With Help of Ex-Anteater, San Diego St. Beats Irvine
It took Bryan Williams, San Diego State’s senior point guard, three years of waiting, but he finally got his chance Friday night to show UC Irvine Coach Bill Mulligan what he let get away.
Williams, who started as a freshman at Irvine only to transfer early the next season, paid back his former team by scoring 19 points in helping the Aztecs gain a 102-88 victory before 3,529 fans at the Sports Arena.
Williams made 7 of 7 shots, including 2 3-pointers, and 3 of 3 free throws.
The Aztecs shot 70.2% (40 of 57) and had 5 players in double figures. Senior center Mitch McMullen led all scorers with a career-high 29 points, missing only 1 of his 14 shots, and had a game-high 11 rebounds.
It was the Aztecs’ third victory without a loss, their best start since the 1984-85 team won its first 8 games en route to a 23-8 record.
The Aztecs began that season with an 86-77 win over the Anteaters. Williams played for Irvine in that game. But after starting 10 games that season, he quit the team when he didn’t play in the first two games of the 1985-86 season. Three newly eligible transfers, including Scott Brooks, now with the Philadelphia 76ers, had moved ahead of him.
Williams transferred the next year to Cerritos College and after a season there was recruited by Coach Jim Brandenburg to play for San Diego State.
If there were any hard feelings, they did not show after the game as Williams gave Mulligan a pat on the back, and the coach responded by wrapping his arm around Williams and shaking hands.
Irvine (1-3) was led by junior Rod Palmer, a transfer from UCLA, who scored 21 points.