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Men's Basketball: Terriers bury 'Eaters

UCI falls behind, 15-0, rallies to lead, then is blitzed again as its three-game win streak is snapped.

November 23, 2013|By Barry Faulkner

Logic would suggest that Anteaters are accustomed to digging in holes, and the UC Irvine men's basketball team showed it could dig out of at least one substantial hole Saturday night.

Unfortunately for UCI, it couldn't repeat the feat after visiting Boston University answered a prolonged and impressive rally with a winning burst of its own to claim a 74-68 victory on the second day of the three-day 2K Sports Classic at the Bren Events Center.

BU, which lost in Friday's first game to Eastern Washington, bolted to a 15-0 lead against the 'Eaters, who missed their first seven field-goal attempts and were scoreless until 12:01 remained in the first half.

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From there, UCI (3-3), which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end, chipped away at the deficit that was just 33-25 at halftime. The 'Eaters used a 15-5 run early in the second half to pull even, 40-40, then earn their only lead, 42-40, the latter with 13 minutes left in the game.

But the Terriers (3-2) showed some fight of their own by producing a 17-2 spurt that built what proved to be an insurmountable 57-44 advantage with 8:26 left.

UCI, which made just nine of 23 field-goal attempts in the first half, finished with its worst shooting night of the season (42.9% on 27-of-63 shooting from the field). UCI came in shooting 54.9% for the season and had made at least half of its field-goal attempts in each of its first five contests.

Meanwhile, BU, which netted 10 of 18 shots from behind the three-point line (55.6%), was 14 of 30 inside the arc to finish 24 of 48 from the field.

That was enough to offset UCI's 36-29 rebounding edge, as well as a 15-11 advantage in the turnover department.

The reason for the slow start wasn't difficult to pinpoint for UCI Coach Russell Turner, whose team has now dropped two home games, one more than it did all last season.

"I don't think we lost the game at the start, but I think we showed that [the Terriers] were more ready to play than we were, and that's disappointing," Turner said. "I think that's human nature a little bit, when you have success to let up and that's probably what happened to us. I thought we were just way too cool to start the game. And that's not the way you win in college basketball."

BU's chief tool to carve out a victory was ball movement, which it continually used to create open shots, Meanwhile, the Terriers' defense seemed to frustrate UCI, which forced countless shots, particularly on drives inside by their guards.

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