UC Irvine men’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking to New Mexico State at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M. last Saturday night as the Aggies score a three-pointer with 4.6 left to clinch a 70-67 victory over the Anteaters.
A tightly contested affair, the nonconference matchup saw 10 lead changes and seven ties throughout the game. UC Irvine held the advantage in field goal percentage, shooting 51 percent to New Mexico State’s 47.9 percent, but were outrebounded by the Aggies 24-37. Trailing 67-64 with 43 seconds left, senior guard Travis Souza tied the game at 67-67 off a three-pointer with 18.6 seconds to go. The game seemed poised to go into overtime up until sophomore guard Ian Baker responded with a three pointer of his own to clinch the game for the Aggies.
Senior forward Will Davis II led the Anteaters with 20 points, eight rebounds, and three blocked shots for the evening and set new records in Anteater program history. With 629 rebounds, Davis II surpassed Kevin Magee to stand at No. 7 all-time, and ranks 22nd in terms of scoring with 1093 points. Alex Young was on both ends of the floor throughout the night, finishing with nine points, five assists, five rebounds and two steals. With 25 assists to his name in the last four games, Young now ranks fourth all time in program history with 360 assists.
New Mexico was formerly a member of the Big West Conference, playing from 1984-2000. The last time either team has played each other dates all the way back to 2004, when the Anteaters defeated the Aggies 75-62 in a nonconference match-up at the Bren.
Currently standing with an overall record of 7-7, Coach Russell Turner’s squad will look to improve their record in 2015 as nonconference play comes to an end.
The Anteaters will begin Big West Conference play Thursday, hosting Black and Blue Rivals Long Beach State at the Bren Events Center.
Playing in the final regular season game of their non-conference schedule, UCI women’s basketball team opened 2015 78-72 win over Concordia at the Bren Events Center last Sunday.
Senior forward, Methyln Onogomuho, lead the Anteaters with 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Over the holiday break, the Anteaters traveled to West Lafayette, Indiana to participate in the Basketball Traveler’s Invitational (BTI) over the course of Dec. 19-21. In the first game of the tournament, UCI fell to host team Purdue in a 69-44 loss at the Mackey Arena. The Anteaters finished the first half trailing 27-31, but were outscored 38-17 in the second half. Sophomore guard Irene Chavez led UCI with 10 points while freshman Tierra Hicks added eight points and five rebounds.
During the second day of the BTI the Anteaters struggled with their offensive output, shooting a dismal .291 (16-55) from the field in a 42-80 loss to the Wright State. The Raiders outrebounded the Anteaters 48-36, and capitalized on 25 UCI turnovers to score 22 points.
In the last day of the tournament, UCI emerged victorious with a 63-55 win over Denver to snap a 10-game losing streak. Sophomore forward Mokun Fajemisin earned her fifth career double-double after posting 20 points and 10 rebounds and was named to the BTI Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Following a week long break, the Anteaters traveled to Texas Christian University (TCU) for the final game of 2014 on Dec. 30, where they fell 78-56. The Horned Frogs dominated the Anteaters at the boards, securing 49 rebounds to the Anteaters 29, and were 20-25 from the free throw line while the Anteaters were a mere 3-10.
The Anteaters will travel to Long Beach State Thursday evening to kick off the start of Big West Conference who have currently won 11 straight games.