ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com/AP) — UC Irvine stands one game away from its first trip to the NCAA basketball tournament after defeating UC Santa Barbara 72-63 in the Big West semifinals Friday night at Honda Center in Anaheim
Will Davis II had 18 points and 15 rebounds and Mamadou Ndiaye also scored 18 points for the third-seeded Anteaters, who won’t have to face Big West regular season champ UC Davis in Saturday’s final. That’s because fifth-seeded Hawaii upset the Aggies 65-58 in Friday’s first semifinal, likely dispatching UC Davis (25-6) to the NIT.
Luke Nelson added 14 points and seven assists for the Anteaters (20-12), who had a 34-27 lead at halftime before Santa Barbara closed the gap in the second half.
Alan Williams had 24 points and 15 rebounds for UC Santa Barbara (19-12). John Green had 14 points and six rebounds before fouling out in the final minutes of regulation. The loss ended a six-game winning streak by the Gauchos.
Santa Barbara had a chance to pull it out at the end of regulation, but Zalmico Harmon missed a 3-pointer and Williams missed a jumper in the final 16 seconds with the score tied at 59.
Davis and Ndiaye each hit a jumper in the first two minutes of the overtime, and Nelson capped a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer as the Anteaters took a 66-59 lead. Michael Bryson had the lone field goal for the Gauchos in the overtime.
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