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UC Irvine denies Warriors, 70-63

Eyassu Worku scored a game-high 19 points and Evan Leonard added 18 points tonight to help visiting UC Irvine deny Hawai’i, 70-63, in tense Big West Conference men’s basketball action.

An electric season-best “White-Out” crowd of 5,949 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched Collin Welp add 15 points and six rebounds as the first-place Anteaters improved to 17-10 overall and 9-2 in the Big West. Drew Buggs scored 17 points and dished seven assists and Eddie Stansberry added 10 points for the Warriors, who dropped their fourth straight game and fell to 14-10, 5-5.

UCI led for most of the game and was ahead, 66-53, after Welp’s two free throws with 2:26 remaining, but UH rallied back and closed it to 66-63 as Raimo capped a frantic 10-0 run with a layup with 35.3 seconds left. But the Warriors were out of timeouts and the Anteaters sank four straight free throws down the stretch to close out the victory.

Hawai’i will be on the road next week for conference games at UC Riverside on February 20, and at Long Beach State on February 22.

More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be reported later.

Big West Conference
Saturday’s Results

at UC Davis 110, CSUN 98
at Long Beach State 65, UC Riverside 63 (OT)
at Cal State Fullerton 105, Cal Poly 101 (4OT)
UC Irvine 70, at Hawai’I 63

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