Hood's Shot in Overtime Gives Irvine a 75-73 Win

UC Irvine guard Mike Hood made an off-balance shot in the lane as time expired in overtime Wednesday night to give the Anteaters a 75-73 Big West Conference victory over Utah State at the Bren Center.

The teams split one-point road victories last season, including Hood missing a three-point try in the Anteaters' 62-61 loss at the Bren Center. But he made up for it Wednesday when his shot bounced on the rim twice before falling through.

"I just looked up and saw there were three seconds left, so I drove to the right and put it up," Hood said. "I wasn't thinking about anything but getting a shot off."

The shot sent the crowd of 3,205 into delirium. Hood made two free throws to give the Anteaters (9-4, 3-1 in conference) a 73-70 lead with 25.1 seconds remaining but Toraino Johnson, who had 18 points, made a three-point basket with 10.1 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Hood started his game-winning play from the left wing, driving toward the basket at the clock ticked down.

"That's probably the first time he's made a shot like that all year," Irvine Coach Pat Douglass said. "Usually all he takes is three-pointers. It's nice to be able to get lucky and get the ball to fall down."

Neither team had a lead larger than five points in the second half.

Utah State (12-4, 3-2) entered the game 8-0 when holding opponents under 60 points.

Stanislav Zuzak had a season-high 20 points for Irvine. Utah State's Desmond Penigar, third in Big West scoring, was held to eight points.

-- Eric Stephens

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