UCI 77, Cal Lutheran 63
The ‘Eaters showed potential for a bright season ahead with their first game ending in a 77-63 victory over Cal Lutheran.
Sophomore Mokun Fajemisin, a returner who had been out for a majority of the previous year due to a knee injury, had a great comeback with two blocks, five field goals and three free throws in only 19 minutes.
Shereen Sutherland, a 6-0 forward who transferred from University of Arizona, was an incredible asset to the team, scoring a total of 15 points and seven rebounds.
Other impressive players included freshman Jenny Dee and senior returner Madison McKenney. Both came up with 15 points individually throughout the game. Last season, UCI had a great stat of 17-15. However, after losing six seniors, the Anteaters will look to hold their own this season.
Within the first five minutes of the game, Cal Lutheran had to call a timeout after the Anteaters jumped to a 10-1 lead.
The game continued on with UCI holding the lead for the majority of the game.
“I’m really excited for this season. I think we got a great group of girls and all we can do is keep improving,” McKenney said after their first victory.
UCI 86, Chapman 58
Their next exhibition game against Chapman was, again, a great victory, with a whopping score of 86-58.
The game started off slow but accelerated at a rapid rate when UCI scored back to back shots that resulted in a 14-6 lead.
Red-shirt freshman Jenny Dee then went on to score back-to-back three-pointers, which gave UCI a 14 point lead at 2:44.
Chapman got nowhere close to the Eaters’ dominating score throughout the second half. UCI led by a massive 30 points with 1:27 to go.
“Coming into this season, we have a lot of things that we didn’t have last year. We have a really good group chemistry. Hopefully, we’re able to build on certain things as the season goes on and tighten the areas we need to improve on, like defense and transitioning. Overall, I felt great about our performance and am excited for this season.” said Fajemisin.
The Anteaters lead onto an exciting season and their two exhibition games foreshadow a great team dynamic and lead that will hopefully continue to be present in future games.
“All in all, I was happy and pleased with our play and I thought we showed some toughness. We didn’t panic and let things affect us. This year, our concentration in practice is that we’re playing a lot more defense. To speed up the game, we need to play some man defense, so that’s what we’re working on,” Coach Doug said.
UCI women’s basketball will officially kick off their regular season next Friday, Nov. 14 against Northern Arizona, which will be broadcast by KUCI 88.9 FM.