UCI Men’s Basketball Blows Out Life Pacific University 98-52 in Non-Conference Matchup

By: Amanda Zarasua

Photography by: Jacqueline Markham

The UCI Men’s Basketball team dominated the Life Pacific University Warriors and secured a 98-52 victory at the Bren Events Center on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The Anteaters  broke their overall record, 2-1.

UCI started the night off by winning the tip off. After a defensive rebound by redshirt junior Brad Greene and a jump shot from senior Eyassu Worku, UCI’s offense rolled. Senior Tommy Rutherford kept the energy going with a layup that brought the Anteaters up 6-0. However,  a UCI dribbling violation turned the ball over to LPU and allowed them to score for the first time in the first half. 

A dunk by Greene brought the crowd to their feet while also bringing the Anteaters up 10-4. LPU struggled to penetrate UCI’s defense and mostly settled for long three point attempts. The Warrior’s strategy paid off  since the team made a three point shot that brought their score, 29-17. UCI maintained a comfortable lead, and a steal followed by a jump shot by redshirt freshman Aiden Krause put the Anteaters up 45-25. 

UCI had a 52-30 lead to end the half. 

“[The focus] is just to sustain and keep putting it on them,” Greene said about how the team was going to keep the momentum going into the next half. “We had a lead going into the last game [against Pepperdine]. We had a lead in the last few minutes so this one is kind of … don’t let up, don’t let that gap close and just keep putting it on them.”

UCI wasted no time and started the second half hot with a steal by Greene. Soon after, a dunk  by senior John Edgar Jr. put the Anteaters up 64-30. After a few attempts, LPU made a three pointer that put their score up and helped their offensive struggles. But two blocks within a minute of each other by UCI freshman Austin Johnson kept LPU’s advances to a minimum. An offensive rebound and layup by Greene followed by steal by Worku led to a jump shot by redshirt sophomore Colin Welp, and the Anteater’s pushed back, the score now 83-42. 

LPU took a final full timeout with 4 minutes and 50 seconds left in the game. The Warriors were able to come back after this timeout with a jump shot and successful three pointer. But it was not enough to overpower the Anteaters. LPU ultimately went  down 98-52.

“We’re just learning still, you know? We have a few younger guys who got a few more minutes tonight,” Greene said when asked about going into next week’s away game. “So … these next road games are going to be really tough on us. They’ve never experienced it, so just getting them comfortable now before we head into there was huge for us.” 

The Anteaters will travel to Boise State on Friday, Nov 15 looking for another win.