After coaches and media predicted that UC Irvine would finish eighth in the Big West, UCI women’s basketball smashed Cal Baptist 108-66 in an exhibition game at Crawford Court, Thursday.
Five Anteaters scored in the double digits. Senior Stephanie Duda led with 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Junior Kelly Cochran and freshman Kim Barnes recorded 14 points each, while senior Miranda Forry added 12 points and eight rebounds. Senior Christina Zdenek, who is coming off a knee surgery that forced her to miss most of last season, tallied nine points and three steals. Thirteen different Anteaters scored at least one point. The Lady Anteaters shot 49 percent from the floor, making 39 of 79 shots, and out-rebounded the Lancers 55-30.
The New University asked Cochran about the upcoming season.
New University: You guys are tabbed to finish eighth. What do you think of that?
Kelly Cochran: Personally, I love being the underdog, so that doesn’t bother me. It’s disappointing that our personnel this year was not considered more closely because we have definitely been underestimated. But in the end, it’s just more motivation.
New U: Who will be your big players this year, besides yourself?
Cochran: Stephanie Duda is probably the core of the team in my opinion. She’s our captain and a real leader. I love playing with her; she brings a lot of intensity and heart to the court. Like I said before, however, everybody has the potential to be a big contributor
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