UC Irvine advances, drops Hawaii 71-60

The Associated PressMarch 15, 2013
UC Irvine advances, drops Hawaii 71-60
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University of California-Irvine guard Derick Flowers (0) drives around Hawaii center Vander Joaquim, of Angola, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Big West Conference tournament Thursday, March 14, 2013, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Michael Wilder scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and fourth-seeded UC Irvine put away Hawaii early to advance in the Big West Conference tournament with a 71-60 win over the Warriors on Thursday night.

UC Irvine (19-14), which has won seven of its last eight games, jumped out to a 24-5 lead midway through the first half and led by as many as 23 points before taking a 42-22 lead at halftime.

Hawaii battled back to begin the second half with a 20-8 run to cut the Anteaters' lead to 52-42, but despite the rally, the Warriors were never able to cut UC Irvine's lead to single digits in the second half.

Hauns Brereton and Vander Joaquim scored 18 points apiece for fifth-seeded Hawaii (17-14).

UC Irvine will face top seeded Long Beach State in the tournament semifinals Friday. The Anteaters split the season series with Long Beach State, winning the last meeting on March 2, 72-69.