Briefs: 'Eaters' guard honored

Senior Jade Smith-Williams, who guided UC Irvine to a 53-46 victory over UC Riverside on Friday, has been named Big West Conference Player of the Week in women's basketball.

The point guard poured in a season-high 28 points to lead the Anteaters to a conference-opening win over the Highlanders, who went to the NCAA Tournament last year.

Smith-Williams had 14 of the team's 29 first-half points, including the last three points of the half to give the Anteaters a 29-24 advantage.

The Highlanders closed within 47-44 with 1:08 left, but Smith-Williams went four for four from the free-throw line down the stretch to help UCI snap an eight-game losing streak against UCR.

She made eight of 13 field-goal attempts (61.5%), including five of seven from three-point range, tying her career high for three-pointers. She made seven of eight foul shots and played the entire 40 minutes.

UCI (9-4) has won nine of its last 10 games and will visit Cal State Fullerton Wednesday at 7 p.m.

— From staff reports

Brantley, McDonald shine

Orange Coast College sophomore defensive end Bryce Brantley and Santa Ana freshman quarterback Andrew McDonald, a Newport Harbor High product, have been named All-California Region V in football.

Brantley, a 6-foot-5, 255-pounder, had 9.5 sacks, nine of which were solo stops, the latter ranking second in the 37-school Southern California Football Assn. He had 36 tackles, 12.5 of which were behind the line of scrimmage.

McDonald, the Newport-Mesa Offensive Player of the Year as a senior at Newport Harbor in 2008, threw for 2,196 yards and 28 touchdowns for the Dons (10-1), after transferring from the University of Arizona.

McDonald completed 167 of 242 passes with 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 289 yards and six touchdowns on 60 attempts to help the Dons rank No. 2 in the SCFA in scoring at 38.5 points per game. McDonald was second in the SCFA in passing efficiency.

— From staff reports

OCC's Pali moves on

Orange Coast College sophomore safety Bryan Pali has committed to continue his football career at Eastern Michigan, OCC Coach Mike Taylor said.

Pali, who led the Pirates with 65 tackles, including a team-best 36 solo stops, earned second-team All-East Division honors in 2010 for OCC (2-8).

Pali joins an Eastern Michigan program in need of some defensive players. The Eagles were 2-10, 2-6 in the Mid-American Conference last season and ranked No. 119 out of 120 BCS schools in scoring defense (43.9 per game).

— Barry Faulkner

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