The UC Irvine Men’s Basketball team played their first game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 5. UCI debuted the 2016-2017 team in a game against the Sonoma State Seawolves in the Bren. Despite this year’s team tackling the court without some favorite players from previous years, the team was an energetic mix of new faces and crowd favorites, ready to take the court and “Defend the Bren”. Likewise, the crowd was energetic and the student section was full of Anteaters ready to begin the epic basketball season.
The starting five, Jaron Martin, Brandon Smith, Ioannis Dimakopoulos, Jonathon Galloway, and Max Hazzard, immediately took possession of the ball and started the game off strong, quickly making baskets and rebounding constantly. Throughout the course of the game, the team seemed remarkably in sync, passing the ball off to one another seamlessly and continuously scoring, keeping a consistent lead over the Sonoma State Seawolves. At half time, the Anteaters were up 43-25.
Post halftime festivities, the energy in the Bren hyped up even more with incredible passes, all out on the ground fights for the ball, and impeccable free throws. Almost all students were standing, screaming, and zotting, showing the Anteaters lots of love on the court. The game ended in a non-nail biting win of 81-63.
Despite the fact that the team has begun a new era with lots of new Anteaters to cheer for, the team’s energy and cohesion was amazing, and showed great promise for another awesome year of defending the Bren. The next home basketball game will be this Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:00 p.m against Utah State. Hope to see everyone there!