvine Faces Cal State Fullerton in Men's Basketball Championship - Tickets Available

Files associated with this release:
UC Irvine-UC Santa Barbara Box Score.pdf
UC Irvine-UC Santa Barbara Quotes.pdf
Cal State Fullerton-Cal State Northridge Box Score.pdf
Cal State Fullerton-Cal State Northridge Quotes.pdf

Links associated with this release:
Post game interviews

3/14/2008

A historic run meets a championship drought as the fifth-seeded Anteaters of UC Irvine plays third-seeded Cal State Fullerton in the championship game of the Big West Men's Basketball Tournament. The game is scheduled to tip off at 8:00 p.m. (PDT) live on ESPN2 from the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif on Saturday.  Tickets are available at the Convention Center Box Office.  Call 714-765-8980.

No. 5 UC Irvine Rides Upset Wave Into Big West Championship Game With 55-50 Win Over #1 UC Santa Barbara

Center Darren Fells scored 14 points and guard Patrick Rembert added 12 for the fifth-seeded UC Irvine men’s basketball team, which advanced to championship game of Big West Conference Tournament for the first time since 1994 with a 55-50 elimination of No. 1 UC Santa Barbara Friday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.

With the victory, UC Irvine (18-15) became the first program since Cal State Northridge in 2004 to reach the Big West Tournament championship game after winning three games in three days. The Anteaters are also the lowest-seeded team since the Matadors to qualify for the title game.

UC Irvine led the game wire-to-wire, but never by more than nine points at any stretch. Up 24-17 at halftime, the Anteaters held a 37-28 advantage with nine-and-a-half minutes to play before an 18-9 run by the Gauchos cut their deficit to 46-45. UCI would hold strong as the Anteaters sunk seven of eight free throws, including a clutch 5-of-6 effort from freshman Patrick Rembert, and failed to miss a field goal attempt down the stretch to secure the victory.

Anteaters guard Marcus McIntosh added 11 points while forward Patrick Sanders snared 10 rebounds – all at the defensive end – for UC Irvine, which went 3-0 against UC Santa Barbara this year.

UC Santa Barbara (23-8) received a game-high 17 points from 2007-08 Big West Co-Player of the Year Alex Harris, the only Gaucho to surpass double figures.

No. 3 Cal State Fullerton Races by No. 2 Cal State Northridge, 83-68, To Advance To Big West Title Game

Guard Josh Akognon recorded a game-high 24 points while forward Scott Cutley added 17 to help the third-seeded Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball team advance to the Big West Conference Tournament championship game with an 83-68 elimination of No. 2 Cal State Northridge Friday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Cal State Fullerton (23-8) will face fifth-seeded UC Irvine for a spot in the NCAA Tournament after the Anteaters upset No. 1 UC Santa Barbara, 55-50, earlier Friday. The victories by both the Titans and Anteaters marked the first time since the 2003 Big West Tournament that neither a No. 1 or 2 seed has reached the title game. Cal State Fullerton, which is making its first conference tournament final since 1985, has not reached the NCAA Tournament in 30 seasons while UC Irvine has never qualified.

Guard Frank Robinson posted a 15-point, 11 rebound double-double for Cal State Fullerton, which raced out to a 14-4 lead after five minutes and led wire-to-wire. The Titans then proceeded to record a 17-7 run during the ensuing seven minutes to earn a 31-11 advantage.

“The key to the game was the start we got,” Cal State Fullerton head coach Bob Burton said. “Being able to jump on Cal State Northridge like that gave us a lot of confidence to keep going.”

The Matadors (20-10) cut their deficit to 46-28 at halftime and, behind a layup from forward Jonathan Heard, chiseled the Titan lead to 55-45 with 13 minutes, 20 seconds remaining. Cal State Northridge, which enjoyed a 16-point, 16-rebound effort from center Tremaine Townsend, drew no closer, however.

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