UC Irvine Shows It Has What It Takes to Win Close One

From Staff Reports

One season removed from a 1-25 record, UC Irvine sits atop the Big West Conference’s Western Division after a 65-63 victory Thursday night over Boise State before a crowd of 1,514 at the Bren Center.

Ben Jones made two free throws with 24 seconds left and the Anteaters (5-8, 2-1) put up one last defensive stand, not allowing the Broncos a decent shot.

“Winning is everything,” junior guard Lamarr Parker said.

He experienced it only once a year ago, as the Anteaters were routed most nights, including a 62-point loss to USC at home. There is little resemblance of that team.


Irvine made 11 of 14 shots in the first half and shot 62% for the game. The Anteaters rallied from a nine-point deficit in the final eight minutes and held the Broncos (10-6, 2-1) to six points in the final 6:33.

This against a team that had rattled UCLA, losing, 81-75, at Pauley Pavilion.

The Broncos appeared to have the game in hand, leading, 57-49, with 6:33 left before Irvine scored the next 13 points, six by Ben Jones (15 points). His three-point shot tied the score, 57-57, and Adam Stetson followed with a three-pointer for a 60-57 lead with four minutes left.

Boise State’s last lead was, 63-62. But Juma Jackson made one free throw to tie it with 39 seconds left and Jones made his winning free throws after a steal.