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UC-Irvine takes WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational over Norfolk 82-60

Junior center Mamadou Ndiaye had 21 points and junior guard Luke Nelson scored 17 to lead UC Irvine over Norfolk State, 80-62, in the championship game of the 54th annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational in El Paso, Texas, Tuesday night.

Senior forward Mike Best and junior guard Jaron Martin added 10 each as the Anteaters improved to 10-4 overall, the program’s best start since a similar record to open the 2002-03 season.

Tuesday’s victory was the 100th career win for sixth-year head coach Russell Turner at UCI.

Norfolk St VS UC Irvine-13Nelson, who scored 16 points in Monday’s win over Sam Houston State, was named the tournament MVP after averaging 16.5 points in the two victories.  He added four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in Tuesday’s victory.

Ndiaye, who also had nine rebounds and five blocked shots in the championship game, was named to the all-tournament team.

Redshirt freshman forward Jonathan Galloway also pulled down a career-high nine boards and scored seven points.  Senior guard Alex Young had six assists as he is one shy of tying Raimonds Miglinieks for the UCI career record at 475.

Senior guard Aaron Wright scored six points and recorded five rebounds, three steals and two assists.  SeniorDominique Dunning added five points and three assists while junior post Ioannis Dimakopoulos scored four points.

Norfolk St VS UC Irvine-10Tuesday’s title came one year to the day since the Anteaters won the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas last Dec. 22.

Jeff Short led Norfolk State (5-8) with a game-high 24 points Tuesday while Charles Oliver added 18.

Trailing 12-10 early in the game, UCI went on a 22-4 run over a span of less than 10 minutes to take a 16-point lead at 32-16 on a three by Nelson with 5:42 left in the first half.

UCI, which led 39-23 at halftime, built its largest lead of the night at 77-52 on a basket by Ndiaye with 4:43 remaining.

The Anteaters, who outrebounded the Spartans, 47-33, shot 53 percent in the first half and 47 percent for the game.  Norfolk State shot 28 percent from the field as UCI improved to 8-0 this season when limiting the opposition to under 40 percent.

UCI travels to No. 2 Kansas next Tuesday for a 6:00 p.m. (PT) game on ESPNU.

Author: UC-Irvine Athletics

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