May 29, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

UCI starts Big West Conference play with 75-56 victory over UC Santa Barbara

Brad Greene of UC Irvine goes up for a shot in Sunday’s game. (Photo courtesy UCI Athletic Communications)

UC Irvine’s men’s basketball team, the pre-season favorite to repeat as Big West Conference regular season champions, opened league play Sunday evening defeating UC Santa Barbara 75-56 at the Bren Events Center.

Brad Greene led UCI (4-4 overall) with his first double double of the season. He scored a team high 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Collin Welp had 11 points and JC Butler and Dawson Baker scored nine points each.

UCI made 53.4 percent (31-58) of its field goals overall and held the Gauchos to just 32.1 percent (18-56) shooting.

The Anteaters also outrebounded the Gauchos 39-29.

Ajare Sanni finished with a game-high 15 points for UC Santa Barbara (4-2 overall).

“Tonight was a good win, no question, but it was only one win out of what is scheduled to be 20 games,” said UCI Coach Russell Turner. “I do think our guys came ready to play tonight and that our team can be good and I think tonight maybe we made the statement that we are going to be a good team in time.

“I was pleased with our defensive performance and our execution. I am proud of our effort and everyone looked ready to me to contribute this year.”

In accordance with Big West Conference regulations, the game was played without fans. UCI is 4-0 at home this season.

NEXT UP: UCI hosts UC Santa Barbara again on Monday at 4 p.m. at the Bren Center.

Source: UCI Athletic Communications