With another game on the line, senior guard Aaron Fitzgerald showed why he was a pre-season first-team Big West Conference selection.
Fitzgerald led the UC Irvine Men’s Basketball team with 16 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds, defeating Pacific 70-61 on Jan. 15 at home in the Bren Events Center.
With the win, the Anteaters remain undefeated and in first place in Big West Conference play at 4-0, improving their overall record to 8-8. Pacific dropped to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in conference action.
The Tigers were led by senior guard Johnny Gray, who scored a game-high 20 points.
As in their game against Northridge two nights earlier, Irvine started out slow. Pacific went up 11 points in the early going, but UCI was able to maintain composure and stay in the game, going into halftime down by three, 28-25. The Anteaters only shot 33 percent from the field and 20 percent from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.
But like in their game against CSUN, UCI found its touch and lit up Pacific for 45 points. Senior center Adam Metelski scored 10 points in the second half on 5-for-5 shooting.
Sophomore forward Patrick Sanders poured in 15 points. Junior forward Nic Campbell rounded out the Anteaters attack by scoring in double-figures, with 11 points.
Junior guard Dustin Price sealed the victory with 1:45 left in the contest when he nailed a three-point jumper over his defender with the shot clock winding down.