In the midst of finals and gearing up for the holidays, the women’s basketball team went into the break from class with a 2-7 overall record — their two wins coming in games against Drake in a 69-64 finish on November 23 and against Seattle on December 1 in the nail-biting 61-60 finish. UCI had a total of five games throughout the recess and are now 4-10 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
In its first game during the break UCI faced Utah State in Logan, Utah for a 71-70 victory on December 18. In another game that came down to the very last seconds, junior Kelly Meggs drained a shot from beyond the arc to give the ’Eaters a one-point advantage and the victory. This was the second time Meggs put away a clutch game-winner with just seconds left to play after she finished in an identical fashion on December 1 against Seattle in overtime.
Junior Camille Buckley led the ’Eaters with 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for a double-double on the night. UCI out-rebounded Utah State 44-37 and shot 38.7 percent from the floor.
On December 20, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Utah handed a loss to UCI after a 58-42 finish over the ’Eaters. Irvine had a season-low five turnovers, but also shot a season-low 23.3 percent, making just 14 of 60 from the field.
Senior guard Anete Klintstone scored a team-high eight points followed by teammate Mokun Fajemisin, who added six.
In its third game of the holiday on Friday, December 28, Irvine notched a win for a 4-8 overall record against Cal State Bakersfield in a 66-52 finish.
Buckley had a team-high 19 points for the ’Eaters in addition to a team-high 15 rebounds on the night for her third double-double of the season. Methlyn Onogomuho totaled 12 points and 11 rebounds for her own double-double against Bakersfield. In 38 minutes of play, guard Jennifer Tsurumoto totaled three assists, two steals and 15 points. Klintstone added five points and Fajemisin and Meggs recorded four points each.
While shooting 76.2 percent from the line, the ’Eaters shot 40.4 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Bakersfield Roadrunners 47-33.
Neither team was able to break away in the first half as there were never more than five points separating the Roadrunners from the ’Eaters. Bakersfield was ahead by a point at 32-31 going into the second half.
Erasing the short-lived Bakersfield advantage, UCI mounted a 10-0 run, but the Roadrunners knotted it up at 46-46 all. Unrelenting, the ’Eaters outscored Bakersfield 20-6 in the last 10 minutes for a 66-52 victory.
After closing out 2012 with a win, the ’Eaters are still looking for their first W of 2013.
On January 3 at the Bren Events Center, UCI fell to UC Santa Barbara in a 51-46 finish. The ’Eaters stood at 4-9 overall and 0-1 in Big West play after its initial loss in the conference opener. UCSB improved to 5-8 overall and 1-0 in league.
Buckley recorded 11 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double. Tsurumoto totaled 11 points and Meggs added 10 including two three-pointers.
The Gauchos went ahead early on with a 9-2 lead and kept a steady seven-point advantage at 17-10 with just over three minutes remaining in the first half. After the ’Eaters narrowed the gap to 17-15, UCSB would go into the break with a 22-17 advantage.
Coming within six at 47-41 with 47 seconds left on the clock, the Gauchos pulled away to take their first victory in Big West play with a 51-46 finish.
Also on home territory, the ’Eaters faced Cal Poly on January 5 and were not be able to recover from a slow start as they trailed 64-46 at the close of the game for a 4-10 overall record and an 0-2 conference record.
Coming off of the bench, Jasmine Bernard scored a team-high 13 points for the night, going 5-9 from the floor.
The ’Eaters went scoreless for the first three minutes of the game while Cal Poly built a 13-2 lead. Sinking another seven points straight, and the Mustangs led by 21 going into the break. The Mustangs would take it with a 64-46 final.
Irvine is still out for its first Big West win as it faces Hawaii on Wednesday, January 9 on the island.
Hawaii split its first conference games, losing its opener to Cal State Fullerton in an 84-73 loss, and added a win in its game against UC Riverside after a 65-50 finish. Hawaii is currently 5-8 overall and 1-1 in Big West league play. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:00pm P.T.
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