Saturday, December 19, 2009

Due to technical difficulties

Well, we couldn't connect to the game last night as KSJS was having some technical difficulties -- we're hoping it wasn't on our end, so this is the best we could do for a media game report:
UC Irvines fades in the second half
Kenny Connolly
Orange County Register

IRVINE -- As the second half of UC Irvine's game against San Jose State progressed Friday, the frustration of Anteaters coach Pat Douglass became more and more evident.

The 12 second-half turnovers and 31-percent shooting were not the cause of Douglass' anger, though. Instead, it was a lack of effort he said he failed to see from his team.

UCI, which led for the first 28 minutes, saw a 10-point first half lead turn into a 69-56 loss at Bren Center.

"We started out good, but the last five or six minutes of the first half we lost all emotion, interest and focus in what we were doing," Douglass said. "We have played with effort most of the year, but why this happened, I don't have an answer for that."

The Anteaters (5-5) led for all but one possession of the first half, forcing the Spartans into eight turnovers and converting those mistakes into four easy baskets.

Irvine center Zack Atkinson scored 10 points and blocked three shots in the first half, giving UCI a 32-27 halftime lead.

But UCI was unable to keep that trend going into the second half.

"Defense is intensity, and the emotional involvement just wasn't there," Douglass said.

San Jose State (5-4) made two easy baskets in the opening minute of the second half to cut the deficit to one point. Anteaters guard Michael Hunter responded, draining two consecutive 3-pointers, extending the lead to 40-33 with just over 16 minutes left.

Over the next seven minutes, the Spartans went on a 16-4 run, grabbing a 49-44 advantage, their first lead since the opening minutes. San Jose guard Adrian Oliver spearheaded to comeback and added to the Spartans' lead, scoring 13 points over the final 13 minutes.

Over that span, San Jose scored points on 15 of their final 18 possessions, while UCI was limited to seven field goals down the stretch.

Adrian finished with a game-high 31 points and became the first Spartans player since 2005 to record consecutive 30 points games.

"We gave the game away," Wise said. "Just a lack of execution, turnovers and no rebounding. They beat us, but we didn't help ourselves."

The loss overshadowed a career night for Hunter. With his layup in the third minute, Hunter eclipsed the 1,000-point total over his time at Irvine, making him the 19th UCI player to reach the mark. Hunter finished with 13 points.

"He (Hunter) has been playing awfully well lately," Douglass said. "But when you have a performance like this, it's really hard to send praise onto anybody."

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