BREN EVENTS CENTER - Add this game to UC Irvine's long list of
comebacks this season.
The Anteaters overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half to
Conference men's basketball game Thursday.
Pacific had all of the momentum in the first half, going on a 19-4 run
and leading by as many as 17 points, but it didn't seem to faze the
"Sometimes when you are not accustomed to something it's hard to
adapt," UCI Coach Pat Douglass said. "We've had a lot of game situations
(in which we were trailing) that we have been exposed to. A lot of teams
get down in that type of situation and are not used to it."
The Anteaters (13-4, 6-0 in the Big West) pulled ahead in the final
minutes when junior guard Mike Hood hit a three-point jumper on a dish
from senior guard Jerry Green. The shot gave UCI a 60-58 advantage with
1:55 remaining in the second half.
On Pacific's ensuing possession, the Anteaters had a steal and Green
controlled the ball, but a five-second violation gave Pacific (11-5, 3-3)
a chance to come back with 18.8 seconds left.
After getting the ball into their zone, the Tigers called a timeout
with 11.2 seconds to go.
Maurice McLemore (16 points) went up for a jumper, but the ball rolled
off the rim.
"We executed beautifully," Pacific Coach Bob Thomason said. "He just
missed the shot. He had a great shot. I thought it was going in when he
Green was fouled with 3.8 seconds left and hit two free throws to seal
the win for the Anteaters.
He finished with a season-low 10 points, behind sophomore center Adam
Parada (15 points, 11 rebounds), junior forward Jordan Harris (14 points,
nine rebounds) and sophomore forward Stanislav Zuzak (14 points, six
The Anteaters made 13 of 26 field goals (50%) in the second half, but
had a dismal first half, making only 8 of 27 attempts (29.6%).
Entering this week, they were No. 1 nationally in the NCAA with a .508
field goal percentage.
Green, who took a team-leading 22.6 points per game average into the
contest, did not score at all in the first half.
"He's a marked player," Douglass said. "He only got three shots in the
first half ... They did a good job defensively on Jerry. In the first
half, we had the shots, we just didn't make the shots."
The Anteaters made a big turnaround in the second half. They scored
the first nine points after the break, limited Pacific to six points in
the first 10 minutes of the half, and took their first lead of the half,
46-45, on Green's layup with 12:10 remaining.
"That run was a big key," Green said. "That was the main thing in the
first five minutes to come out and try to get intensity and get to the
basket and that's what we did."
Pacific came within one, 55-54, but Mike hood hit a jumper to give the
Anteaters a little breathing room with 3:29 left. However, the Tigers
answered with two free throws each from Ross Mills and Mike Hahn to take
a 58-57 advantage with 2:16 to go.
Hood's three-pointer put the Anteaters ahead for good.
"I thought Hood made two big plays," Thomason said. "If he doesn't
make the shot, plus the three I think we would have had a chance to win
Hood finished with seven points for the Anteaters, who remained the
only undefeated team in conference and extended their school record
winning streak at home to 19.
"When we get down, we're really confident as a team," Harris said. "We
get down by 17 and it's no big deal, especially at home. We always feel
we can come back."