The UCI Anteaters Men’s Basketball team won their exhibition match against the CSU Dominguez Hills Toros, 84-59, on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.
UCI dominated the first half jumping out to an 11 point halftime lead, and 61.5% field goal percentage. Irvine also tallied up six steals against Dominguez Hill’s four. CSUDH was better in three-point percentage with an outstanding 62.5% in the first half against UCI’s mere 37.5%. Both teams tied with seven assists in the first half.
UCI started off shaky with the first shot attempt of the game as redshirt senior forward Collin Welp missed an easy driving layup.
A Lou Henson Player of the Year, Welp had a solid game recording 11 points, two assists and four rebounds in only 16 minutes.
CSUDH started off red hot by going 4-4 from the floor and taking an early 10-3 lead with 17:32 left in the first half.
Senior forward Chris Seeley was one of the big stars for CSUDH with four rebounds, two assists and 14 points in the first half. Seeley only played 20 minutes as he fouled out early in the second. Sophomore guard Isaiah Morris added three rebounds, four assists and 10 points for the Toros.
Although CSUDH made their first seven shot attempts, UCI scratched their way back to a 20-19 lead with 12:39 remaining in the first half.
UCI continued to add to their lead, when Welp assisted redshirt sophomore guard Ofure Ujadughele as his driving layup gave the Anteaters a four point lead. With 8:41 left in the first half, Welp made a jumper to increase UCI’s lead to 27-21.
Toro senior guard Colten Kresl earned his second assist as Seeley scored yet another 3-pointer with 6:35 left in the first half, to make the score closer with a 30-26 UCI advantage.
With 6:11 left in the first half, UCI redshirt junior forward JC Butler had his second steal of the night but that was overshadowed by teammate sophomore guard DJ Davis who committed a turnover on the same play that earned Morris his first steal of the night, which resulted in a three-point missed shot that could have had CSUDH one point behind UCI.
UCI took advantage when junior forward Dean Keeler scored a layup with another Welp assist to make it an eight point lead with 5:47 left in the first half.
The last point of the first half was awarded to CSUDH by freshman guard/forward DJ Guest’s free throw to make it 48-37.
The second half continued with UCI dominating, starting to run away with their lead. They outscored CSUDH 7-2 to add to their 55-41 lead with 15:28 remaining in the game thanks to Butler’s free throws.
With 9:02 left, sophomore guard DJ Davis lobbed it up to junior forward Austin Johnson to make it 65-50 in favor of the Anteaters. Davis played 24 minutes and had two rebounds, four assists and 15 points. Meanwhile, Johnson had six rebounds and four points, but only played 18 minutes.
Davis had a great second half with back-to-back three pointers with 6:04 left in the game. His three pointers were followed by sophomore guard Dawson Baker’s jumper and two free throws made by redshirt sophomore guard Justin Hohn that led to a 21 point gap, 75-54. Hohn led UCI in assists with six and Baker added 10 points as well.
With the last play, sophomore forward Hunter Ruck scored a layup with 16 seconds left to increase Irvine’s final score, 84-59.
After a dominating exhibition match, UCI looks to continue their success on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. to begin the regular season as they visit Las Cruces, New Mexico to face New Mexico State.
Marcos Gonzalez is a 2021-2022 Sports Staff Writer. He can be reached at email@example.com.