UCI finds themselves falling below Highlanders in Final Minutes

UCR 70, UCI 67

On Thursday night, the UC Irvine women’s basketball team suffered a 70-67 defeat against UC Riverside at the Bren Events Center.  The Anteaters are now third in the Big West standings with a 5-3 record (9-12 overall).

Sophomore forward Jacquelyn Marshall led the way with 16 points and six rebounds. Junior guard Anete Klintsone followed with 14 points and seven rebounds, while seniors Kiara Belen and Kassandra McCalister contributed 11 points apiece.

“I actually didn’t even know I was the high scorer, but I mean we lost so it doesn’t matter,” Marshall said. “I just felt like we weren’t prepared to play even though we have been practicing a lot.”

The Anteaters led the entire first half, shooting 32 percent from the field and 33 percent from the 3-point line despite their 12 turnovers. They left the first half in the lead 30-29.

The second half was a different story. UCI continued to mishandle the ball, committing 11 more turnovers in the final half. The Highlanders capitalized, scoring 28 points off of these mistakes, which helped them take the lead.

UCI tied the game 60-60 with 4:46 left in the game. After a pair of free throws and a layup, UCR never lost their lead again. UCI kept answering back with shots of their own, but UCR made free throws when they needed to and held on for the win.

“I don’t think we played the way we are capable of playing or the way we know how to play. I think we came out a little flat and I’m not sure why,” head coach Molly Goodenbour said.

The Anteaters committed a number of personal fouls as well as a technical foul. Many of these fouls were offensive and ultimately resulted in turnovers.

“I was displeased with our play, our intensity level and some of the decisions we made on offense,” said Goodenbour.

The Anteaters finished the game shooting 40 percent from the field and 31 percent from the 3-point line. Their shooting didn’t seem to be the problem, but their turnovers become very costly, costly enough to lose the game.

Irvine will face Long Beach State at the Bren Events Center on Thursday, Feb. 2, before hosting Cal State Northridge on Saturday.