IRVINE — Sometimes having an edge can help a team bridge the perceived gap between desperation and necessity.
The UC Irvine men's basketball team, pushed to the precipice of a foreboding Big West Conference start, found a way to go right to the edge, without falling off a competitive cliff Wednesday night.
The result was an 85-78 Big West win over visiting Cal State Fullerton that evened the Anteaters' conference record and halted a four-game losing streak.
Heading into a four-game road swing that begins Saturday at conference-leading Long Beach State, a second consecutive home loss would have been devastating for first-year coach Russell Turner's squad.
"I felt it," Turner said of the extra pregame intensity after his team fell to visiting UC Riverside in the conference opener Dec. 28, "and I imagine our guys did. That's a difficult thing as a coach. You want your team on that edge, but not over it. And I'd rather be over it than not quite to it, I guess. So, we've got to figure that out for ourselves."