March 3, 2005
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) - Ross Schraeder scored 21 points including three 3-pointers in the final three minutes to lead UC Irvine to a 72-63 win over UC Santa Barbara Thursday night.
The victory secured a spot for the Anteaters (14-12, 7-10) in the Big West Conference tournament that begins March 9. The top eight teams in the conference advance to the tournament.
UC Santa Barbara (10-16, 7-10) had already clinched a spot in the tournament. The Gauchos were missing several of their starters lost to injuries earlier in the season.
With 13:26 to play in the second half, UC Santa Barbara took a 50-40 lead after a 3-pointer by Chrismen Oliver, who led the Gauchos with 18 points.
The Anteaters chipped away over the next seven minutes, taking the lead 57-56 on a 3-pointer by Schraeder with 6:28 to play.
Schraeder went 6-for-8 from the floor, 5-for-7 from behind the 3-point arc.
Irvine's victory snapped a six-game losing streak against the Gauchos that extended back to 2002.