IRVINE – The Rainbow Warriors suffered their first
conference loss Wednesday, losing to UC Irvine 68-64. Gib Arnold's team entered the contest
unbeaten in Big West play, at 3-0, but a determined Anteater squad made sure it
wouldn't be 4-0.
UH, which got another strong effort from Vander Joaquim,
took a 35-30 lead in the second half.
That would be their largest lead of the half. Irvine immediately responded with a 7-0 run
to retake the advantage.
The two teams went back and forth down the stretch, with UH
pulling ahead at 57-56 on an Isaac Fotu layup.
However, the ‘Eaters responded once again, using an 8-0 run to take the
lead for good.
Joaquim led the way with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Brandon Spearman and Christian Standhardinger
each had 12.
The Rainbow Warriors will next play at Long Beach State on
Saturday before returning to Hawaii.