Irvine Shows Character, Tops Long Beach
Sunday’s victory over hapless San Jose State did little but end UC Irvine’s six-game losing streak. Thursday night’s 78-68 victory over Long Beach State proved that the Anteaters indeed can live up to their potential against Big West competition.
The Anteaters shot better than 50% for the first time this season. They were tied late in the game after taking a big lead, but played good defense at the end at the Bren Center to improve to 6-9 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
“This was the first time in a long time that we demonstrated character,” Irvine Coach Rod Baker said.
In the first half, Irvine shot 60% from the field and Long Beach (7-6, 3-3) shot only 38%, but the Anteaters led by only six, 40-34.
Irvine led, 56-44, with 12:23 left when point guard Raimonds Miglinieks, picking up one of his season-high 14 assists, fed Shaun Battle for a dunk.
But the 49ers came back, and when Jamie Davis made a three-pointer at the 6:16 mark, the score was tied, 62-62.
“We had it right where we wanted it, but we got caught up in the emotion of the comeback and got some fouls called,” Long Beach Coach Seth Greenberg said.