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HomeSportsBasketballUCI Men’s Basketball Defeats CSUN With a Dominant Performance, 71-57

UCI Men’s Basketball Defeats CSUN With a Dominant Performance, 71-57

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The UC Irvine Men’s Basketball team (12-6, 5-1) defeated the CSU Northridge Matadors (3-15, 0-7) 71-57 in a Big West matchup at the Premier America Credit Union Arena on Saturday, Jan. 14. 

Both teams came out strong, but Irvine maintained a slight lead over Northridge for the duration of the first half. Pressure from Anteater junior guard DJ Davis resulted in a turnover and three-pointer from redshirt sophomore forward Devin Tillis, giving UCI an 8-0 lead.

As the Matadors began to pick up the pace, they caught up to the ‘Eaters, falling only three points behind with less than 13 minutes remaining in the half. Yet UC Irvine increased its lead to seven after junior guard Dawson Baker’s pull-up shot in the center and fast break three-pointer with around six minutes left in the half, making the score 26-19.

The half concluded with UCI leading 32-27 after a floating jump shot by redshirt senior forward JC Butler and a closing three-pointer by CSUN.

The Anteater offense continued to thrive in the second half. Senior forward Dean Keeler’s second breakaway basket with six minutes remaining gave the ‘Eaters their highest lead of 16 points, at 59-43.

Proceeding on a 7-0 run, CSUN reduced their score deficit back to nine points with just over five minutes left in the game. In these last few minutes, the Anteaters maintained both offensive and defensive control over the Matadors. 

With 10 seconds left, Tillis scored the second consecutive double-double of his career, scoring two free throws to make the score 71-55. This was just before a late foul by UCI, which allowed CSUN to score two points in free throws with only four seconds remaining.

The game ended with a score of 71-57 and UCI earned yet another Big West win, making this game part of a five-game winning streak for the ‘Eaters.

UC Irvine’s winning streak came to an end at home against UC Santa Barbara on Monday, Jan. 16, losing 73-65. 

Leila Amiri is a Sports Staff Writer for the winter 2023 quarter. She can be reached at