After a 65-57 finish over LBSU, women’s basketball extends their winning streak to four games.
LBSU 57, UCI 65
In a 65-57 victory over Long Beach State on Thursday night at the Bren Events Center, the women’s basketball team extended their win streak to four.
Long Beach came into the contest with its own three-game win streak before falling to Irvine after failing to come back in the final three minutes of the game, making UCI’s win streak the longest in the Big West.
LBSU fell to a 14-12 overall record with an even 7-7 league record while the ’Eaters improved to 9-17 and are now 5-9 in Big West play.
Thursday night’s win also marked an Irvine victory in the Black and Blue Rivalry Series. The ’Eaters still trail 13-9 overall in the rivalry series.
Long Beach took an early 6-0 lead before Irvine sunk three 3-pointers in a row to take an 11-9 advantage eight minutes into the first half. The lead was short-lived, however, as the 49ers battled back to tie things up at 16. UCI answered and mounted a five-point run to go into the break with a 29-24 advantage.
With a fast start to open the second half, UCI went on an 8-1 run to take its largest lead of the night at 37-25. The Niners answered by mounting their own 12-2 run to narrow the gap and get within two at 39-37.
Irvine built momentum on a 13-3 sprint and a 52-40 lead with eight minutes remaining.
Long Beach put solid pressure on the Irvine defense to come within five at 58-53 with two minutes remaining on the clock. The game was decided at the free-throw line. Irvine drained seven of eight free throws to take a 65-57 victory.
Guard Kelly Meggs went five-for-ten from the field and led the ’Eaters with 14 points, while teammate Camille Buckley recorded her 11th double-double with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Junior Jennifer Tsurumoto added 10 points and five assists. UCI shot 42.1 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from beyond the arc.
“The ladies are playing with confidence and it shows on the court,” Coach Doug Oliver said. “They are playing with a purpose on both ends. The team is excited, which is transferring to practice, the games, and in the locker room.”
Irvine is scheduled to face Pacific on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m., before their home finale at the Bren Events Center on Saturday, March 2.