UC Irvine 76, Hope International 54

Mike Best came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points,

13 of them in the second half, and help UC Irvine defeat Hope

International 76-54 on Thursday night.

Best, a freshman, was 8 of 10 from the field. Daman Starring

added 12 points and sophomore guard Chris McNealy had 11 for the

Anteaters (3-9), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Derick

Flowers dished out nine assists, his career best.

Steve Jurich and Matt Green led the Royals, an NAIA program,

with 10 points each.

Irvine led 33-23 at halftime and built a 32-point lead on two

occasions midway through the second half. The Anteaters took

advantage of numerous Royals mistakes, scoring 24 points off 18

Hope International turnovers. They also won the rebound battle

40-27 and outscored the Royals 11-1 on second-chance points.

Starring made three of the Anteaters’ nine 3-pointers in the

game.