Jan. 25, 2006
Irvine, Calif. - Patrick Sanders scored 18 points and four teammates were in double figures Wednesday night as UC Irvine remained unbeaten in Big West Conference play with an 83-68 victory over Cal State Fullerton.
The Titans (9-8, 3-5) dropped their third game in a row despite the strongest showing of the year from their bench as Frank Robinson scored 17 points, John Clemmons had 10 and freshman Jerard Moret added a season-high 13 points. But the starters totaled only 22 points with Bobby and Jamaal Brown combining for only 11 compared to their combined average of almost 37 points. UCI is now 11-8 and 7-0 in the Big West in 7 games since a 5-game losing streak.
Guard Aaron Fitzgerald, who almost singlehandedly beat Fullerton Saturday in Titan Gym with 28 points, scored only 6 points Wednesday night but had 9 assists while committing only 2 turnovers.
The Anteaters turned a 23-20 Fullerton lead into a 28-23 deficit with an 8-0 run and extended the advantage to 38-29 at the half. When Fullerton missed its first six shots of the second half, UCI began pulling away and led the rest of the way by double figures including a best of 21 points at 83-62.
UCI outshot Fullerton in every category, had a 4-rebound edge and committed 3 fewer turnovers to sweep the season series.
"Not to take anything at all away from UC Irvine, which played a great game, but it is pretty obvious we need both Bobby and Jamaal Brown to play at a higher level to win a game," said Fullerton Coach Bob Burton. "Neither practiced since Saturday (Bobby with an ankle injury and Jamaal with back spasms) but they thought they could play tonight.
"Combine that with UCI playing tougher and plaing harder and that's hard to overcome. UCI was better tonight in every phase of the game."
Bobby Brown missed his first 9 shots before making his last two and his 7 points were a season low. Jamaal made only 1 of 3 shots and had only 3 rebounds while playing only 20 minutes.
Moret hit the Titans' first three field goals on his way to a 10-point first half and Robinson contributed 8 first-half points including a 3-pointer for the 23-20 lead with 6:50 to play in the half.
Fullerton plays a non-conference game Saturday afternoon at UC Davis while UC Irvine travels to Long Beach State.