UC Irvine holds on to beat UC Riverside

first_imgANAHEIM – Mark Kelley scored with one minute to play to give UC Irvine a 53-52 victory over UC Riverside on Wednesday night in the first round of the Big West Conference Tournament. Patrick Sanders had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Nic Campbell added 10 points for the fifth-seeded Anteaters (14-17), who will face fourth-seeded UC Santa Barbara in tonight’s quarterfinals. Riverside’s Dedrick Bates made a free throw to narrow the deficit to one point with 45 seconds to play, then the Highlanders had two chances to win. But Cunningham missed a 9-foot jump shot with six seconds remaining and Henrik Thomsen missed a 3-pointer under defensive pressure with one second to play. Larry Cunningham scored 19 points for the eighth-seeded Highlanders (7-24). Cunningham finished his career with 1,012 points, 12th on Riverside’s all-time list. UCI, which trailed by 18 points in the first half, took a 53-51 lead when Kelley converted his own rebound of Michael Hunter’s missed layup. Hunter stole the ball to start the possession. center_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more