Nov. 9, 2009
IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine nearly overturned a double-digit deficit in the second half but Concordia University hung on to defeat the Anteaters, 57-56, in an exhibition game at the Bren Events Center Monday night.
The Eagles went up 51-40 on a pair of free throws by Dominic Cruz-Duncan with 9:51 remaining before the Anteaters went on a 14-4 run to close within 55-54 on a free throw by Michael Hunter with 2:53 left.
Justin Johnson put Concordia up 57-54 on a short jumper in the lane with 1:53 remaining but UCI's Peter Simek converted a tip-in with 1:23 left to close the gap to 57-56.
The Anteaters had chances in the final 30 seconds but Concordia's Ben Smith grabbed a UCI turnover in the lane and was fouled with 2.7 seconds left.
He missed both free throws and the Anteaters' Patrick Rembert got off a shot from near half-court that hit the backboard as time expired.
Cameron Gliddon led the Eagles with nine points while Smith and Terrence Worthy added eight each.
Concordia never relinquished its lead after going up 28-27 on a free throw by Smith with 2:02 left in the first half. The Eagles, who lost by one point at UCLA last week, led 30-27 at halftime. Concordia is ranked No. 8 in the NAIA preseason poll.
Both teams shot 38.8 percent from the field on 19-of-49 shooting. Concordia won a narrow battle on the boards, 35 to 34. The Eagles committed 12 turnovers and UCI 11.
"We played hard, I liked our effort, but just couldn't get the shots to drop," UCI head coach Pat Douglass said. "Concordia is a program that we respect and they have a nice ballclub that played well.
"This game will definitely help us in identifying the areas to get better in."