Men's Basketball: 'Eaters trounce Hawks

UCI beats up on NAIA visitor to halt four-game losing streak and improve to 3-0 at home.

December 04, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

IRVINE — Students who attended the UC Irvine nonconference men's basketball home game Tuesday against NAIA representative San Diego Christian were presented with one complimentary Scantron answer sheet.

The idea, presumably was that for the student rooters, just as for the Anteaters on the floor, a test would loom sometime in their future.

UCI (4-5) played as if it were an open-book exercise in dominating the Hawks, 94-52, to snap a four-game losing streak and improve to 3-0 at home.


UCI parlayed 56 points in the paint into shooting 56.9% from the field and earned a 53-36 rebounding advantage over the Hawks, for whom the game did not count on their record.

San Diego Christian, in an attempt to pad the program's coffers, is playing nine road exhibition contests against NCAA Division I programs this season, including five against Big West Conference schools. With Tuesday's loss – yet financial gain – the Hawks have dropped their first six exhibitions by an average deficit of 32.3 points. The Hawks are 3-3 in non-exhibition games with exhibition dates forthcoming against Fresno State, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge.

"They are doing a tough thing, trying to raise money to grow their program," UCI Coach Russell Turner said of the visitors, who missed nine of their first 10 field-goal tries and were never in it. "They are in a tough stretch and I think that showed a little bit for them, just like it probably showed for us against UNLV in the second half."

UCI, for which Tuesday's game counted, was drubbed, 85-57, by the No. 24-ranked Runnin' Rebels in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The toughest challenge for the Anteaters on Tuesday may have been not losing interest.

"That's a good game for us to have, having dropped the last four, to come in and play a team that we should be able to beat and come out and beat them like we did," Turner said. "I liked my team's energy tonight in the second half. We were good, the way we should be."

UCI converted 17 of 28 field-goal attempts after halftime (60.7%) and produced 15 of their 26 assists after seizing a 49-22 advantage at intermission.

Senior post Adam Folker made seven of eight field-goal tries, all layups, to finish with a team-best 14 points for the winners. Sophomore Mike Best (five for eight from the field for 10 points), junior reserve Chris McNealy (five for 10 for 10 points) and sophomore reserve Travis Souza (three for four for 10 points) rounded out the hosts' double-figure scorers.

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