The UC Irvine Women’s Basketball team lost 65-55 in their first and only exhibition game against Love and Basketball Nov. 20 at the Bren Events Center.
The Anteaters faced a talented collection of players from local universities such as USC, UCLA and Big West rival Long Beach State. Love and Basketball was coached by Colleen Matsuhara, a former UC Irvine head coach.
After a three-pointer by senior guard Courtney Ferguson to start the game, UCI turned the ball over in five consecutive possessions. With 4:41 left in the first half, UC Irvine led 25-20 after a driving layup by freshman Annie Mai and two free throws by junior forward Lauren Yadon.
However, Love and Basketball’s Michelle Greco, from UCLA, answered with a layup of her own.
Greco’s teammate and Loyola Marymount guard Bryn Britton followed with a jumper and a three-pointer, which put Love and Basketball ahead for the rest of the night. In the last 3:41 before halftime, the Anteaters committed seven turnovers.
‘We had a little drought where we got flustered with their full-court press,’ Yadon said.
‘Those turnovers in the first half were crucial,’ said Ferguson, who scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds.
‘Eliminate some of those turnovers and we [would have been] right in there,’ Ferguson said.
By halftime, UCI had committed 19 turnovers compared to Love and Basketball’s six.
Britton was the game’s highest scorer, scoring 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting, including 5-for-10 three-pointers. She also led Love and Basketball in rebounds with seven. Greco finished with 10 points.
Yadon remarked, ‘Greco [of UCLA] is an amazing basketball player. Anytime you have to go against someone like that, it just gives you a chance to step to the challenge and see where your game is at.’
Greco finished with 10 points for Love and Basketball, but it was Yadon