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    Men's Basketball Opens Season With 77-65 Win Over UC-Irvine
     

     
    Center Josip Petrusic fights for a rebound during the first half.
     
    Center Josip Petrusic fights for a rebound during the first half.
     
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    Nov 15, 2003

    Box Score

    Cincinnati, Ohio - UIC shot a blistering 58% from the field in the second half while forcing UC-Irvine into 15 turnovers in the period en route to a 77-65 victory over the Anteaters in the opening round of the 2003 Dell BCA Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    The Flames (1-0) will now advance to meet Oakland (1-0), the Mid-Continent Conference preseason favorite which beat San Diego earlier in the day 93-68, in the semifinal round of the tournament tomorrow evening at 5:00 p.m. CST, at the Cintas Center.

    Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Cedrick Banks led UIC with 25 points while senior forward Aaron Carr chipped in with 17, 11 of which came in the second half.

    "It was an extremely hard-fought game," UIC Head Coach Jimmy Collins said. "We knew UC-Irvine had all the ingrediants, but we didn't know they would be as tough as they showed tonight.

    "In the second half, though, we picked up the intensity on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor and that saw us through."

    The Flames trailed by as many as eight points in the first half as UCI's Stanislav Zuzak, who finished with a game-high 29 points, hit for 14 points, going 4-for-4 from three-point range in the stanza.

    Freshman guard Marcetteaus McGee, who had seven points in his UIC debut, would bank in a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the opening period for UIC, though, cutting the Anteaters' lead at intermission to one, 36-35.

    UIC would build its lead to as many as nine, 53-44, with 12 minutes left in the second half, forcing the Anteaters into numerous turnovers with their full-court pressure.

    Zuzak got hot, again, for UC-Irvine as the Anteaters quickly went on 10-0 run to regain the advantage 53-52 at the 11:03 mark.

     

     

    The Flames would put together a final surge, outscoring UC-Irvine 20-7 over the final nine minutes to secure the victory.

    Senior Armond Williams led UIC on the glass with six rebounds.