Fitzgerald Fuels Decisive 25-3 Run for UCI

Jan. 21, 2006

 

Box Score

 

Fullerton, Calif. - Senior guard Aaron Fitzgerald scored 28 points and Nic Campbell added 15 Saturday afternoon to lead UC Irvine to a 67-59 Big West Conference victory at Cal State Fullerton.

The Titans got 16 points and a game-high 8 rebounds from Jamaal Brown but Bobby Brown scored only 11 points in 25 minutes of play as he was limited by an ankle injury suffered late in Thursday night's game vs. Long Beach State.

UCI extended its winning streak to six games in a row to go to 10-8 overall and 6-0 in the Big West. Fullerton is 9-7 and 3-4 after losing its third home game in four attempts.

Fitzgerald scored 14 points in a 25-3 Anteaters' run midway through the second half that turned a 38-31 deficit at 14:12 into a 56-41 lead at 7:55. His 3-point play at 12:22 tied the game at 39-39 and his third 3-pointer in the run capped the outburst. Many of those points were scored against Bobby Brown, whose lateral quickness was obviously hampered. Brown sat out the final 12 minutes.

Fullerton stayed in the game in the first half by limiting UCI to 31 percent shooting from the floor and only 2 of 9 behind the 3-point line. The lead changed hands 9 times with Fullerton taking the biggest lead at 22-16 with 3:48 remaining. UCI scored the next 7 points only to lose the lead as Bobbby Brown made a runner with 2 seconds to go for a 24-23 halftime lead.

Bobby Brown made two 3-pointers in 27 seconds to fuel a 14-8 Fullerton surge to open the second half and give the Titans their 38-31 advantage.

UC Irvine shot 58 percent in the second half to finish at 43 percent and made 7 of 11 3-pointers after intermission to finish above its season average at .450.

Justin Burns (13) and Jermaine Harper (11) were also in double figures for Fullerton but the Titans got only 2 points from their bench -- a first-half putback by Gary Nunez. UCI got 19 points from its reserves led by 8 by Shamar Armstrong.

The two teams meet again Wednesday night at UC Irvine's Bren Center.